Millionaires are made ten pounds at a time. Invested efficiently, ten pound increments can become a fast route to some serious cash. But there are things that can quickly eat into your tenners; one of these is lunch.
Statistically the most expensive meal of the day for the average working professional, the ONS (Office for National Statistics) claims that the typical Joe Bloggs in the UK spends roughly £6.60 on lunch a day! Now when I read that, I almost personally fertilised some Money Trees, but after taking one look around my office and seeing the Itsu bags, M&S ready meals and Wagamama logos I felt obliged to voice my concerns over this rather shocking piece of data.
While £6.60 for the average person doesn’t sound like that much, anybody looking to become a financially independent rebel should hear the word ‘average’ and start rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of already being above average when it comes to cutting costs! But for those still dancing quite close to the number above, here are some more numbers for you to consider:
£6.60 on lunch averages to about £143.55 per month*.
Compounded over 15 years** at a rate of 6% per year is
Humour me, and compare that to MTM’s lunch for just a second… I documented the amount I spent on food for lunch for 3 months. I used a different bank card to my usual one so that I could accurately track the cost of ingredients and my average daily lunch costs came to £1.83. No the decimal point isn’t in the wrong place, my average packed lunch really is less than £2!
£1.83 is just £39.80 per month.
Compounded over 15 years at 6% that is
That makes the opportunity cost of buying your lunch compared to making it a staggering £30,577.92!
Now I can already hear the type I LBS (Little Bitch Syndrome) sufferers screaming, “but it takes so much time to make my lunch!”… It takes me 30 minutes on a Sunday to make my week’s worth of lunch. If I factor in the cost of my time at my personal minimum wage of £20 per hour that is £10 a week that I need to add to my lunch costs bringing me to a daily grand total of £3.83 I spend on lunch per day – almost half of the average daily amount for UK working professionals…
The gains are not solely financial either. While making your own lunch, you are more likely to cook healthier food. I, myself personally take pride in my curries and my soups. I also make a bolognese that would make most Italians slap their own mothers!
It also sets you up in a good position psychologically. If you are religious in making your own lunch, you are bound to be more frugal in other aspects of your life.
So give it a try. If you buy your lunch a lot, try making it yourself instead and you may accidentally end up making more than just food…
*365 days in a year minus 104 weekend days = 261 days. Divide this by 12 to get a rough estimate for monthly figures.
** Length of time it will take MTM to reach financial independence