Buy a Candy Bar; Save or Make More Money

For Day 5 of 31 Days to a Better Bank Balance I want you to go get a candy bar.

Really. If you’re at work, head to the vending machine and drop your money into that slot. You need a break anyway, right? I’m partial to Nestle Crunch bars, but get whatever kind sounds good to you and then stare at it for a while. Imagine how good it will taste when you bite into it.

Now unwrap that candy bar, and break it into 10 pieces.

Eat just one of the pieces, and then stop to answer these questions: Was that one piece enough? How big did that single piece look? Does it seem like you ate a lot?

I’m guessing it doesn’t seem like very much, and that’s because it isn’t.

10% of a candy bar is nothing. It’s almost not worth eating, if that’s all you’re going to eat.

There’s a reason for that. You’ve still got the vast majority of it left.

And that’s good news, if you want to reduce your spending or build savings. It’s part of the reason I suggested that you increase your targeted savings by 10% yesterday if you already had an account set up.

You see, a 10% reduction in spending or a 10% increase in savings is really easy to get used to.

Let’s suppose you spend $100 a month eating out at inexpensive places. If you normally spend $10 each time you go out, you could spend 10% less by forgoing a soft drink or by eating at home once instead of going out.

On the savings end of things, it might hurt a tiny bit the first time that 10% comes out of your check. But that’s only because you were used to getting a different amount. Chances are really, REALLY good that by the time your next check rolls around you won’t even miss the money.

That’s because 10% of most things is barely even noticeable. Given time though, it can make an enormous difference in your bank balance.

So are you with me? I increased my 401k withholding recently by 10% and I’m already used to the change. What will you increase savings for or cut back on?