So in every money blog I’ve perused or every financial seminar I’ve been to (read: forced to attend as part of a “personal and professional development day” at my place of business. Woof.) someone is inevitably like: “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH YOU SPEND WHEN YOU GO TO STARBUCKS/DUNKIN DONUTS/INSERT-YOUR-COFFEE-PLACE-HERE EVERY DAY?” And I mean, truth is, as annoying as those guys are, they’re right: It can add up. But I was always, “Ummm, I don’t drink coffee? Okay? When you losers are all yellow-toothed and shaking profusely in middle age, I’ll be laughing on my own private island? Am I right people?”
Nope. It turns out while I didn’t have a coffee problem, I had a McDonald's problem. And a Wawa problem. And a Chipotle problem. And a second-floor-vending-machine problem. (3:00 p.m. fruit snacks? Yum!) That evening when I set to work on my first budget, I found that over the previous six months, I’d spent an almost laughable of money (Like hundreds of dollars. For realzies.) on nonsense snacking and dining.
The coffee lesson lives on. In my case, it was just fast food. For others, it’s trinkets at Target, tank top at Old Navy, weekly manicures.
Turns out that most of us actually can’t “have it all.” (Whoa! Reality check!) I pretty quickly realized I had to start deciding what I really wanted to spend my discretionary money on ... or all I was gonna be left with were greasy McDouble stains in my empty passport.
Let that percolate and ’ll be back to tell you more about my dollars and sense (ba dump dump) story next week!