The Millionaire Next Door

Nothing Soft About the Cost of Sodas

The Wall Street Journal stated that the per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks [sodas] in this country is 165.3 liters. Last month Bob, a millionaire next door in the making, contacted me about a related issue.  He heads a family of 5 which up until recently was a consumer of soda.  He wasn’t certain how much money his family could save by substituting filtered tap water for carbonated beverages.  On average Americans consume the equivalent of nearly 470 12-oz servings of soda per year.  Interestingly Bob’s estimates of his family’s soda consumption are well within the norm of the national figures.  Assuming that the average price per serving is just over 50 cents, the average consumer allocates about $235 per year for sodas.  For a family like Bob’s that totals nearly $1,200 per year.   These figures strengthened Bob and his family’s resolve to kick the soft drink habit.  

Bob’s interest in giving up soft drinks was sparked when he read the interview I conducted with Teddy Friend for The Millionaire Next Door.  Teddy argued that his parents were not wealthy because they never earned a high income.  Yet over a period of over 46 years they smoked 50,377 packs of cigarettes!  What if Teddy’s parents had invested that money with dividends reinvested in the company that produced their favorite brand of smokes?

At the end of 46 years, the couple would have had a tobacco portfolio worth over $2 million.  But the couple . . . never imagined that ‘small change’ could be transformed into significant wealth.

1 thought on “Nothing Soft About the Cost of Sodas”

  1. Congratulations to Bob and his family. I use to live on soda, and would use the deposit money from returning the cans to pay down the principal on my mortgage. But after doing the math ($0.05 for deposit or $0.50 for soda) I decided I could put my money to better use. Every day I did not drink a soda I would put $0.50 in a jar, at the end of the year I would apply this money to the principal balance of my mortgage. Every little bit helps in building wealth and I am taking the steps I can to be one of the “Millionaires Next Door.” I have read “The Millionaire Next Door,” “The Millionaire Mind,” twice and have almost completed “Stop Acting Like a Millionaire” for a third time. All very well written books that are very inspirational. Thank you Dr. Stanley for your insight.

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