How many times do you spend $5 each day? That morning coffee, a quick sandwich at lunch, a snack at the gas station after work, or a drink out with friends at night can all cost $5 or more. What if you decided to not purchase one of those items each day? What if you made your coffee at home instead of buying it at a fancy coffee shop? What if you packed your own sandwich or decided to get water instead of a coke when you went out at a restaurant? Many people will say they don’t want to give up life’s little luxuries, but here’s what could happen if you did and saved the money instead.
If you saved $5 a day for a month, you would have $150. With that money you could do the following things:
- You could buy a new smart phone.
- You could buy a new bike.
- You could buy a brand new outfit.
- You could buy a really expensive pair of shoes.
- You could pay your friend back.
- You could buy your books for school.
- You could have a nice day at the spa.
- You could purchase birthday gifts for 5 friends or family members.
This could change your life significantly if you, for example, rode a bike every day and got in great shape. It could also barely affect your life if you only got to enjoy your new shoes every now and then. So why not save $5 a day for a little longer?
If you saved $5 a day for six months, you would have $900. With that money you could do the following things:
- You could finally repair your car.
- You could pay for a month of rent.
- You could buy a plane ticket to New York City for two.
- You could pay for your gas for 3-5 months in cash.
- You could get ahead on your electric bill.
- You could finally start that emergency fund.
- You could pay off your credit card.
Not bad for just giving up a tall café mocha every day for 6 months, right? You can easily see how $5 a day for six months can change your life. Having an emergency fund just in case could prevent you from going into credit card debt. Paying off your last credit card would make you feel so much freer, knowing you were financially stable. Buying a plane ticket somewhere fun could give you memories for a lifetime. Yet, if you saved for a little bit longer, here’s what could happen:
If you saved $5 a day for a year, you would have $1,825 dollars. That amount of money could get you the following items.
- You could go on a really nice weekend vacation.
- You could finally buy your girlfriend that engagement ring.
- You could put a down payment on a car.
- You could donate it and make a difference to a charity of your choice.
- You could pay for a college class.
- You could fully fund an emergency account.
- You could finally see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- You could buy a really nice watch.
- You could pay for 2-3 months of rent in cash.
All of these scenarios so far have involved spending the money you save right away, but what if you grow it instead? Many people say they don’t have enough money to do this, but here’s what could happen if you only save $5 a day for one year.
You could take the $1,825 and invest it. Even if you add nothing to it, you could reap significant rewards. A very conservative estimate if your investment earns 4% and is compounded once a year shows that you could have $147,000 after 35 years. All you would have to do is give up life’s little luxuries for 1 year, invest that amount, and theoretically let it sit for 35 years.
With $147,000 to spend, you could not only change your life, but the lives of your family. With that you could do the following:
- Pay for a modest home in cash.
- Send all three of your kids to college.
- Go on a luxury trip around the world with your spouse.
- Start your own business.
- Invest even more and make even more.
- Buy an outrageously expensive car.
- Quit working for 5-7 years.
- Pay off all of your consumer and student loan debt and that of your children.
As you can see, the best way to change your life with just $5 a day is to save the money for the long term. Sending your kids to college will definitely change their lives. Quitting work for a little while and seeing the world will give you the experience of a lifetime. Paying off debt or buying a house in cash would be a tremendous personal accomplishment. The truth is, no matter what you do or how long you save it for, saving $5 a day for any length of time can make your life better whether it’s in a small or in a really significant way.
Featured photo credit: Making money concept via Shutterstock