A cup of coffee here, a candy bar there. A magazine, a soda, a DVD or video game rental. Have you ever thought about how much you’re spending on little things? Paying out a few bucks a day may seem like pocket change — until you start adding it up.

Bean Counting

Let’s say you spend $3 a day, five days a week on your morning coffee. That adds up to $15 a week, an average of $65 a month, and $780 a year! If you put that money into your retirement savings account instead, it could make a big difference in the amount of money you’ll have available at retirement (see chart). And that difference would be just from changing your coffee routine. To find even more money to save for retirement, take a look at some of your other spending habits. Fast-food lunches, vending machine snacks, and take-out dinners can do a number on your bottom line if you indulge too often.

Changing Ways

Consider setting up a budget that limits weekly out-of-pocket spending to a set amount. When you reach the limit, don’t pull out the plastic — just stop spending. Do this consistently and you may be surprised at how much spare change you’ll have to save for retirement.

Brew Up Big Savings

If you cut your spending by just $15 a week ($65 a month) and add the money to your retirement plan account instead, you could brew up some big savings over time.

Number of Years Invested Increase in Account Value
40 $170,613
30 $79,298
20 $33,860
10 $11,251

This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It does not represent the results of any investment plan in any fund or portfolio. It assumes a $65 monthly contribution and a 7% average annual total return. Monthly compounding is assumed. Your investment results will be different. Source: NPI