Anyone looking for an easy way to start saving for financial independence or early retirement? My current employer has a cafeteria on site, it makes it so convenient for everyone to buy lunch, but I think this is one of the biggest wastes of money. Ever since my first “real” summer job, I have been taking my lunch to work. I could never imagine buying lunch daily, but I see people do it every day.
I have never added up how much can be saved by bring lunch to work. Let’s give it a whirl. In my 15-year career, which would equate to roughly 3,375 working days, I can say I have bought a lunch around 30 times or .9% of the time. Based on current prices in the café, I would say the average lunch costs $6.35. If I had bought lunch every day over the course of my career I would have spent $21,431.25. Holy smokes, that’s a chunk of change. I am so glad I have only spent $190.50 and a new $8 lunch box every couple of years.
Imagine if both my wife and I bought lunch over the course of a full working career. For this, I am saying a career is 42 years at an average of 225 working days per year for a total of 9450 days. Using the same $6.35 cost of lunch, this would equal $60,007.50 per spouse or $120,015 for us both. Over $120,000 spent on lunch, $120,000! If this money was saved and invested with a 5% return we would have roughly $210,000 at the end of 42 years, all by taking our lunch to work. I can defiantly say I will happily continue to bring my lunch to work in exchange for this kind of savings.