Recently, a financial advisor friend of mine posted this question: What does it take to waste $10,000 a year? What ever the answer was I knew I’d never wasted $10,000 a year. After all, I don’t have that kind of money to waste. The answer astounded me: $27.40 in miscellaneous spending every day is how we waste $10,000 a year. A warm $5 Starbuck’s drink in the morning and a cold $5 Starbuck’s drink in the afternoon; run the kids through Micky Ds after school to the tune of $21.12. Total for the day — $31.12. The next day, we are determined to cut back — no fancy coffee and no fast food. We carry our coffee and bring after school snacks for the kids. At the end of the day, we are exhausted, completely spent, and overly stressed, so the family goes out to eat — $52.45. Third day: absolutely not going to spend money on eating out — no coffee shops, no fast food, no eating out for dinner. Supper is on the table, the family enjoys their time around the table laughing and simply catching up. It’s been so good, it calls for ice cream. Thirty minutes later in the grocery store line — three flavors of ice cream, cool whip, hot fudge and maraschino cherries equals $31.65. This is just the daily cost of our “convenient food.” Think about the “great buys” we get at Target, Walmart, Belk, Amazon or wherever those flashy emails entice us to go. Pretty soon $10,000 flies out the window. What does it take to waste $10,000 a year? $27.40 in miscellaneous spending every day.
Do you want to retire $10,000 worth of debt this year? Would you like to accumulate $10,000 in saving this year? Apparently, all it takes is intentional choices.
We are intentional about brushing our teeth. We teach our children to brush their teeth. We expect our co-workers to brush their teeth. It’s a non-negotiable. A few days without teeth brushing is not an option, for anyone. There is an understanding that this small step is keeping us from outrageous future health problem. Problems we refuse to accept because we know we can do something daily about them.
How much do we want $10,000 at the end of the year? What intentional steps would we have to take to stop spending $27.40 daily? I don’t believe any of us want to waste $10,000. In fact, most of us don’t believe we do. Yet, our actions speak louder than our belief.
Go ahead, get intentional about your extra $10,000.