/ Lifestyle

Cut down on these 4 everyday luxuries

Have you ever looked through your bank transactions and tallied how much you spend on little luxuries like coffee and snacks?

It's nice to treat yourself every now and then, but indulging in some of these luxuries every day could be costing you more than you think — almost $4,000 a year!

If your bank account shows you're spending a good chunk of your money on food and drinks each month, don't worry. With small changes you can make a big difference in your budget starting today.

Here are 4 everyday luxuries you can cut down on to save money.

1. Your daily caffeine fix

We Canadians love our coffee — so much that more than 2.1 billion cups of coffee are served across the country each year.1 You've probably thought about the cost of take-out coffee before, but you might be surprised to hear how quickly this can add up. If you spend $2.50 every day for a cup of joe, this small luxury can cost you $650 a year. Instead of joining the long line of cars waiting in the drive-thru lane, save money (and time) by brewing a pot of coffee at home and putting it in a travel mug.

Couple taking a lunch break2. Lunch on the go

Most Canadians spend on average $8.80 every time they go out for lunch.2 If you dine out every day you could be spending as much as $2,288 a year. Avoid the need to buy your lunch and save money by preparing meals ahead of time. Do you have leftover dinner? Bring it for lunch. Have free time on the weekend? Give yourself some time to prepare enough lunches to last you the week.

Tip: Read our article on how you can plan meals and save money.

3. Midday snacking

When you're hungry you can easily be tempted to spend $1.50 on chips or candy from a vending machine or a nearby convenience store, but that "small change" can really add up. Instead, bring your own healthy snacks to work and store a stash in your drawer. Not only can this help you save up to $390 a year, but having snacks readily available can curb those hunger pangs.

Tip: Watch the video below by Eat Right Ontario for some quick and easy snack ideas.

4. Drinking bottled water

Bottled water is pretty convenient when you're on the go, but why pay for something you can get for free? If you buy a $2 bottle of water every day, at the end of the year you might have spent as much as $520. Need more convincing? Some of the major brands of bottled water are essentially treated tap water.3 Save money by keeping a reusable bottle on-hand and fill it up with (free!) tap water. Or, if you're not a fan of tap water,find a water station or fountain near your office instead.

The bottom line

Spending a couple of dollars here and there on a cup of coffee or bag of chips might not seem like a big deal in the short-term, but these everyday luxuries could be costing you more than you budgeted for. By cutting down on the items mentioned in this article, you could save almost $4,000 a year! That way you can save for things that matter, like a new car for the family or a dream vacation.

This article is for informational purposes only. For personalized financial advice, you should contact a qualified financial advisor.

1 “Wake up and smell the coffee.” Coffee Association of Canada. Web. 08 June 2016.
2 “Canadians who buy lunch spend $8.80 on average — an expense that adds up.” VISA Canada Corporation. 09 July 2012. Web. 08 June 2016.
3 “Bottle vs. tap: 7 things to know about drinking water.” CBC News. 26 Sept. 2014. Web. 08 June 2016.

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