You’re pretty smart so I don’t need to tell you that every single cent of your money counts!
Last year I had a work schedule where I wasn’t getting much sleep, so to keep me up I would get a Mountain Dew from the gas station from time to time. Now, it started out as a way to keep me up but quickly moved into a bad habit that I did even when I wasn’t working. As you probably already know, Mountain Dew can be addictive. I would buy a 44oz everyday at the cost of .83 cents, not that much money right?
There probably are little things that you spend money on everyday that you don’t even give a second thought to, they cost the same amount of money that you would find in your couch cushions. You can see where I’m going with this, all those “little things” add up to a good amount of money in the end, money you could use for a number of different goals and dreams.
Do you have an emergency fund set up? Could you if you cut out all those little expenses? I talk about an emergency fund in more detail here: http://talesofwork.com/blog/2012/01/living-paycheck-to-paycheck/, it’s worth a read. I know it can be hard sometimes at work when you get hungry and you just want a little snack from the vending machine and you have two bucks in your pocket, as hard as it is, it could pay off greatly if you resist the temptation. If you’re self employed like myself the temptation comes in the way of buying fast food, it’s so much easier to just pull in the drive through at McDonald’s and buy a quick-lunch, you don’t even need cash anymore.
If you have a goal to get out of a job you don’t love or to move onto something or somewhere you’ve been dreaming about, then every little candy bar or trip to a fast food place delays that dream. Think about what that .83 cents adds up to in a year: $302.95. Or how much does that fast food add up to, even if you’re only going one or two times a week? In order to move forward you’re going to need money to make it work, in order to be a little more secure, you’re going to need some money as an emergency fund. That $302.95 could be the start to my emergency fund or yours.
So how can I put a stop to this?
Remember back in the day when your mom use to pack you a bag lunch for school? As you know, you can pack a lunch for work and put more than your lunch in that bag, have a whole bunch of little snacks in there for you. I really didn’t need that soda everyday to keep me up, buying some healthy oranges gives me the boast that I need at a way cheaper price.
You have to realize that it’s all connected:
If you cut out getting fast food or cut out that soda or that candy bar or whatever little thing you’re into, what do you think the results would be? You would have more money in your pocket but you would also cut out the junk from your eating habits. You would then lose a little weight and feel a lot better. I felt like I needed that soda but after a month of not drinking it I felt like I had as much energy as my kids. You see how one area affects another?
A small challenge for you:
Actions speak louder than words so why not test out my theory. For the next month try to not spend money on even the smallest items at work or even in your home life. See if you have more money and check the scales to see if it helps your weight. If I’m wrong you’ll have more money to spend when you go back to buying junk. Can you try this for just one month?
I hope you decide to take me up on this challenge, I think if we band together and try this we can be each others support system. You’re here reading this blog, probably because you’re pursuing your dreams, trying to move onto work that you love, cutting out the little stuff and saving that money will help you get closer to those dreams!
What are some little things you struggle with? Be honest and let us know in the comments: