Do you spend a $1,000 a year on a cup of morning Joe?


Being shouldered with credit card debt or finding it difficult to make ends meet every month can be a stressful situation, but many people may not be aware of the small changes they can make to their spending and the large results these simple alterations can have on their overall financial condition.

If you are trying to slash your credit card balances or free up more income, you should look at your budget first to find areas you can cut back on. One of the most common and overlooked money drainers that can yield large financial results is coffee and lunch habits. A recent study conducted by finance firm Accounting Principles shed light on how much adults were really spending on these small items each year.

The data shows, 50 percent of working adults shell out roughly $20 per week on their morning coffee – an annual spending of $1,000. In addition, 66 percent of adults who purchase their lunch rather than packing it at home spend $37 per week – or $2,000 per year.

“Small – but consistent – expenses add up quickly over time, and it can be difficult for consumers to realize it because they’re only spending a few dollars at a time,” said Accounting Principles senior vice president Jodi Chavez. “But, as our survey shows, those few dollars can quickly turn into a few thousand dollars.”

People who make the small change of brewing their coffee at home and brown-bagging their lunch may have the opportunity to save upwards of $3,000 per year, which may help chip away at or eliminate their credit card debt or loans. Because the savings can seem modest toward the beginning, it may be helpful to put the amount you would normally spend on coffee and lunch in a jar each morning before you leave for work. At the end of every month, you can deposit this amount in your checking account and make an additional payment toward your credit card balance.

People who are carrying heavy credit card debt should consider using this method as a starting point. Every dollar counts, so it’s important to recognize and give credit to even the smallest of changes, but while you are disciplining your spending, you can also strengthen your efforts by consulting with a credit counselor about other effective strategies that can help you eliminate your money  problems.