The Power of $3 A Day


Did you know that just $3 each day can save you over $45,000 dollars? 


Let's think about what $3 each day looks like. You could save . . . 



Curious how that $3 a day in savings is going to earn you a whopping $45,000?

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First, start out with the math.


$3 x 365 days a year = $1095


Take that $3 each day and apply it to your mortgage, and you'll pay a little over $90 extra each month, or $1095 in a year.

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Now, head over to this fancy mortgage calculator and see how simply by choosing to pay a few extra dollars on your mortgage each day, you'll save a whopping $45,000.




Recently I've been thinking quite a bit about ways to change our mortgage (since we just moved last summer and are 39 and 44, I hate the thought of paying on a mortgage until my husband is 73!) We knew when we moved that we'd work toward paying that mortgage off sooner, and are already making an extra payment each year, but would like to work a little more aggressively than that.


So, over the weekend I started talking about it with my husband, and did a little research this morning. It turns out that if we choose to make an extra house payment each quarter we'll shave eleven years off our mortgage, so that's what we're planning to work towards right now.


Clipping a few coupons and saving at the grocery store is an easy way for us to focus on our long term financial goals instead of splurging too much on little things here and thereWhen you just look at the math and the long term potential that saving a little money each day can make, it's so worth wisely spending your money each day!


Have you come up with other ways to save on your mortgage? I'd love to hear your tips ~ leave a comment to share! And, if you're new to budgeting and just don't know where to start, I highly recommend reading Dave Ramsey's Book Financial Peace or Total Money Makeover to get started on the right track.

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  1. Love this post! This is something my husband and I talk about all time. We participate in the bank’s equity accelerator program where our payments are automatically deducted every other week; it evens out to an extra payment each year. Each week we don’t eat out, we throw an extra $10-20 towards the mortgage. Our kids have an over abundance of stuff, and we’ve talked about shaving a little off of what we spend on gifts each year and throwing it at the mortgage. Having it paid off before they go to college would allow us to help so much more with educational expenses. We got serious about this a few years ago, but wish we had started right after buying our house. Remember that the more you throw at it early on, the bigger the difference!

  2. I was just reminding my husband this morning about how important it is to start early – we had an unexpected little bit of money recently and are going to put that chunk towards it, because I know the more we do now the more it will save in the end. Honestly, after writing the post and doing the math, I inspired myself to work more towards that goal! 🙂

    Great job working on it before they head to college – what a wonderful goal (it would definitely make paying for college easier – love that!)

  3. Leighann says

    If I had $3 extra to spend each day, I think I’d have to apply it to being able to fully afford groceries each week. Being hungry is not a lot of fun.

    • Leighann – my heart hurts for you and I know that has got to be so incredibly difficult! While we’ve always had some extra, we’ve definitely been in places where our finances didn’t have $3 a day, so this is for when you’re in a place that does have some wiggle room.

      Praying for you and your family – hang in there (sending prayers and hugs your way!)

    • Upstate NYer says

      There are places in your community that can help provide you with food. Even if you are working. Contact local food banks, Churches or Synagogues in your area to find where they provide for free. Also, look into applying for Food Stamps in your county. Most of that information is available online.

  4. It’s funny – there are SO many ways to save money that people are NOT willing to consider. Do you need internet? Cable? Netflix alone is $8 a month. People buy processed foods which cost more and are terrible for you anyway. People just throw their old stuff away instead of selling it. It’s so sad what people aren’t willing to do. Cut coupons, stop wearing pretty nails, learn how to cut your own hair, wash your own car and, cancel your internet and cable!
    This is a great motivating article. Thanks! 🙂

    • There are a lot of ways to save that amount of money – since writing the post I’ve been watching myself and seeing how quickly those $3 a day would add up. Thanks so much for sharing your encouragement!

    • completely agree with what do you really need. I prefer the $8 for netflix though over the $60 for cable that most charge. Processed foods though totally found that saves you tons and I found that spending a few bucks for gardening supplies a year always pays off with tons of fresh vegetables and no harmful chemicals.

  5. Another way to cut years off your mortgage is to take you current mortgage and pay bi monthly rather than once a month. Many mortgage companies allow you to do this. There will be a little bit of paperwork involved, but totally worth it!!

  6. One that I learned was bringing my snacks to work instead of picking them up at work or a gas station. I even brought green beans today. Another way you can save a little each day is I actually have an online bank account that I regularly have 6 – $1.50 automatic transactions to this online account spread through the week. It is such a little amount that I don’t even notice that it is gone and it adds up really quick. It’s some nice change too if something come up and I need a few extra bucks cash.

  7. We refinanced 2 years ago. We went from 24 years (out of 30) at 6.xx% to a 15 year at 3.12%. That alone saves $150,000. Also we’ll have the mortgage paid before/at retirement. We have our mortgage broker to thank for that, it was his idea.

    • Great job Bonnie – how exciting for you!

    • I did the same thing Bonnie! My financial adviser suggested it also. I was only 2 years into a 30 year mortgage at 5.2% and refinanced for a 15 yr at 2.3%! My new mortgage payment was only around $100 more per month. I also just rounded up on my new payment and am paying an extra $252 per mo this way. I’m an older single mother of an adult with a disability who didn’t begin an actual well paying job until I was 48 yrs old and I’m so excited that my mortgage will more than likely be paid off around the same time I’ll be able to retire.

  8. We were able to pay off our 30 year mortgage in 11 years by making many frugal choices (but still completely enjoying life!). We eat conservative meals, only order water if we do eat out, I cut my entire family including my own hair, we try to always buy used or when things are on sale, etc. At the end of each month when I finished our budget whatever extra I applied to our morrgage! Some months it was only $20 other months it was over $1000! We also did 2 months outta the year where we would only buy anything that we absolutely needed and we cleaned out our freezer and pantry to avoid spending more at the grocery store. Each year we tried to spend less than the prior year! We would sell any unused items during that month as well to give us extra cash. It was fun and where we only did it 2 months outta the year it was totally do-able. This quickly added up and made a huge difference! It sure has been a great summer without that mortgage payment!

  9. If you’re going to do accelerated payments, make sure that your mortgage company applies the extra payment to the principle. We were set up for “bi-weekly” payments, but the money wasn’t applied to the account until we had a full monthly payment which meant the company was holding our money for 2 weeks. We are pending settlement of a class action suit over this.

  10. We have our mortgage taken out of our account weekly and say our mortgage (weekly) was 141.00 we would bump it up to 155.00. Then once we get used to that (say 6 months) we would add an additional $5 a week bringing it to $160.00. There are so many ways to trick yourself into paying more without feeling it so hard.. Good luck to all!!

  11. Yeah, these ideas would be great, but I don’t buy coffee, I seldom eat out (when I do, I always order water), I seldom buy processed foods. I pack my husband’s lunch and snacks, and they don’t usually have coupons for whole foods. I shop as cheaply as I can (no Aldis here). So this wasn’t much help. Except for cancelling the internet. Well, if I did, I wouldn’t be able to read these articles. And I don’t have a cell phone.

  12. Why did you pick a 30 year mortgage instead of a 15?

    • Just to give people an example of how it looks – 15 is definitely the better choice (but I think most people have 30 year mortagages, hope that helps!)

  13. If I put extra money into my mortage this year, lets say 1k. Will it show the difference 1 year from now? For example: lets say i owe 275k and in 1 yr from now without making extra payments, just paying normally it goes down to lets say i add the 1k a year, will that show a bigger difference in 1 yr. I know it wouldn’t be huge, but if putting more money in ea yr or a lil more ea or paying bi weekly, those strategies, will i see those numbers applied on my mortgage at the end if the year? Or at end of the mortgage?

  14. I’m paid biweekly, so I put those extra 2 checks a year and whatever tax return I get right twards the mortgage


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