Most of us are pretty careful about large purchases. We shop around and compare prices when we want a new TV, or a car, or a home. If you are smart, you may save a hundred (or even thousand) dollars here and there on these big ticket items.
But how often do you actually buy big ticket items? So maybe once or twice a year you may have the chance to be careful on a large purchase. However you have the chance to save pennies every day-and those pennies add up. I once read “there are only a few ways to save thousands of dollars-but there are thousands of ways to save a few dollars”. That really struck a chord with me.
Before I became a SAHM, I had a short commute to work each day. Almost daily I would stop and pick up a cup of coffee on my way to work at the local gas station. It was one of those newer coffee set ups where you could add a squirt of coffee flavoring, and sprinkle nutmeg on top etc etc etc. I think I paid about $1.89 for a medium sized cup. It was hot, it was fast, and it was one less thing for me to do in the morning. And after all, $1.89 isn’t much money.
Now, there are 52 weeks in a year, lets assume you take 2 weeks vacation a year, and throw in another 14 days that you don’t buy coffee because you are sick, in a rush, out of town, have a snow day etc. So to be conservative lets say I bought coffee 48 weeks a year, 5 days a week.
To do the math: 48 x 5 x $1.89 = $453.60
$453.60!! On coffee! And that’s not even good coffee-it’s cheapo gas station coffee. If you “splurge” for something that costs just $2.50 a cup, the annual price goes up to$625!
You can buy a coffee pot with a timer (so you can set it up the night before and have it ready to go in the morning when it is time to leave-no excuses about “not having time”) for about $30, an insulated coffee mug for a few bucks and probably buy enough good coffee and flavored creamer for a years worth of coffee for less than $100
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it is somehow evil or irresponsible to buy your coffee on the way to work. It’s fine if that is the conscious decision you make. Only you can decided what is worthwhile and what you WANT to spend your money on. But in my case I was spending over $450 a year on coffee- and I didn’t even know it.
Be aware of where you are spending your money-you worked hard for that money, you should only spend it on the things your really want or need.