Minimizing Dollar Dumps

A Dollar Dump is when we spend anywhere between $1 and $20 or so on a regular basis without considering how much such purchases add up to over time.Dollar Dumps can break the bank!

I’m not one to say we should eliminate all of these Dollar Dumps from our finances, but we should at least be aware of them and then try to minimize their negative impact on our budgets.

Here are some ideas for minimizing our Dollar Dumps:

  1. Taking a bag lunch just two or three times a week, instead of going our for lunch, can save us well over $500 annually.
  2. Instead of daily vending machine  drinks, we can save between $300 and $500 each year by buying in bulk.
  3. Dumping our habit of buying four lottery tickets each week can not only save us over $7,000 over the next 15 years but, invested in an average mutual fund, could actually add up to around $10,000 in earnings above and beyond what we invest.
  4. Instead of buying a cup of gourmet coffee each weekday morning, buying a nice espresso/latte machine could save us $500 a year or so.
  5. We can easily spend $1,500 a year for premium TV sports and movie packages! Are there other activities or items we’d rather buy with that $1,500? That’s the equivalent of a year’s worth of small car payments, a 7-day luxury cruise, 2 weekly movie tickets and popcorn for a year, or a monthly dinner for two at a $50+ per plate restaurant. Of course, investing that $1,500 for 30 years would likely add up to $230,000 or so ($183,000 of which is the interest our money has earned for us).

Let us know which Dollar Dump you’d like to get rid of yourself. Thanks for your time, and happy dollar dumping!

Author of Everyday Money for Everyday People, Todd ChristensenTodd Christensen

Everyday Money for Everyday People


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