Money Management: Spending Less

What are you Spending?

Wonder where your money goes? Those everyday purchases can really add up. Look at how much you could save by cutting back on a few things.

  • Coffee with a Grande Price - A cup of coffee at a local coffee shop can easily cost you $3. Get one cup every day, and you'll spend $1,095 a year! Instead, invest in a decent coffee maker for $30. Spend $8 on a pound of gourmet coffee, and you'll get about 40 cups from that. So even if you drink two cups a day, that's only $176 a year (including the coffee pot).
  • It's Music to Your Wallet - So, you love music and can't live without it? If you buy one CD a week at $12.99, that's over $675 a year. Instead of buying the whole CD and only listening to one or two of your favorites from it, why not try downloading individual songs you like at $1 each?
  • Slice Your Pizza Spending - Buy a $10 pizza a week, and you'll spend $520 a year. In comparison, you can pick up a gourmet frozen pizza at the grocery store for about $5. And it bakes in about half the time of delivery.
  • Water Doesn't Have to Come out of a Bottle - Walk into a convenience store, and you can expect to drop $1.39 for a bottle of water. The same water costs a fraction of a cent from the tap. Don't like the taste? Keep a lemon in the fridge and add a drop or two.

Credit Cards - Buy Now, Pay a Whole Lot More Later

Sure, it's easy to get what you want when you have a credit card. But if you only make your minimum payment every month, you could end of paying for that item several times over.

The typical student credit card has a rate of about 18% APR. Assuming you make your minimum payment on time every month, look at how long it could take and how much it will actually cost to pay off that balance!

Item Price Charged Interest Paid* What You Really Pay Years to Pay Off
Television $500 $439 $939 8
Computer $1,000 $1,899 $2,899 19
Furniture $2,500 $6,281 $8,781 34

* These estimates assume an APR of 18%. Example courtesy of National Association of Federal Credit Unions Money Smart-Financial Education Curriculum

Save Now, Retire Comfortably

If you're in your 20's, now's the time to start saving for retirement. Because the more you put away now, the harder your money can work for you by earning interest. It can be tough finding the money to save, but take a look at what a little bit every day can add up to over the years.

Saving $1 a Day Amount You Put In Actual Worth*
Year 1 $365 $374
Year 5 $1,825 $2,073
Year 10 $3,650 $4,735
Year 30 $10,950 $25,415

* These estimates are calculated based on 5% compounded monthly. Example courtesy of National Association of Federal Credit Unions Money Smart-Financial Education Curriculum

This information is intended to be helpful as general guidance, but is not warranted and is not presented as tax, accounting, or legal advice. Individual situations will differ; please consult an appropriate advisor.

Paying for college can be a challenge. SunTrust can help navigate the options.

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