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Cut Just One Cup a Week

Cut out the morning coffee at Starbucks!

Bring a bag lunch!

Stop drinking alcoholic beverages!

If you’ve been trying to find areas to cut back on your budget, those are likely one of the first three things you’ll hear suggested, right? The Latte Factor! It’s horrible that you’re wasting money on coffee you can brew at home! It’s a travesty! Okay, except you don’t have a coffee maker at home, have hardly any time in the morning to brew it, and if you don’t have it… oh boy, your office better watch out because you’ll be one cranky man/woman/beast. And bag lunch? Forget it, you don’t have time to make the lunch, let alone lug it to work, stuff it in the fridge and then eat it alone at your desk later! Alcoholic beverages? That’s the high point in the day, you can’t take that away! Plus, people who go to happy hours earn more [3]… and you want to make more money right? Of course!

Of course, all that was tongue in cheek but the “excuses” are legitimate. It’s difficult to restructure large parts of your day just to save a few dollars but sometimes it’s important to do so. So, rather than make wholesale changes that you’re likely going to abandon within a few weeks, if you can even get started, try doing it incrementally.

Brew your own coffee on Friday. Friday is usually the laxest of all days and many people come in later than their usual start time. Take advantage of this by brewing your own coffee. If you don’t have a coffeemaker, you can buy one for around $20 and a hundred pack of filters for around $4. Then, all it takes is some coffee and you’re on your way to brewing your own coffee. If you really want to be efficient, set it all up the night before and set it to brew before you wake up. You can wake up to the wonderful smell of brewing coffee just like in the commercials! So just brew it on Fridays and you can hit Seattle’s Best Coffee the other four days. If you can save yourself the $3 on Friday coffee habit, that’s $150 a year in savings a year.

Resolve to bring in lunch on Monday. You have all weekend to pack, and cook it if you need to, yourself a nice meal so you can’t complain you have no time at night because you’ll have all day. Monday is also the busiest of work days as everyone catches up from the weekend so you can take advantage by eating at your desk and getting more work done. By cutting out one day of $7 lunches and replacing them with $2 lunches, you can save yourself close to $250 a year. You can get something really nice for $250 a year (or save it!) just by eating lunch on Mondays.

Bag lunch on Monday, brew coffee on Friday – get $400 a year that you can use for whatever you want. As for cutting out alcohol, sorry but you’re on your own on that one. 🙂

(Photo by ahmedrabea [4])