1) Prepare your own lunch
It’s incredible just how much money is spent on eating lunch at work. The average worker in the USA spends around $7 – $8 per day on eating out for lunch, which amounts to approximately $1,800 spent in total per year. Quite a sum of money when you consider that if you made your own packed lunch each day you could reduce that saving down to around $1,000, equating to a staggering $800 worth of savings!
Pro Tip: Invest in some Tupperware boxes, buy your food in bulk and prepare your lunch the night before, or even better, for the whole week. Some easy, quick and great value recipes include pasta, home-made sandwiches, baked potatoes and noodles.
2) Skip the morning coffee
Not everybody enjoys coffee, but then again, not everybody likes to feel tired in the morning so coffee as a choice of “pick-me-up” is certainly acceptable.
My suggestion is to cut down on those triple bypass lattes, not only are they pretty expensive averaging at $3 – $5 a cup but they’re also chock-a-bloc full with calories.
Let’s imagine you’re the average commuter purchasing a large latte from Starbucks at an average of $4 per cup. Over a year that’s $960 spent on your calorific caffeine boost!
Pro Tip: Reduce your intake to one cup every other day, or every few days and/or reduce the size of the cup to a small.
Remember, these companies try to sell you the medium size by offering it as standard, so be pro-active and request a small cup. This will save you money and also help you enjoy your caffeine boost for a longer period of time, as your tolerance levels will gradually reduce from less caffeine intake.
3) Cycle to work
Cycling to work has many benefits. Firstly, from a health perspective it’s no surprise that jumping on your bike is good for you, but did you know that after cycling to and from work each day the average person will lose 13 lbs in their first year?
Not only that, but this also helps to reduce medical costs, cycling 15 minutes to and from work saves each of us $544 each year. You thought I was finished?
Of course not! Cycling also saves money on parking fees and saves time. An MIT study in Lyon, France found that bikes are 50% faster than cars during rush hour. It’s time to saddle up.
Pro Tip: If you plan to use your bike for a commute to work, you don’t need anything flashy. If it gets you from A to B, a decent bike should cost you no more than $150 – $200. Currently only .6% of the population cycle to work, so make a positive difference and save yourself money and reduce your commuting stress at the same time.
4) The Christmas “Secret Santa”
If you’re anything like me you’ll find shopping both stressful and at times pointless. Introducing the “Christmas Round Robin” that brings back a fair and just system for the buying of Christmas presents for colleagues.
If you work in a team you may feel obliged to buy your co-workers something around Christmas, even if you’d prefer smother some of them with a pillow on a cold dark night.
All you have to do is agree on a low cost set price for gifts so everyone knows not to spend frivolous amounts on an I-phone while poor Nigel on the web development team receives a new USB hub. A successful and satisfying “Secret Santa” should cost no more $10 per head and will save you a lot of time, effort and money.
Pro Tip: Go shopping early to avoid the queues, or even suggest to the team to save the “Secret Santa” to after Christmas, into the January sales for even extra value.
5) Invest in a water bottle
Water, we can’t live without it and for some reason neither can inflation. Bottled water is currently 12.1% above inflation in 2012. Considering bottled water was already expensive, it’s time you invested in a DEHP-free water bottle.
According to a Clean up the World study of branded water bottles in Australia, the average price per liter of bottled water is $2.53. If we base it on this, the average worker spends over $600 per year on pre-packaged water.
A decent water DEHP free water bottle shouldn’t cost you more than $6 that you can refill time and time again saving you over $590 per year!
Pro-Tip: If you don’t enjoy the taste of tap water, fill your bottle and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours and it will taste just as good as any water you can buy in the shop. Also, use the company water cooler. If your company doesn’t own one, have a chat with your boss and let them know that a constant flow of water helps clear the mind and aid mental focus, increasing productivity.
From these money saving tips alone you could save yourself over $2400 per year, that’s enough money for a wonderful family holiday or a few home improvements. So, what are you waiting for? Act now!
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