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Saying “no” saves money

By Naomi Mannino ·
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Posted: 12 pm ET

Maybe you've ignored the "latte factor" method of finding savings or the "snowball method" of debt reduction to pay off debt because you still refuse to admit how much extra money you're spending.

A recent Worknomix study by Braun Research on behalf of Accounting Principals asked 1,000 employed Americans about the amount of money they spent on work-related expenses in 2011 and came up with American's average collective latte factor:

  • Half of the American workforce spends more than $20 a week buying coffee at work, an average of about $1,000 a year. Professionals age 18 to 34 spend almost twice as much on coffee at work than those age 45 and up.
  • Two-thirds of American workers spend an average of $37 per week, nearly $2,000 a year, buying lunch at work instead of packing and bringing it from home. Again, the younger work force spends more for lunch than their older counterparts.

But what all the books and experts have in common is the advice that you're never to young to find money to save and no amount of money is too small because of the power of compound interest.

One recent book I read helped me -- Charles Epstein's new book, "Paychecks for Life." Epstein's savings mantra is simple and sound: "10-1-now." In his book he says to save 10 percent of your pay and if you can't, increase your retirement contribution by 1 percent of your earnings each year until you get to 10 percent. Start now.

So I guess every 1 percent of savings you can find from bringing your own coffee and lunch to work could potentially add up to that 10 percent. Where else have you found 1 percent savings this year?

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