Do You Really Need That Morning Coffee?

According to the Washington Post, the coffee drinkers among us would save $55,341 (and that includes interest) over 30 years if they cut out their daily $3 latte habit.

Sure, that might not seem to be a whole lot of money over three decades. But think about how nice that amount would look in your retirement account right now.

We all know that Social Security is in a crisis. We all realize it's up to us to look out for ourselves, our children, and our future financial well-being. We all know these things, but many Americans don't save enough toward their retirement.

Yet saving can be painless, with a couple of minor adjustments to your behavior. Track every single one of your expenses for a week, no matter how small or insignificant. See where the money goes. Maybe you can make do by making your coffee at home, or getting it from the office. If you can't quite live without the special blend roasted by the chain down the street, buy the small size.

And don't stop there. Maybe there's a magazine subscription you can let lapse. Maybe you don't need to buy that sweater on sale, even if it is marked down 75 percent. Maybe you can skip the take-out pizza tonight.

Before you buy anything, start thinking about how much that habit may cost you in the long run. Maybe you won't need to indulge the urge to purchase it after all. Put all that money you save into a retirement account. Pay attention to the little things that might be keeping you from financial security. In this case, little things can mean a lot.