Write down how you currently spend your money. Then, fix it.
Yes, I am suggesting that time-tested method to help you fix your financial problems: budgeting.
I even made you this handy sheet to help you out! It’s extra pretty. Budget for blog here.
Regardless of whether or not you are on your way to living a minimalist lifestyle, you can benefit from trimming down your expenditures. I don’t want anyone to think I’m perfect at this either, so here is one my problems and how I fixed it.
I love going out for coffee with people. I love going out for coffee by myself. As a barista of 8 years, the coffee shop culture is a part of who I am, and I love being part of that environment. However, if you aren’t careful, it can get expensive very quickly. Those damn, cute, little baristas at Starbucks are the most infamous for this, saying little things like, “Would you like to add an extra shot of espresso to that?” Ping! 60 cents. “Have you tried our new products (insert new fancy thing here)? Based on what you normally get, I think you would love this.” Then, of course, you do love it and have to get it? Even as a former Starbucks employee, I let it happen. So, how did I fix it?
Back to black.
I started drinking black coffee again. Costs me waaaay less, if I get coffee while I’m out and about. However, sometimes you really want something else, like an espresso con panna (Yum!). So, I searched Goodwill for about a week. Lo! and behold! For $15, I found an espresso maker someone thought was broken, when a seasoned barista could tell all it needed was the steam wand cleaned out. The thrill of the hunt, as well as a decent espresso, were mine.
To really make it clear how much I’m saving, allow me to number crunch this for you.
1 16 oz. cup of coffee = $1.75 x 5 days a week = $35/month
My typical drink = $2.60 x 5 days a week = $52/month plus the possibility of weight gain from extra calories.
Also, I have a cappuccino at home with my partner everyday now that we have our little machine, which would make the number even higher, but I choose not to include it because it is rather recent ritual we started.
Making coffee is zen for me, and sharing it with someone I love makes it infinitely more satisfying. If I make you coffee in my home, you can be assured that you are receiving something very special and are witnessing one of my personal rites of honor. I honor you with my skill, and you honor me with your presence.
While I understand many people don’t have my coffee experience behind them, this was a great way for me to lower that bill. Figure out ways for you to exercise your creative frugality, and reap the rewards.
(Also, if you like the idea of making your espresso at home, look on YouTube. I’m sure someone has put on a video on how to pull good shots. If they haven’t, someone interested in this should let me know, and I’ll make one and post it for you. I love you all that much.)
Thus, this post began about tightening your belt by getting your finances under control and digressed into the zen of making coffee. How can I bring it back around?
Go get a cup of coffee, fill out your budget sheet, and then post an activity you do that is zen for you. We’ll fix your finances tomorrow.