February 28, 2024

Bucks Blog: Cutting Back (But Not on Coffee!) To Save Money

Courtesy bills.com

The old savings advice about skipping your daily cup of coffee and banking the cash instead has never really resonated with me.

For one thing, I really, really like my morning Joe. Plus, would I actually put the money in an account? Or would I spend it on, say, Altoids instead? So I’m happy to ignore the financial benefit of delaying that particular bit of gratification.

But what about a bottle of water? Or a weekly car wash? Are there some things I might forgo to help save some cash? A new tool from Bills.com, called My Savings Machine, provides a fast, fun way to calculate your savings in different categories over time.

You click on the category you want to analyze (coffee, cigarettes, groceries, etc.), select an anticipated interest rate and slide the marker over to your chosen time period. Voila: An actual number.

I entered $10 a week (roughly a $2 cup of coffee, five days a week), invested at a 1 percent return over two years. The total savings: $1,040. Okay, that did gave me pause. But it would likely cost friends and family, who would have to deal with my noncaffeinated, cranky self, a lot more unless I managed to get the coffee made at home each day for far less.

I found the tool a bit more helpful in other categories. Say, for instance, I spend just $25 a week less on groceries — maybe by buying more store brands. That would save me $2,602 over two years, assuming the same 1 percent rate. And, if I combine the grocery savings with one less meal out a week — saving, say, $50 a week — I’d end up with a heftier $7,855 in my savings account. Not too shabby.

So what’s most cuttable from your budget, and how much would it save you?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=f48d651b1896be15859120066b9c0eb2

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