Personally, I’ve been sticking to water. As I wrote in a post on drinking tap water to save money, it’s likely a healthier and cost-efficient option than most other alternatives. Having given up drinking soda – and not having had one in almost 1.5 years – I can see how a meal outside can be a lot cheaper when just having water.
But when you think about it, the amount saved can really add up. I was at a place recently where the cost of a beverage was $2.19. Now, I’m not talking about the grown-up type of drink, but rather just a regular fountain-type of drink. I recall a time when such drinks were around $0.50, which most assuredly seems like this price increase has outpaced inflation.
Anyway, at $2.19 you do get the honor of getting unlimited refills. You know, in case you have a real urge to erode your teeth in the spirit of getting the most of your money. Good deal?
But let’s look at the $2.19 figure again. If you go out to eat even just one time per week, and spend a drink when you do, you’re talking about $113.88 over the course of a year. It wouldn’t be too tough to drink one glass of water each week instead, right?
So let’s say we invest that $113.88 and earn a straight up 10% rate of return, after all expenses. Not a sure thing, but let’s run with this figure.
Then, let’s say that we make this a habit and do it for the next 30 years. Again, just substitute 1 glass of water for a beverage when dining out, 1 time per week. Save and invest the difference, and let it compound. That’s it.
After 30 years, this comes out to nearly $20,000. All for developing a simple, healthy habit and sticking with it. Just one extra glass of water per week is all it would take.
To me, this is but one of many examples of how we can make small, incremental changes that can eventually have a big impact on our savings. It’s easy to think of ways that we could save here and there, particularly by changing our habits. Perhaps this can even be applied to instances where we’re making money too? Just a little extra income can really add up over time.
Oh, and it could save on dental expenses and avoid actual pain too, which I experienced enough of in the past. Try saving and investing those types of expenses and watch what happens!
My Questions for You
Do you order beverages when dining out, or do you stick to just water?
Do you have any other examples of how smaller expenses can really add up over time?