Dave Ramsey says families can save $3,500 a year by eliminating these for luxuries from their lives:
- Daily lunches out: Save $1,040 per year
- Premium cable packages: $792 per year
- Unused gym memberships: $468 per year
- Regular coffee trips: $1,200 per year
Here's my take on this:
- There's no doubt that small spending can add up, so there's good reason to talk about options like these.
- Almost any spending can be ok as long as it's done in moderation and savings comes from somewhere else. I believe moderate and selective frugality is the way to go -- save on things you don't like and spend on things you do. Given this philosophy, any of the above could be money savers or ok to spend on.
- I took my lunches to work for YEARS. Yes, we saved a lot of money and I got to eat something I liked every day. It was a win-win.
- We have bought cable TV for several years now, but it's our main form of entertainment. It often replaces trips to the movies which can be far more expensive for a family of four.
- Unused ANYTHING is a waste of money, and gym memberships are no different. We do belong to a gym and pay $149 per month. But I go 25 times a month, my wife goes at least 20, and each kid goes 10 or so. That equates to $2.29 per visit which is a GREAT deal given that our gym is a high-end exercise facility (not just your normal run of the mill gym). In addition, this investment more than pays for itself as exercising helps to both grow your income and save money.
- David Bach came up with the Latte Factor many years ago. I'm a big coffee fan but there are ways to enjoy it without spending $4 a cup. I spend about 30 cents a cup and I have lattes that taste just as good as what I get at a cafe -- even better sometimes. I buy my beans whole, grind them, and make single-serve cups of coffee in my Keurig. Way cheaper than Starbucks!
So, those are my thoughts on Dave's suggestions. What do you think about them?