Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Eating Out, Is quick and Easy but not Cheap

Most people are guilty of going out for dinner or grabbing a coffee 1 or 2 times a week. Some people have that special $5 Latte every single morning on their way to work that adds up to over $200 a month on coffee? Really, $200 on coffee every month? Get up 5 minutes earlier and make your own coffee! Pocket the $5 and put it into savings. That savings becomes $200 a month which then in turn leads to $2400 a year! That's a lot of money. You could go on a nice vacation for that, or you  could invest it wisely. Here are  few ideas on how to invest it "wisely":

1. Put it on your current mortgage to pay it down faster. That's like 1 or 2 extra payments a year and if you already do rapid payments it adds to paying off your principle mortgage faster. You'll own your home outright in no time!

2. Put it into an RRSP. Saving $200 a month for 30 years will amount to a lot of money when you are ready to retire. Keep in mind all that interest you build will be compounded and over time it amount to a great deal. If you start your RRSP at 18 you will be well over a $1,000,000 by the time you retire. Instant millionaire!

3. Put it towards a down payment on property. Whether it be a condo, townhouse or house you will be glad you invested in property. It is a slow way to invest but if you stick it out in the end you can end up with a huge return. Keep in mind you will want to hold on to your property for at least 7-10 years to make a big enough profit.

4. Put it into a TFSA (Tax free savings account) where you will make more interest. Save it for a rainy day, save it for travelling the world, or save it for something you could really use like a new car.

5. Buy GIC's, Savings Bonds, Mutual Funds or something along the same lines. These are all mostly guaranteed return back on them and the longer you put your money away for the more money you will end up with.

6. Put all of your extra money on Red at the casino and watch it either double or loose it all! Try your luck! Even better go take all of that extra money you were spending on Latte's and go buy lottery tickets and increase your odds!

Eating out in restaurants can get expensive. Even if it's only once a week it still adds up with a family of four. Finding coupons for restaurants that saves you anywhere from 20% to 50%. Most are buy one meal and get one free! Not a bad deal. You can actually buy coupon books that have all sorts of coupons in there good for one year. I always buy one every year from and then have hundreds of cities to choose from all over North America. Since I live in Victoria, I buy the Vancouver Island Entertainment book. I always keep it in my purse so that I have it handy for when we do actually end up eating out. Things come up like Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays etc where you end up going out to enjoy and celebrate. This is a great way to save!

To go out for dinner is expensive enough but add in the tax and the tip which is now mandatory in a lot of places, it's just outrageous. By the time you pay for your $10 burger and fries add 12% tax and 15% tip you are actually spending $12.70 almost a 3rd more. Times that by 4 people and it adds up.

Drinking while out at a restaurant is even more expensive paying anywhere from $5 to $10 a drink. Yikes! Having 1 or 2 is ok but planning on getting a buzz on while out is a bad idea. That can add up and you might as well all go back to someone's house and buy 1 bottle of booze and split the cost. It would end up being way cheaper. Either that or sticking to juice or water while eating out.

If you can't resist having a coffee while at work, you've already had your coffee you brought from home this morning and you find you need another one to get you through the day, bring a box of tea and coffee and keep it at work. Keep a mug for coffee at work and make your own coffee on your coffee or lunch break! It's easy, it's simple, and it's cheap. If your work doesn't supply you with a coffee maker, bring a small bodum or plug in kettle and keep it at work. People might start getting the same idea and then you can all pool or chip in for a nice coffee maker for the coffee room.

There are simple ways to save money. Why should the waitress who makes $8 per hour plus $200-$300 a night in tips make more money then you in one day? If you are educated, have a good paying job, and work a hard 8 hour day trying to bring home the bacon why is it that people who are uneducated, who only work 4 hour shifts, and have minimal paying jobs are making more money then you in one day. Don't let this happen. Keep your money, spend it wisely, save where you can! You work hard for your money so keep it.

I hope you enjoyed today's read.

Thanks for listening,