If you ever take the time to actually track how much money you spend while at work, you would probably be shocked. We rarely even think about how counter productive it is to our finances to bleed money while we are at work. In this economy every penny counts, so hopefully this article will bring your attention to your daily spending habits when you are at the office and offer some alternatives that will save you money.
Lets go over some numbers shall we? If you work five days a week, get eight paid holidays a year and average thirty days of vacation then you will be at the office around 222 days each year. Not counting all the money you spend just to travel to and from work and your wardrobe, that means you have 222 opportunities to reduce your income by blowing it at work. Here are some common items that people typically spend money on while at work and some alternatives you can choose.
Coffee and or Tea is a non-negotiable part of most peoples daily routine. They refuse to just not drink it (me included). Well you can go to Starbucks or Caribou Coffee and spend three to $5 each visit or you can bring your coffee or tea from home. Let’s compare the cost; you can get an 11.3 ounce can of Folgers coffee that will make about 90 cups of coffee for around $5 or you can buy one cup of Starbucks coffee for $5. Let’s say you only drink one cup a day, so 222 days divided by 90 cups equals roughly 2.5 containers of coffee at $5 each. So you could have a cup of coffee everyday at work for a grand total of $12. Or you can spend $1,110 a year to have one Starbucks a day.
Snacks at the office can really add up financially and will probably be the most unhealthy substance you will consume all day. Just about everything in that vending machine will not only be way overpriced, but loaded with salt, sugar and fat. If you bring your snacks from home you not only save money but feel better about what you snacked on knowing it won’t cause a heart attack before the end of the day. Look for healthy, energy loaded natural snacks that are very affordable such as trail mix. Walmart has the best priced trail mix and granola bars you will find anywhere.
Lunch is a real drag on your budget. It can be very difficult to tell your coworkers that you won’t be going out with them everyday to spend $12 to $20 on lunch. They may look at you funny at first, but they know what you are doing is right and don’t be surprised if they don’t start emulating your money wise ways soon thereafter. Bring your lunch from home. Not only will you save a small fortune every year, you will make smarter food choices since you have to actually think about what you are buying to bring to work. Normally when you run out to a restaurant at lunch time, your spur of the moment food choices are based on speed and convenience versus health and wellness.
The bottom line is that by not following the herd at work you can not only save thousands of dollars a year to spend on what matters most in life, your family, but you will also eat healthier and feel better. Just try it and I bet you will like it!