The following is a guest post from The Shark Investor
You don’t need to be frugal at home. Taking short showers and putting energy saving lights is admirable, but it doesn’t have big impact on your financial balance. The flaws of your daily budget are elsewhere – in your office and on the way to it. What part of your income goes truly for yourself and what part is wasted because of your work?
Here are some things which really suck your budget:
1. Transportation is one of the main expenses for people who go to work every day. Are you driving a car? This is costing you about $500 – $1,000 or even more per year if you are in the USA and just 15 miles away of the office. For the unlucky Europeans the same expense could be $3,000 or more.
– Use public transportation. Saves 20% – 50% and usually doesn’t take much more time than driving a car (If you use metro, it can even be much faster).
– Ride a motorcycle or scooter. Saves 60% or more. If you are close enough to the office to ride a electric bike (they can go 10 – 30 miles without recharging), you’ll save more than 90%.
– Ride a bicycle or walk if possible. Free.
– Work from home when possible. Not only free but saves the time for transportation. Only some people have this advantage, but you could try to negotiate at least 1 day of the week to work from home.
2. Office food is another killer for your budget and unfoirtunately for your health too. If you eat at a restaurant every day you are throwing away thousands per year. If you are eating fast food the financial loss is less but the impact on your health costs more than money.
Solution: Bring food from home. Saves between 20% and 80% and if you plan the food you bring it will be better health-wise.
3. Coffee, tea, sugar are things which we consume in the office to save us from stress. How much do you spend on that, $500 or more per year?
Solution: give them up. Seriously, coffee and sugar are bad for your body, you’ll only feel beter by giving them up. Coffee is messing your brain chemistry and sugar is poison for the body. After quitting sugar you’ll feel more energic and less sleepy in the afternoons. If you can’t skip eating little sweet things during the day, try with fruits.
4. Clothes costs us between few hundreds and few thousands per year. Suits, ties, skirts, boots, shoes – we need to change them often so our collegues don’t make fun on us.
Solution: none I can think of, unless to become a geek or work from home – in both cases clothes don’t matter so much.
If you can avoid most of these budget flaws, you could save $3,000 – $5,000 per year or even more.