How to save $100,000 by simply packing your lunch every day. (Yes, it's possible.)

Saving for retirement is the last thing on everyone’s list of priorities, however with living expenses increasing every year and ongoing market volatility it is important to start thinking 10, 15 and even 20 years ahead.

If you’ve never run the numbers before on packing a lunch versus eating out every day, then you might be surprised how easy it is to save some serious money.

The below table compares spending $20 on lunch and coffee each day versus preparing and supplying this from home at $5 a day and allocating the savings to superannuation via salary sacrifice.

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A quick summary of the main benefits includes:

  • After 15 years there could be an extra $104,000 in your superannuation account (this has assumed a starting balance of zero, so any existing funds have not been included).
  • On top of the increasing super balance, there is the added benefit of reducing your personal tax liability each year.
  • This is based on tax rates for incomes under $87,000 (if your income is greater than this the savings are even greater!)
  • Salary sacrifice is extremely flexible and can be changed or cancelled at any time.

The below table shows the possibility if these funds were salary sacrificed to super each year and how these funds may accumulate over the next 15 years.


There are only two disadvantages of this that we can think of:

  1. Any extra funds allocated to super are locked in the superannuation system essentially until retirement.
  2. You will have to start getting up earlier to make lunch every day


  • Annual Income under $87,000 p.a. (thus marginal tax rate of 34.5 percent incl. Medicare Levy).
  • Spend $20 a day on lunch/coffee, 5 days a week for 48 weeks (240 days/year).
  • The alternative is to bring lunch/coffee from home at a cost of $5 a day for the same number of days.
  • Savings from above is salary sacrificed into super each year.
  • Return of superannuation investments of 6 percent p.a. (after superannuation tax is considered).

All the money you could save... via GIPHY

Calculation of Annual Savings.

Cost of buying lunch & coffee each day is $4,800 p.a. from your take-home pay. If we convert this to before-tax earnings, approx. $7,328 p.a. of your salary is required to fund this.

Cost of preparing food at home each day is $1,200 p.a. from your take-home pay. Once again, this converted to before-tax income is approx. $1,832 p.a.

Thus, the net annual saving from your pre-tax salary would be $5,496.

Salary sacrifice contributions are deducted from your pre-tax salary before being allocated to super and thus the full amount above could potentially be saved each year.

Just some food for thought…

This article was first published on Successful Ways. You can read the original here.