“I’m broke.” This is something I’ve heard all too often from my fellow military co-workers. I’ve thought a lot about how this could be. They’re single, making $40,000+ per year, have roommates, have tons of tax benefits, free healthcare, how the hell are you broke? So, how are these E-1 through E-9s dead broke? How are these people so poor they don’t have enough money left to put money into their TSP, IRA, or even a savings account? There are few things people don’t even think about when purchasing. Some large purchases, some small, all impulsive. Here are a few ways people spend excessive amounts of money. Money that could be helping them become a millionaire instead of indulging. Cars There’s a running joke in the military. Join the military and you can have the Mustang you’ve always wanted. While it is true that you can probably purchase a mustang or similar vehicle with a large loan and heavy interest payment, this is a potential nightmare waiting to happen. Not everyone falls for this financial disaster, but many do. It seems like 40% of members have cars worth more than a year of their pay. Think about that, if they didn’t pay taxes, didn’t have rent, food, or fun money they wanted to spend. It would take more than a FULL YEAR to pay off something they spend only hours driving each week. Cars are awesome, fun, fast, sexy, whatever adjective you’d like to use but are they worth being so broke you can’t afford to pay for gas on a long road trip. Every rank of the military does this. The E-2 with the brand-new mustang. The E-7 with the Corvette, officers with Maserati’s. The problem with this is they likely used DEBT to buy the car. This costs them thousands of dollars extra due to interest, and depreciation as well as enslaves you to your new debt. If you spend $500 on a car payment. $200 or more on insurance because of your age or just the cars value. You are spending $700 per month on a car that isn’t even worth $700 per month. If instead you bought a cheap vehicle, so cheap you hate driving it. Save the extra $700 per month for only two years. You will have well over $15,000 invested probably making you extra money and ALLOWING you to BUY that car without having a financial strain pulling you down for years or even decades to come. Suffer for two years to have a career of no suffering, no stress, and lots of extra money. Vehicles are an expensive trap. Many regret their decision to buy their vehicle when they see friends and co-workers ending up buying nicer cars, elaborate vacations, and luxury houses all because they waited to spend their money and invested it. Clubs Thursday night, lady’s night with some pre-gaming at home – $80. Friday night, the weekend has begun! Let’s go clubbing! $120. Saturday night need to really get the party going because we have to recover tomorrow and work Monday. $150. Sunday morning, mimosas and brunch. A day of rest. $40 This is how a ton of young people spend their weekends. It may not be this much money; it may be way more money but either way it’s a lot of cash to spend throughout one weekend. One that you really won’t remember thanks to that 5th shot of Patron. Even if you spend a quarter of this, that’s about $100 each weekend. Over the month that’s $400 and over the year that’s $4,800. Yup, that bottle of champagne, Uber, and round of shots adds up. The point of showing these numbers is that there is a lot of money thrown away, doing something you might not even care that much about. Do you remember the night two months ago that you partied? If not, would you rather have that money back in your bank account today? Something I’ve noticed with my friends is that the ones who go out the least, maybe monthly or less. They’re the ones who have the most fun and have the most memories when they do go out. If you’re going clubbing once every few months, that memory and enjoyment will stick with you significantly more than if you get hammered three times per week. Everyone has the right to spend their money as they please. If you think about 10 years from now would you rather have partied or have $50 or $100 thousand dollars in your bank account. Those are the decisions you must make now. Even pre-gaming at your own place and spending little at the bars is a great alternative to start spending less. Daily Lunch/ Caffeine This is the sneakiest thing of all. Daily lunches and coffees these will suck your bank account dry. Lunch usually costs minimum $10. Coffee or monsters are usually minimum $2. Not a lot of money, but it adds up to a fortune. This may sound like “penny pinching” but this is spending that can so easily be saved and it is enough money to make you a millionaire by retirement. If you haven’t done the math that is $10 a week on coffee, not a lot of money. It is also $50 a week on lunches. That is $240+ per month you’re spending just to get through a workday, and if we’re honest it’s probably a lot more. $240 dollars invested for 30 years (yes, that’s a long time) at 10% return comes out to about $495,000. That’s right! Your daily lunch habit could literally be costing you a half million dollars (but probably more). Over 40 years, or a long career from age 20 to age 60. That is 1.3 MILLION dollars! Like everything mentioned previously this is not to say you can NEVER buy a nice car, or NEVER go to lunch, or NEVER go drinking with your buddies. It’s just to say that you should be aware of what it could be costing you. If you only go to lunch say once a week. You may enjoy that time and meal more than a daily occurrence. Sacrificing some spending while you are young could drastically influence your life in the future. Cutting the car payment, the lunches, and the clubs may very well make you a millionaire before you know it. Once you reach that point, you can buy all the $10 lunches you damn well please! I hope you enjoyed these examples of places to potentially save. There are many more areas to cut down expenses to become a millionaire! Thanks for reading. Everything mentioned in this article are not guaranteed to make you wealthy, they are just places some people spend an extraordinary amount of their income.