Five dollars a day buys a lot of things—from your favorite latte to a pound of coffee from the store (certain brands, anyway). You might say that you already save money when you buy in bulk and at stores like Target, though. But you could always save more, right? As DailyFinance points out, saving just $5 a day could add up to a LOT of savings—$1,825 in a year, or over $180,000 over 30 years (if you’re getting a seven percent annual return; and this can vary, of course).
Okay, so maybe you don’t want to give up your latte every day, but you can skip it every other day, or just get it on Fridays as a reward for making it through the week, and then save money in other areas. Lifehacker, too, advises that saving just a few dollars a day is the best option, for then you can go on that vacation you’ve wanted to go on or buy a house (or part of one, anyway).
Below are some ways to save $5 a day so you can be on your way to that $180,000.
1. Make Coffee At Home
I see so many friends stop at a coffee shop on their way to work, then later complain that they don’t have any money. As I mentioned in this article, all that caffeine adds up—more money to that coffee shop means less in your bank account. Plus, $20-35 a week on café coffee is up to $140 a month.
2. Carry A Water Bottle At All Times
This was a tactic I learned years ago when I’d go to lunch or dinner with co-workers only to discover those $2 Cokes added up (and forget about alcoholic drinks—those are way more than a Coke!). Drinking water helped solve that issue, but not by getting sucked into buying a pricey bottled water. Plus, water’s better for you, anyway! (And no one’s going to argue with that!)
3. Make Your Lunch
This should be a no-brainer, but I know it’s easy to get tempted by your work’s cafeteria special, or pressured by friends to join them at the new hip lunch spot. But, if you add up all that dining out, it’s probably costing you (at least $5 a day). Even if you make your lunch once a week, you’ll see savings in no time.
4. Don’t Pay ATM fees
We’ve all done it—realized we needed cash, but the only ATM in sight is not for our bank, so then we’re charged a fee. (Don’t you hate those fees?!) Instead, find a CVS or any other store where you can buy something little that you may need, like gum or toilet paper, and then get cash back. No fee and more savings for you.
5. Transfer Credit Card Balances
Your APR may be high with a certain card, so transferring it to a lower (or zero) interest rate may be best (as long as you remember to pay once the APR kicks in). “The only real, solid, definable benefit from a balance transfer is you can save money over the long haul if you pay back the previous amount you owed and you pay it at a lower interest rate, including all your costs,” said Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America, a nonprofit consumer credit counseling company.
6. Get Rid Of Your Cable
I don’t know many people who have cable anymore, but of the ones who do, some pay nearly $200 a month (!) for it. (Divided by 30 days, that’s almost $7 per day! Pay another dollar and have Netflix—for the whole month!) They confessed that they usually only watch the same few channels, so that’s a LOT of money for not even using the hundreds of channels cable provides. With Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and so many other streaming services available these days, for as little as $7.99 a month (for Netflix), I don’t see why anyone should continue paying for cable. Plus, many television networks let you watch their shows online for FREE, so you can’t beat that price.
7. Refinance Your House
We hear about other people doing it, so why don’t we, too? Refinancing. There are two primary types: Rate-and-term and Cash-out. The first one entails you refinancing the balance of your house payment at a lower interest rate for “x” number of years. The second has you take out a new mortgage (more than you owed) and then you get back cash or use it toward the house.
8. Have A Piggy Bank
Yes, like your kids, put actual dollar bills—well, five-dollar bills—into a Mason jar or some sort of piggy bank. Ilene Davis, a certified financial planner, tells clients to put $5 a day into an empty soda bottle. Great idea, if you ask me, especially since it’ll be nearly impossible to remove—that is, until the bottle gets full and then we can break it and take it to the bank.