December 2, 2023

What’s Your Brown Bag by Eric Barkey

People lead busy lives, and in those lives, people tend to spend/develop habits that seem little/inexpensive. We are going to call them “Brown Bags”. And on their own, they are, but they add up.

An example of weekly expenses:

  • · $2.00 coffee
  • · $12.00 lunch
  • · $2.00 drink
  • · $15.00 lunch

Pretty soon, these “little” expenses add up. In this example: $31.00 for the week, over $120 for the month. Food and drink are but one example. How about various monthly subscriptions? Have you sat down and added the numerous subscriptions you have?

  • · Netflix
  • · HBO
  • · Apple TV
  • · Pandora
  • · Patreon
  • · Prime (Amazon)

The costs now, add up in the future! How much do you ask?

I recently had a client increase their monthly contributions to $100 per month into their investments (they are in their early 40s). By the time they retire, this little increase ($100/month) generated approximately $40,000 – $50,000 in additional retirement funds. As you can see, a little now adds up big in the future.

How do you start?

You have time to learn and improve on your business, you have time to invest in your family needs and responsibilities; now, take a little time and invest in yourself!

Take an hour a month and review your finances and household budget. Break it down into 15 – 20-minute segments (if needed). Your goal is to review your expenses and to “see / acknowledge” those “brown bags.”

Once Found

I would never say to give them all up… let’s be reasonable. But if your goal is to save money for the future, could you plan ahead and give up one lunch a week? That’s $50 per month in savings. Perhaps you subscribed to a streaming service to see a particular show that you binged watched all 8 seasons, but now don’t watch that service…. cancel it!

Final Thoughts

Here are several quotes meant to inspire you to get started.

“You must be willing to do what others won’t if you want to accomplish what others don’t.” – Orrin Woodward

“To be successful, you must be willing to do the things today others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have.” – Les Brown

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t. – Jerry Rice

This article was written by Eric Barkey, a registered investment advisor representative for JS Replogle & Associates. The investment example given should not be considered financial advice.

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