Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Skip the Latte and Solve Your Finance Woes is a Bullshit Philosophy... and Why I'm Skipping the Latte Anyway

Once upon a time a very long time ago (the nineties) someone said: If people just stopped buying lattes they could save so much money!!! And thus began the gospel of "give up something cheap you like today for moderate savings in the future."

Let's do the math.

I buy *mumble mumble* lattes a week...

Okay, I buy five lattes a week. That's two before work, two while I walk the boyfriend to class, and one on the weekend. Minimum.

My five lattes cost me between three fifty and five dollars each (depending on where I'm going and the loyalty card I use--love me some loyalty cards). Let's call it $4.25 for maths sake.

So...

$4.25 * 5 = $21.25 spent on lattes every week.

$21.25 * 52 weeks/year = $1105

To be clear... that's a lot of money. I have some bad habits and I'm working on them. I do not expect you to spend that much on lattes. That's about ten percent of what I live on in a year (not including money that goes directly to savings/investment accounts). Ten percent of my spending every year goes to lattes.

And I'm not going to stop. I like lattes. I really do. I also like chatting with the woman at the coffee shop in the morning and I love walking my boyfriend to class. I love the way a hot latte makes me feel like anything is possible. So, I'm scaling back. No more lattes in the morning (maybe no more at night... le sigh). Instead, it's black coffee all the way... and lattes when someone else is paying or I have a free one through my loyalty card.

Let's do the math at five black coffees a week instead of lattes:

$2.25 * 5 = $11.25

$11.25 * 52 = 585

It's still a lot of money (close to 6% of my spending in a year) but it's just a little better.

What are you doing to make your life (and your finances) just a little better?

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