Is my lunch stealing my future?

In my journey of coaching individuals and couples to develop better money habits, habits that empower them to take back control of their money, it amazes me how it is often the smallest thing that makes the biggest impact.

Everyone I meet has the same agenda in mind – How do I make my money go the distance?

Here’s something worth considering to plug the gap in one of the biggest money leaking areas I come across with my clients.

For simplicity I’m going to assume an hourly pay rate of $20. If you work a standard 40 hour week that would equate to $800 a week. Remove your tax and that equates to $668 ($636 if your paying 4% into Kiwi-saver).

$636 divided by 40 hours equates to $15.90 an hour and here’s where becoming a slave to our money kicks in.

  • A coffee and sandwich or pie took 40 minutes to earn and was gone in 10 minutes.

No lasting memory or benefit, rushed down in your quick 30 minute break and not even truly enjoyed.

  • A nice cafe lunch and coffee for those of us with a decent lunch break took an hour and 20 minutes to earn and again, unlikely to have any long lasting memory attached to it.

Do this five days a week and between 3 hours (for us coffee and sandwich lovers) and 6.5 hours for us cafe junkies, we do each week just for our lunch.

On an annual basis (48 weeks assuming we take holidays)

That’s a whopping 144 hours (18 days) or 312 hours (39 days) that you work ‘JUST FOR YOUR LUNCH!’.

So is it really worth it?

Are you allowing your hard earned money to create for yourself and your family memories and opportunities or wasting it away on a habit?

What else could you do with $2,290 each year ($4,960 for us cafe addicts) Double this if you are a couple both slaves to the same habit.

Here’s a few things you could do

  1. Allow yourself 1 day a week to buy lunch instead of 5, that’s still going to cost you $458 or $992 but it’s better than going cold turkey on it.
  2. Buy a few extras in the weekly shopping. For the cost of one lunch, chances are you can fund what you need to make your own lunches for a week. (Staple ingredients like bread and spreads are typically in your pantry anyway)
  3. If you have a staff kitchen with a microwave take the left overs from last nights roast or pasta dish.
  4. Go back over the last 4 weeks bank statements and find out how much you spent. Do the math for yourself and see how many hours you spend working hard just for your lunch.

It’s the little things that make the biggest difference, maybe today’s the day you decide to break those chains and proclaim


For more helpful strategies to keep your money for what you really want in life download our free guide – ‘Managing Money Better,

Managing Money Better

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I felt like I was in a never-ending cycle of not quite making ends meet. I just didn’t understand how to structure my money …. Now that I have been following Tony’s advice for over 6 months, I can strongly say that I am in a much more comfortable position and feel I am in control of my finances instead of them controlling me!

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