Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Brown Bag Revisited

Data I included in my previous post got me thinking about my own situation. While I've always focused on the short-term (i.e. monthly budget) benefit of packing a lunch, I've never really considered longer-term consequences. Here is my brown-bagging status:
  • I pack a lunch every day,
  • I include leftovers 100% of the time,
  • I don't actual use a brown bag per se, I reuse a plastic grocery bag (read helplessly frugal) .
Were I to eat out, a modest lunch would be about $6.50. In a week that's $32.50 and annually, $1690! As there is no additional cost for me to pack a lunch I'm counting this as 100% savings.

A few observations:
  • This amounts to over 8% of my gross savings goal for 2006 of $20,450,
  • To enjoy a similar gain through employment income, I would need to (successfully) walk into my manager's office and request a raise of about $2682. Hmm...
  • Assuming the cost of eating out appreciates at an inflation rate of 2.2%, and assuming a long-term growth rate of 7%, investing this savings alone over a 10-year period accrues $25,492.35.
Admittedly this isn't terribly glamourous*, though handy in the short term and hopefully valuable as time goes by.

* Not particularly helped by the plastic grocery bag.


Blogger muse said...

If you pack your lunch you also have more control over what you eat, healthier.

1/31/2006 2:19 PM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

neat analysis and a very strong argument for BYO :)

1/31/2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger Humble Investor said...

Thanks for the feedback!

1/31/2006 9:47 PM  
Blogger Frugal Homemaker said...

Taking lunch is so simple and so worth it!

My husband uses a insulated lunch bag that we dumpster dived. If you ever want to stop using unglam plastic bags (which he used to use) you might keep your eyes on the dumpsters. Amazing finds!

2/01/2006 8:09 AM  
Blogger anna said...

You can make a lunch bag, if you're crafty at all. And if you're all right w/o it being insulated, you can probably stitch one up for cheaply.

2/01/2006 2:45 PM  

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Disclaimer: These articles are for information only, and are not to be construed as financial advice, legal advice, or a solicitation to buy or sell securities.