Every morning before work I would make my way to a drive through and buy a latte. This would set me back $5 and nine times out of ten they got my order wrong. But I continued to go to the drive through for two months and pay $5 for a coffee that I didn’t order. For the record my order was not difficult by any means. A hot latte with one sugar. The justification: I deserve this. I go to work every day so I should be able to treat myself.
However I wasn’t really treating myself. Over the course of two months, yes I finally wised up that they would never get my order right, I had spent $160 on coffee. I also was more stressed out than ever before. I had to leave my house 30 minutes earlier to get in line at the drive through that would take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to get through. So not only did I waste my time and money but in return I received a product that wasn’t satisfying in any way. Had I continued this “experiment” I would have spent nearly $1200 in a year on coffee!
I would have spent $1200 a year on coffee!
So what was my solution. Well, it's taken a little bit of planning but now I wake up a few minutes early and enjoy my coffee in the comfort of my own home. I’m also not stuck in a drive through line, hoping for the right cup of coffee and frantically trying to make it to work on time. Rather, I am able to drink a cup of coffee, correctly made, as the sun is rising and the house is quiet. Often, my husband and I share this moment together in the morning and chat about how we will spend that $1200 that each of us is able to save on something meaningful. Perhaps a vacation. :)
I challenge you to think of ways in which you spend money that isn’t really worth it. Then for one month find a way around that money habit. It may be packing your lunch, making more dinners at home or like me, you may say good-bye to drive through coffee. Whatever it is, identify what you are spending and how you can better use that money. For instance open or max out your Roth IRA, plan a vacation, pay down credit cards or put it towards the principal of your home. The possibilities are endless and that money can be much better used.