Saving Money, Spend to Save

Spend to Save: The Instant Pot

I’m a fan of food.

I’m also a fan of when other people make food for me.

Unfortunately, since I’m a single 20-something that typically means eating out way too often.

However, since I’ve been on this journey to get out of debt, I’ve definitely reduced the amount that I eat out. The biggest reason for that?

The Instant Pot.

 

This guy is incredible. Most weekdays I’ll come home from the gym, throw in some frozen chicken with seasoning and BBQ sauce, turn it on, and then go shower. By the time I shower and get back to the kitchen the I’ve got tasty BBQ chicken ready to eat.

It’s so incredibly easy and quick that it makes cooking at home much more convenient. You can use it for pretty much any type of food and it can serve as a pressure cooker or as a crock pot.

Obviously you don’t need an Instant Pot to eat at home. If you can cook at home without needing to purchase one, then good for you!

The point is not that you buy something, but rather you find ways that work for you to save money. I’ve found that for me this appliance has helped simplify my cooking and has made it easier for me to eat at home and save tons of money.

Looking at my budget for the past year, I’ve saved approximately $50 dollars per week by utilizing the Instant Pot. This includes money that I spent on groceries for cooking, and not just the money spent eating out.

At a savings rate of $50 dollars per week, I’m saving $200 dollars per month which translates to $2,400 dollars per year!

That’s a huge chunk of change for a fairly small lifestyle change.

Now, let’s think about how much money I’ll have if I can continue this trend for a while.

I’ll obviously have lifestyle changes that affect my spending habits over the next few years, but let’s look hypothetically at a 10-year horizon assuming this savings rate remains consistent.

Assuming that I just save the $2,400 every year, I’ll have saved $24,000 over ten years!

It’s pretty easy to burn through a ton of money eating out, and had I not made changes I would have thrown away an extra $24,000 just on extraneous food alone. I know this is fairly simple math, but put that into perspective.

That’s enough money to buy a couple of reliable vehicles, replace months of income, place a down payment on a nice home, or pay for a year of college for a kid one day. All wasted on overpriced food.

Crazy!

Now let’s assume that I make the best decision possible and invest the money that I save each year into an index fund earning an average of 7% interest per year, which is a pretty return average over the past 30 years.

I’ll be $33,160 wealthier!

Just think about that for a minute. No only will I have saved money just by not eating out, but the money that I’ve saved will make me over $11,000 dollars without me doing a thing!

That’s the power of investing and compound interest.

Whether you buy an Instant Pot or not, saving an extra $50 a week by not eating out as often and investing those wisely can increase your net worth by over $33,000 within 10 years!

Could you use an extra $33,000?  I know I could! That’s why I’m taking steps to make it happen.

What about you? How have you made sacrifices that helped you save? Let me know in the comments.

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