Most office goers face a dilemma every day – the dilemma of eating outside/ordering food or packing for lunch.
Of the two, eating out or ordering food is quite hassle-free and saves a lot of time. But yes it comes with a cost.
Imagine this, the average cost of a decent meal would amount to anywhere between Rs. 150 to Rs. 200. If you add an evening snack or a morning coffee, the cost of eating out in a day would further escalate to Rs. 300 at the bare minimum.
Ok, let’s ignore the cost of additional snack or morning coffee and focus on lunch alone.
Rs. 200 per day means Rs. 1,000 for a five day week which would in-turn amount to Rs. 4,000 for a month. Which means the cost of your afternoon lunch for a year would cost a whopping Rs. 48,000 a year. Over 20 years, the total cost would amount to Rs. 9,60,000.
And remember we have not factored inflation in this calculation. If we do, the cost would further increase.
If you invest the same amount in good qualities stocks for the long term , the returns on your stock market investment would be mind-boggling at Rs.1.26 crores assuming 20% returns.
Yes, it is quite possible. You can check out the past performance of our model portfolio here.
Now, imagine the financial goals you can fulfil if you can create such a massive corpus just by packing your lunch and saving the money instead.
But wait a minute…
Saving money is not just the only reason why you should start thinking about packing your lunch.
Don’t forget the health aspect!
Many restaurants reuse oil or even use palm oil for cooking which can raise harmful cholesterol levels in the body. Some restaurants also sell food cooked on the previous day to cut down on wastages.
Many items on the menu, especially the Chinese dishes and starters contain generous doses of MSG, which when consumed for the long term, is very bad for health. Besides this in many dishes, the quantity of oil, butter or cream is in excess to enhance taste which again is bad for health.
According to recent research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, both fast food and full-service restaurant meals increase saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium as compared to home-cooked meals. And of course, there are excess calories too when you eat out.
Remember, health is wealth.
So, does that mean one should give up eating out every day altogether?
Well, the answer is no. One could try and restrict eating out at work or ordering restaurant food to once a week, especially if there’s a particular food which you like a lot but find it challenging to make.
By taking your packed lunch to work, you can save a lot of money i.e. Rs. 48,000 or even more every year.
It is not just economical but also healthier. When you take home-cooked meals, you can know the ingredients used and also eliminate the chances of overeating as you decide the portions of the meal.
But the most significant benefit, as discussed earlier, is when you make a long term investment in the stock market with the saved money to create wealth. By saving a nominal amount of Rs. 4,000 each month, one can retire rich after 20 years. Start investing today.
Imagine the kind of things one can do with such a huge corpus.
Well, the choices are unlimited. But the key is to start now.
Take a step towards healthier and wealthier tomorrow!
Related investing topics
Read more: How Long-term investing helps create life-changing wealth – TOI.