There are so many article titles used to grab readers’ attention. The titles can often be misleading and the information can often be exaggerated. This is why I wanted to provide some calculations to support some changes you can make and how much money you will realistically save by making those changes.
Paint Your Own Nails
Sorry guys- this isn’t the most relevant for you, but if you share a bank account with your wife, fiancé or girlfriend, then it could impact you! Obviously, nail salon costs vary based on geographic location, so I will use my own experience and an average to come up with the numbers. Let’s say you (or your significant other) get a manicure at the nail salon every 2 weeks. On average, the cost of this manicure is $25. There’s 52 weeks in a year, so make that 26 manicures in a year.
$25 x 26 manicures = $650 per year
Just because you’re nixing the nail salon, doesn’t mean you can never have your nails painted again. Let’s pretend you have 0 nail polishes at home. You’re not going to always want your nails painted the same exact color every day of the year, so you invest in 7 new colors at $7 per bottle. With tax we’ll make that $50 worth of nail polish for the year (and they will last more than a year). Your new savings becomes:
$650 – $50 = $600 per year
I’d say $600 is a pretty good savings for an entire year! If you really love getting your nails done and don’t want to give it up completely, request gift cards to nail salons as gifts for special occasions like your birthday, Christmas, anniversaries, etc.
Make Coffee at Home/Work
There’s so many factors that affect the price of coffee: location, where you’re buying it from, what size, what type, etc. So in order to simplify this enough that I can show you a calculation, I’m going to use my husband’s coffee habits as an example. I drink caffeine on very rare occasions, like once every few months, so that’s why I have to use my husband (he’s a coffee addict). He prefers Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. A medium hot coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts in our town in Westchester County, New York costs $2.32. Let’s say you get 1 coffee per day 5 days a week. 5 days a week with 52 weeks in a year equates to 260 days. This means you spend the following:
$2.32 x 260 days = $603.20 per year on coffee
My husband orders a large coffee from Dunkin’ on the days he is working in New York City, which costs $2.71. If he orders a large coffee instead of a medium those same 5 days a week over the course of a year, he spends the following:
$2.71 x 260 = $704.60 per year on coffee
If he never bought coffee out again, we would save between $600-700 per year; however, I am a firm believer in treating yourself. If he cuts his coffee habit in half and we take the average of a medium and large coffee over the course of a year then we would save the following:
($704.60 + $603.20) / 2 = $653.90
$653.90 / 2 = $326.95 savings per year
Choose a Different Place to Workout
If you have enough self-discipline, working out at home is a great and easy way to save money. No gym membership AND you end up saving on gas if you have to drive to your gym, although your gas savings is probably nominal. I personally struggle with getting myself to workout at home, so it’s hard for me to completely get rid of my gym membership, but I did switch gyms which resulted in a huge savings for me. I originally had a membership at a gym close to my home that offered an abundance of amenities and included fitness classes in the price. The total monthly cost of this membership, though, was $105 per month and I didn’t ever use the fitness classes because they didn’t quite work exactly with my work/gym schedule. We were lucky enough to have a Planet Fitness open about 4 miles further down the road and the cost of a basic membership there (which is all I need) is just $10 per month with an annual charge of $40. My savings from switching memberships was:
Original gym membership: $105 x 12 months = $1,260
Planet Fitness membership: $10 x 12 = $120 + $40 = $160
Total Savings: $1,260 – $160 = $1,100 per year!
If I can work up the motivation and self-discipline required to workout at home, I would be able to save myself another $160 per year.
Drink Filtered Water Rather Than Bottled Water
This is a habit I personally need to break, not just from a cost-savings perspective, but also from an environmental perspective. At this moment, a 24-pack of Poland Spring water is $5.19. We go through about 2 packs per month, so $10.38 per month on bottled water.
$10.38 x 12 = $124.56 per year
We don’t even have to purchase a water filter because our refrigerator has a built in water filter and we have plenty of free water bottles we’ve received from various events. So, by just switching our habit of drinking bottled water to drinking water for that is available already for free, we would save at least $124.56 every year.
These are just 4 examples of ways you can easily save money every year. If you made all 4 of these simple changes, you would save a total of $2,151.51 over the course of one year! You could use this $2,151.51 for so many things: retirement, investing, emergency fund, vacation savings, college fund, loan repayment… the possibilities are endless. The point is, next time you think that changing one small habit won’t make a big difference financially, see how much making that change would impact you over the course of one year and think of all the things you could do with that money. It can be quite motivating!