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June 11, 2011


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$25 does seems like a lot for pizza delivery.

Jewelry. Not expensive jewelry like diamonds, but hand-made jewelery from stones and copper are something I have to watch myself on. Course I try to go through my jewelry every so often and sell pieces that I no longer wear.

I've also been cooking from scratch a lot lately so my grocery bill is a lot smaller and cheaper, but then I'll get into the mindset of "Well I have extra money to pick up a few extras now", which sorta defeats the purpose :)

I am fortunate to have basically worked all such small expenses out of my life. At least as regular, recurring expenses. It helps that my wife cooks delicious dinners that provide leftovers (for lunches) and my office provides a fridge full of drinks.

I always like stories like this. Makes me realize how much higher the cost of living must be in other places than where I live. I swear they must only take surveys in New York City.

We eat out about two or three times a month. But that's pretty much it from the list. It's a balance that works for us.

I think they deliberately exaggerate some of these costs to make their point and I live in high cost California...although I personally have never had a pizza delivered. I guess I'm weird.

However, one thing they didn't do was show how much you'd have if you'd invested this money in a plain vanilla mutual fund like Vanguard Balanced Index (15 year annualized retuns of 6.76%).

At 6.75%, $100 a month invested instead of spent on pizza would be over 116K after 30 years. $200 a month invested instead of being spent on eating lunches out of the office would be over 233K after 30 years at 6.75%

It's not lunch at work that gets me, we always have leftovers. It's breakfast that gets me. I rush out the door and don't have time to make a full meal so I end up stopping at a breakfast stop 2 out of 5 days. The cost is usually $5 each time so that's $10/week. Over the course of a year, $520! That's a pretty big amount when you consider that I could make a similar breakfast, if not healthier, for about $3 less. I never buy coffee, we have a Keurig so there's always 30 seconds to brew a cup of coffee. Average cost of a K-Cup, $0.42/cup. Not shabby at all. Smoking is the one thing I can't stand. Spending all that money to give yourself cancer, stink like a bum, and offend everyone around you. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.

I completely agree, what's the point in working if you can't enjoy yourself with little things.

I don't like these articles. I understand the point, but you can say this about everything. Let's try this out:

~Drinking anything but water - $10 a week, $1M over a lifetime
~Buying spices for food - $200 a year, $50,000 over a lifetime
~Eating anything but the very essentials - $20 a week, $20M over a lifetime
~Mowing your lawn - $10 a week in gas, $2M over a lifetime
~Having kids - $1M a year, $1 billion over a lifetime!!!

Obviously these are gross exaggerations, but you get the point. As FMF said, you have to balance. You can't completely cut out the little expenses and joys that make it worth it to work hard everyday!

Small spending temptations that I have to decide on:
Dairy Queen Blizzard
Coffee at the local shop
An App from the App Store
An Mp3 file from Amazon
Some of these I buy with my blow money or it comes out of the miscellaneous catagory. I would not say that I fight these. They are allowable within reasonable limits. I guess one has to live sometimes.

tom, I'm with you.

"~Having kids - $1M a year, $1 billion over a lifetime!!!"

We may able to spend all what we want by just save one kid!!

FMF - do you have Jet's Pizza in Grand Rapids yet? If so, try it out and bet you will switch! We eat it probably once a quarter and look forward to it every time.

Hmm, for us, two large pizzas at Papa John's are $20. That includes using their coupon. So $25 sounds pretty close to me for delivery.

I agree with the need for balance.

When someone is in debt and looking to get out of debt, these kinds of articles are useful.

But at the point I'm at, I'm meeting all of my savings goals, so I have no problem going out to eat for lunch or buying coffee every few days.

Saving all that money would make my savings grow faster, but I don't see the point of sitting on a huge pile of money (as opposed to a moderate pile of money) in 30 years, when I could have had some more fun along the way.

Brent --

Yes, we do have Jet's. The kids and I LOVE it, but my wife thinks it's greasy. Hence we don't go there often. :(

FMF -- Russo's off of 44th is not bad for pizza, it's a small family shop. Beats the chain pizzerias. Plus there's Delski's next door which has (had?) bacon at $1.99/lb, cheapest I've seen anywhere.

For the article, it's a balancing act. Depends on how much you value the small expenses in regards to your quality of life.

JP --

We also get one from a place (can't remember the name) that does 24-inch pizzas -- very good. Located at 52nd and Eastern I believe. Good for when we have company.

Palermo's. I heard of them when I was living in GR - there's one on Gezon & Clyde Park - but never tried it. Heard it was good though.

FMF -- I buy a ton of workout clothes for running since I run outside in all 4 season. I get "new with tags" items for 1/4 of the cost on eBay.

Yes- technological gizmos, new cellular phones - options to "exchange up" for a better model. At the moment I am using an ancient Nokia just to see how it feels - my trusty Nokia from 2005 finally gave out - it could more or less satellite around the earth - I really loved it, but six years is a pretty great track record for a cell phone. So this ancient one (no camera, needs charging every day... ) is kind of a pain, but we'll see how long it takes me to get fed up and get a new one. This month I am eligible for a freebie upgrade, but honestly wonder if it would last anywhere near the ancient and previous Nokias. And yes, I also don't buy coffee at work (VERY expensive! - I make my own and bring it in), and bring my lunch almost always. No big deal once you get the hang of it. Sure nice having pocket change most of the time, too!

Little expenses only add up if they are reoccuring. And being reoccuring makes them the norm, even habit, which makes the pleasure recieved from them less and less anyway. At that point these aren't expenses that help you "enjoy your life".

That 15th trip to mcdonalds in a month is absolutely disgusting, but that first Mcdonald fry that I eat after its been months is heavenly. That $4 coffee I get on a business trip is really nice. If I had one every morning, the pleasure derived would barely be noticable.


This article is food-for-thought. It is so easy to let the little expenses eat up your paycheck. I am on a limited income, so I finally understand what my EX was trying to tell me when he insisted that I follow a budget.(Never could do that). I also didn't know the difference between wanting and needing. Yep, I have a problem! I don't eat fast foods often but I do love shoes and clothes. I'm getting better. Thank you for reminding me.

I learned this from a book titled "$5 dollar a day to a Millionaire" or something along those lines when I was 24 years old. Today in my late 40's, I am living proof of making it to my targeted goals, and beyond my expectations.

It is possible to do this, and now I am teaching this to my kids, but this road is built with sacrifices where I drink premium coffee from Starbucks once every 3 months, instead of everyday, and we get $5 Pizza from a local store in our town, instead of buying PizzaHut or Dominos.

I NEVER do spontaneous buying or any impulse buying, since that is the BIGGEST CULPRIT of the spend beyond the pre-decided limits per day/month.

So, if you readers practice the savings of every $1 or $5 or $10, and put that to work, you can payoff your mortgage at 40, fund your retirement by 50, have all of the toys you want (at some point in life), and also teach your legacy to your kids.

Thanks for listening......

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