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# You?re Eating Your Retirement Money

Ever think about how eating all those fast food meals for lunch are effecting your pocketbook. Let's do the math. You eat out 5 days a week at an average cost of \$5 to \$7 a day.

At \$5 a day averaging 20 days a month (and some months more), but let's just go with 20 days x \$5 = \$100 a month x 12 months, that is \$1200 a year. You could use that \$1200 for a vacation, or as the title of this article states, start your own retirement fund. You do the math. Let's say you are currently 30 years of age and you save that \$1200 a year x 35 years (retiring at age 65) = \$42,000. Now that is just a straight \$42,000 not invested in a mutual fund, IRA, or any type of fund that would pay some interest or grow over the years. It is a lot better than it just going down your throat, never to be seen again.

Let's do the math for \$7 x 20 days = \$140 a month x 12 months = \$1680 x 35 years = \$58,800. And if you spend more for lunch just do the math. It is a substantial sum of money going down the tubes (your esophagus to be exact)!

Years ago, when I worked in Corporate America, my co-workers would be mystified by my ability to buy a new dress, suit, coat, shoes, etc. each month. They consistently remarked on how good my wardrobe looked and wanted to know my secret. It was simple. I saved around \$100 per month by bringing my lunch from home instead of eating out. I took some of what I saved for clothes and saved the rest. My friends were amazed that such a small change could have such great benefits for them.

I spend on average \$2-\$5 a week on lunch depending on what I buy. If for example I buy tuna, I can get that not on sale for \$2 a can. Mixed with mayo or dressing, which I already have, that makes a week's lunch on a slice of bread, which again I already have in house, along with the piece of fruit. For those of you who are sticklers out there, tuna = \$2; bread = \$3; mayo/dressing = \$3; that is still under \$10 for the week, and at \$5 a day for lunch, what you pay for two days of lunch I am getting lunch for a week. To be a bit more exact: remember, the mayo and bread last for more than one week, so the actual cost is even less than \$10 per week.

For those of you who are already complaining you don't have the time to make lunch. Yes you do, after you have cleaned up after dinner, take the time to make up your lunch for the next day. Take some time on Saturday or Sunday to make up your lunch for the week.

So, start eating smart, and in the majority of cases a lot healthier, today, and the biggest PLUS is start saving lots of money for the special things you want and for an even better retirement.