Having spilled some of my coffee on me this morning, I quickly calculated how much this cup of coffee costs because I will usually go to this store once a day. Hint, paid $2.44 after tax and will typically have this about five times per week. By reducing this habit by two per week, within a month I have saved $19.52 that I can put towards my 6-month emergency fund. This small amount of savings can quickly escalate only if I really begin to pay attention and examine other expenses in my life.
For example, when I went to a local grocery store last night, I saw that I could save $1.25 by switching to the generic brand. I purchase this product once a week so by putting the difference ($1.25 x 4 = $5), I now have $24.44 to put away if I tack on my coffee savings—two very minor cuts in my budget.
When people tell me they cannot cut any further expenses, yet they are smokers and will typically smoke one pack per day, I ask them to try cutting back by one pack of cigarettes per week if possible. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes nationally price at around $6.10. This also equates to $24.44 per month or $146.40 within a 6-month time period.
My point is that when you really start to examine and dive into your daily expenses, you will be amazed at how wasteful we as Americans can be. I am not declaring everyone to live frugal but rather find some areas to reduce or cut expenses but MOST IMPORTANTLY you have to save the difference. Put those savings away and DO NOT TOUCH until it is really an emergency.
In a blog article by my friend Kendall, The Top 7 Reasons Why You Always Feel Broke, outlines several very common habits that we face. Take a look and see if you fall into this category.