Looking at money the other day, I kind of freaked out. B! is moving here in October, I’m taking the last two weeks of September off, and the last month has been unforeseeably expensive. It was the kind of slow-rolling freakout that makes you wonder which comes first, your head or your heart, and for the first time in months I truly contemplated an Ativan. Because it’s hard to talk myself down from money worries, and that’s always where it starts.
I spend money as though it’s not a finite resource, as though once you spend it it’s not gone for good. While I’ve been stellar in curbing my higher end habits (Bluefly, I’m looking at you) and middling to fair at curtailing my Target addiction, I do find myself spending tons of cash on consumables: dinners, cheap draft beer, and Starbucks.
Starbucks. You of the earl grey tea latte. You of the quad skim cappuccino. I spend more money on coffee than I do on lunch, and, just as my freakout threatened to cross over into panic, I came up with a solution. STOP BUYING COFFEE.
A cool breeze washed over me and I did some quick math. Let’s say that my Starbucks costs $2/day. (In reality, it’s more like $3.50, but numbers in my head are a challenge.) That means that if I stop drinking coffee for one month, I’ll save like sixty bucks! And if I extend that theory to bottles of Diet Coke and the occasional Odwalla, it could even be more! Hooray, I thought, I’ve solved my own problem!
Ironically enough, I was en route to Starbucks as I made the decision to boycott Starbucks, so I turned my car around and went to Whole Foods instead, another great pit into which my money is sucked. But please, one thing at a time. Even as I came up with the scheme, I was dreaming up ways to spend my newfound savings… ie, the new tattoo I’ve been wanting to get on my left leg. One month, and it’s mine.