Frugal Win Friday

It finally happened. Not fully on purpose, but not totally on accident either. I lost my gold stars. I am no longer in the Starbucks cool kids club. 

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Not that long ago, this email would have caused an anxiety attack. It feels dumb typing that, but I know that I would have spent the weeks and months beforehand drinking and spending a lot of money on coffee that didn't taste particularly great to me. It never tasted particularly good to be honest, but because I wanted to get a free drink every once in a while I kept on sipping. I didn't want to lose my gold status.

Now I'm doing a little happy dance. Just think how much money I've saved over the last year! 

I started, but admittedly didn't finish, Your Money or Your Life a few months ago. My two big takeaways from the book are that you should examine your spending by asking yourself: 1) does your spending and your value system match? and 2) does the amount of happiness you derived from spending x amount of money equate to the effort it took to earn that money? I've started using these two questions to shape my spending. 

My coffee spending and my values didn't line up.

Starbucks is convenient. I can order a drink and know generally what it will taste like and that I will likely have a place to sit and relax for a little bit. But beyond that, it doesn't really do much for me. I'd rather take a little bit more of a chance if I'm going to drink coffee out and order from a local small business. I'll order a latte from Starbucks if I'm at the airport and it's my only option, but I value small over big businesses any day.

I don't get enough happiness out of coffee out - most of the time - to justify the cost. 

We make a pretty mean cup of coffee at our house. I buy this vanilla flavored almond milk and coconut creamer that will really knock your socks off. With the exception of a few very memorable latte experiences, what I can make in five minutes at home is a much better cup of coffee than I can buy out 90% of the time. So if what I'm going for is just a cup of coffee, then I brew it at home and take it with me when I leave the house. If what I'm craving is social time with friends, then it's worth the cost of the coffee to me. Does that make sense?

How do you examine your spending?