I wanted to point out an interesting post at The Simple Dollar. Entitled When a Treat Stops Being a Treat – and How to Get It Back, the author goes much beyond the “stop spending $3 on your morning latte to save $50 a month” mantra. He points out that for many office workers, it begins with the morning coffee and progresses to an afternoon “pick me up” and then perhaps a coffee or chai tea at night. Pretty soon you realize that $150 a month is going into the coffers of your local Peets or Starbucks or here in Chicago it would be Caribou Coffee.
What many don’t realize is this: it isn’t a matter or “giving up a treat” but adjusting a routine. More than that triple shot non-fat latte (what can I say, it takes big coffee to move big machinery), as humans we love the familiarity of a routine. Ever get irked when they don’t have the onion bagel at Einstein’s that you usually order each morning? Well perhaps if you were to change your “routines” you would see that you can save money by substituting a cheaper alternative.
For me, having worked from home for the past four years, I’ve been lucky. I usually make my own coffee in the morning. But I was getting hooked on Starbucks’ iced coffee in the afternoons until I came up with this idea: I just make twice the amount of morning coffee, and place the second cup in the refrigerator. Then in the afternoon I make a tall iced coffee. Plus I can always slip in some amaretto or Bailey’s! See, I’d have to bring my flask to Starbucks for that.
Check out the post and also the rest of The Simple Dollar blog – there is some great advice for those of us watching every penny during these hard times.