How To Adult: How Much Cash Can You Save In A Year?

Have you ever stopped to consider how much your daily coffee binge is costing you? What about the bottle of water you buy at 7-Eleven because you forgot your water bottle again? These little purchases could be unconsciously burning a hole in your bank account, which is a huge drag on our new 2017 savings strategies.

We did the maths on five spending habits to see just how much cash we could be saving in a year if we cut out a few extra spendings.

#1 If you stop buying bottled water

If you decided to buy a bottle of water every day for a year, you’d be throwing away about $730 a year. Shocking, right? Also: discarded plastic drink bottles account for 34% of our national waste – a statistic that could be helped by the simple act of bringing your own (preferably glass) water bottle with you. We’re extremely lucky to live in a country where water is not only potable, but easily accessible. So do the right thing and stop buying bottled water.

#2 If you stop buying lattes

OK, so quitting coffee altogether just isn’t going to happen – but have you ever wondered how much you’re actually spending on takeaway coffee each week? Let’s say you buy a latte every day for a year. While you wouldn’t think much about the $3 or $4 you’re swiping away, at the end of the year you’re going to be left with a hefty $1228 bill on coffee alone. That’s about enough for an international airfare! Never fear, there’s always another option: it involves making your coffee at home for a tiny fraction of what you’re spending now.

#3 If you quit smoking

We don’t need to preach here, but ciggies are bad for you in pretty much every way possible – and the habit can cost a bunch of cash to maintain as well. With a pack of cigarettes costing on average about $25, a pack a week will cost you a whopping $1300 a year. Quitting never sounded so good.

#4 If you made your own lunch

This is a hard habit to break – especially since the allure of pre-made lunches and fresh ramen broths is strong. Ugh. But if you get into the habit of bringing your lunch to work each day, you’ll actually be saving yourself as much as $2120 a year. Insane! Here’s a few easy lunch ideas to get you started:

#5 If you stopped drinking booze

We’re a country built on a pretty well established social drinking culture – we often fit alcohol in with the majority of our social functions, from parties to catch ups to after-work wind downs. We know quitting booze isn’t on the radar for most Australians, but saying that, it really is confronting to see how much money we’re feasibly spending on booze per week. Say, for instance, we’re drinking about seven standard drinks in a week; seeing as the average price of a standard drink in Australia is $8, that’s about $56 a week we’re spending on alcohol. Multiply that by 52 and we’ve got $2912 spent on alcohol per year. Hoo boy. If you’ve ever thought about quitting (or even just cutting back a little) here’s a little pep talk.

TL;DR? Check out our video below:

Rebecca Russo is a freelance writer, editor, community radio dabbler, occasional hiker and celebrity autobiography enthusiast. She has written for online publications including Junkee, AWOL, Fashion Journal and Tone Deaf. Find her online here.