Why You’re Broke
(Hint, Its Not The Avacado Toast)
– Ask the Savings Guy
Hello, The savings guy here! Ever wonder why you’re broke? Feel like you’re constantly are waiting for that next paycheck? Let me break it down for you.
Don’t listen to the boomers. No, its not the avocado toast that is doing you in.
But its not the student loan debt either. Its how you spend your money. Its the fact that you go out to eat at all. Its the chipolte lunches, the olive garden dinners, the cheese cake factory desserts. But its not just that.
Its the door dash, the grubhub, the uber eats when you’re feeling
hungry lazy. You may think that you’re getting a good deal. After all, the delivery fee for that $15 uber eats meal is only $4, right? Wrong. What about that $2.50 service fee? the $2.50 tip? by the time you get your meal you’re spending $24 on something that would have only cost $15 had you just picked the thing up yourself. You’re paying an extra 60%! Put this another way, imagine if you just drove to the restaraunt to buy the food yourself. You could get 60% more food, or a 60% more expensive, nicer meal for free.
Imagine if you cut that out of your budget completely? Sound extreme? Fine. Imagine that you cut it back to eating out once per month at say $60 each time? you would only be spending $720 per year, saving over $2300 per year on average! Or put another way, you would have an extra $200 in your pocket every month. Who couldn’t use an extra $200?
But its not just the eating out. When’s the last time you took a hard look at that grocery bill? Do you shop at Vons Or walmart? Whole foods or Target?
A bank of america survey showed that a $120 shopping basket at walmart would cost $126 at target, $128 at Kroger, $135 at sprouts, and a whopping $167 at whole foods. Ouch! Say you were going to the grocery store 3 times per month. Switching from Whole foods to Walmart would yield you and extra $141 per month. By this point you may be starting to get offended. “I’m too busy to cook my own food, I’m too health conscious to shop at walmart” you might say. But the truth is if you’re in debt, you’re too poor not to. And if those suggestions didn’t start to irk you, here’s where your entitlements will really start to show through. When you’re grocery shopping, you don’t have to buy the ‘luxury items’. -No I’m not talking about the filet mignon. I’m talking about common expensive grocery items you can go without. Go for the biggest bang for your buck. You like chicken salad? Avoid the cashews. Save $10. You like fruit? Buy apples and banannas, and skip the berries and starfruit. Captain Crunch? Try again. Buy the off brand. Freezer dinners? Think again. Buying meat? Go with Chicken and Pork instead of Beef. You can trim the fat in your grocery bill (Nice pun there right?) and still eat healthy. Between eating out less and shopping at cheaper grocery stores, we managed to save an estimated $341 in cash every month. If we moderately trim the fat out of our grocery shopping as well we could probably save and extra $60 each month. Thats $400 of savings! You could pay your car payment with that amount of money. (Or at least you should be able to pay your car payment with $400. If you can’t and you’ve got money problems, we’ll need to talk about that car.) Now, want to learn an easy way to earn an extra $500 per month? (Hint, you just did.) Earning $500 is the same as saving $400 due to the taxes you have to pay on your earnings. You don’t need an extra job to make an extra $500, you just need to plug the leaky faucet that is your spending. The key to savings is not more income, (not alone at least) its managing your money better.
Just ask the savings guy