Eating Out for Lunch: costs $1.5 MILLION DOLLARS

People work hard, and it takes up most of their life.  Treating yourself to restaurant lunches, ordering take out, or snagging a fat bag of fast food can seem like a green light all the time.  We have to eat right???

Small expenditures that add up are the backbone of creating an Early Retirement, and eating out for lunch could fund multiple Early Retirements…

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Personally, I never love spending money on myself while I’m at work. My guts tell me, “why not just have one less hour of mandatory labor, rather than eat fancy restaurant meals, like a $14 lunch at a cafe?”…

One day, while at work, I was ordering a cheap snack for lunch, when a younger fellow ordered himself the big $7 fast food lunch.  The truth is, I don’t like eating big lunches, but this guy must have thought I was skimping for cash, and ordering cheap. He commented “You have to work every day…” hinting that treating yourself to big expensive meals 3 times a day is a fact of life, and that cutting expenses was ridiculous.  The guy was younger than me, so I didn’t comment, and shrugged instead.  I ordered a $1 burger simply because I was stuck at a restaurant for this 40 minute lunch break.  What this guy didn’t know was that by saving $6 on lunch, I was saving YEARS of labor…

THE $7 DOLLAR LUNCH: $6 extra cost for lunch = $186 /month = $2232 /year = $22,320 /decade = $66,960 /30 years.
If held in Compound Interest 6% all along = $187,045,
which then pays you 6% for the following 30 years = $4,018/year = $120,528/30 years.
Plus the additional loss from $7 dollar lunches for those 30 years = $66,960
the grand total lost on fancy lunches  = $254,448

Hey,  a one dollar cheeseburger tastes pretty good to me, and I would also be okay eating a sandwich made at home, or a couple granola bars. So putting that $254,448 in my pocket is super easy…

That lost money would free the average person who earns $35,000 per year from 7.2 years of labor.  In the end, my co-worker was working alongside me (and for the next 7 years) just to pay for his lifetime of lunch upgrades.  At the end of lunch, he and I were just as satisfied, and now I have to work 7 years less…

FANCY SIT-DOWN RESTAURANT LUNCHES

I also know a lot of people like to treat themselves to fancy sit-down restaurant meals.  After tipping a waiter they probably shell out $10-$14 dollars on lunch a day.  Let’s look at the break down of loss compared to my own one-dollar lunches.

THE $10 DOLLAR LUNCH: $9 extra cost for lunch = $279 /month = $3348 /year = $33,480 /decade = $100,440 /30 years
If invested with Compound Interest 6% all along = $280,568,
which then pays you 6% for the following 30 years = $16,834/year = $505,022 /30 years.
Plus the additional loss from $10 dollar lunches for those 30 years = $280,568.
The grand total lost on fancy lunches  = $1,066,158

To the average person who earns $35,000 per year that’s 30 years of labor.

THE $14 DOLLAR LUNCH: $13 extra cost for lunch = $403 /month = $4,836 /year = $48,360 /decade = $145,080 /30 years.
If invested with Compound Interest 6% all along = $405,264,
which then pays you 6% for the following 30 years = $24,316/year = $729,475 /30 years.
Plus the additional loss from $10 dollar lunches for those 30 years = $405,264
The grand total lost on fancy lunches  = $1,540,003

To the average person who earns $35,000 per year that’s 44 years of labor.

Shocking numbers like this create an inevitable impact, and the compound effect of a silly expense can become a real clobbering.  If we look at this stuff, we can unlock our futures, and create our freedom.  If we don’t, then our future of labor just keeps going, on and on…

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