Wednesday, January 20, 1999

A Millionaire's Lunch

by Don Price

So you want to find money to invest and don't know where to look? Well, start where I did. When I first started to scrutinize my spending habits I noticed one extremely simple thing that I could do to save money -- my wife and I could carry our lunches to work instead of eating out every day. This sounds like common sense, but I still work with lots of people who buy their lunch every day. Let's do some quick math.

In my area I can easily spend $6.00 for an average lunch. My wife can, too. This is $12.00 per day or $60.00 per week. Multiply this by the 48 weeks per year that we work and you have $2880. If you factor in that my wife and I spend about $20.00 per week on lunch supplies to carry our lunch, we have a net savings of about $1920 per year. Let's just call it $2,000 for simplicity.

Let's look at it this way. Packing our lunches takes about an hour per week. We are essentially making $40.00 per hour. That's slightly more than I make in my day job!

Now what can we do with our newly found $2,000? Honestly, we can make five house payments or make every payment on my wife's car for one year. It can pay for our vacation to Cape Cod later this summer, or be saved for a larger down payment on our next house.

We can also take a long term look at the $2,000. We can invest it. If we take that $2,000 per year, invest it every year, and make 15% per year for the next 32 years (for me to reach retirement age), our "packed lunches" will be worth $1,154,200.

Now who was it that said there is no such thing as a free lunch?

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