Monday, January 15, 2007

First, Give Up That Daily Latte

Mr. Universe was given lots of great Christmas gifts from his students this year. He got cool Christmas ornaments, a homemade heating pad (you know, the kind you stick in the microwave? The mom even made a seperate, washable cover. Ches loves it!), gift cards to Barnes and Nobles, cookies and candy, hot chocolate, and a bajillion gift cards to Starbucks. The Starbuck cards are worth (all together, of course) more than $50.

Now, you all know we don't drink coffee. Not only is it against our religion, but neither Ches nor I even like the smell of the stuff. (It used to crack me up going to college in a largely LDS town and seeing all these Mormon kids standing in the coffee aisle of the supermarket just to smell the coffee. Funny kids.) I'm sure the gift cards for coffee would be great for most people, but not so much for Mr. Universe!

Thank goodness for hot chocolate. Starbucks has very yummy hot chocolate. And lots of yummy foods. VERY yummy. You can't go wrong getting some crumb cake or a cinnamon roll or a granola bar. It's almost like heaven!!

I also think it's nice that Mr. Universe has these cards because I know there is at least one Starbucks close to where he works, and if he needs a little snack or something before or after that long commute, he can use a card and get something.

Starbucks, however, is extremely overpriced! Oh. My. Gosh. No wonder whenever you are watching some Dr. Phil or Oprah like talk show and there is this nice couple that is trying their darndest to get out of debt, the first thing they are told is "make your coffee at home. Give up that daily latte." You see, let's say this is something we actually did. Let's say Ches stopped at Starbucks every morning on his way to school and bought himself a $3 drink. He would be spending around $90 a month... just for a quick pick-me-up!!! What if he decided on something else? Say a yummy and satisfying $5 hot drink. We're talking $150 that month!! OH MY HECK!! Now, of course not everyone works 7 days a week, so maybe we're aiming a little high, but how many people stop at just a drink? Not when it smells sooooo good and the breakfast sweets are looking sooooo bright and big and you find a little spot of drool on your collar... every now and then you are going to "splurge" and get yourself a piece of blueberry coffee cake for $3.50, right? Heck yes you are! And it tastes so good, why regret it, right?

Because $150 a month can pay off credit cards a lot faster than $45 or $80 a month. I always hated hearing the whole "Give up your daily latte" spiel because we don't buy a latte every day and I could never figure out what little thing like that we should give up that would add up. Because we DON'T go out and get a coffee every day. Or pizza and ice cream every week. Or see a movie in the theatre. Or even rent movies. Those activities have become such a rarity I don't think I can even count it as once a month!! Okay, maybe once a month or for special occasions (like the kids being sick the whole week before Christmas. So I rented a ton of movies just so we wouldn't be watching the same Wiggles DVD for 6 hours straight while they lay on the couch like their dying and whine about their noses and tummies hurting).

I'm still trying to figure out what my daily latte sacrifice is, but until then, Mr. Universe and I are going to enjoy using his gift cards for some really yummy hot chocolate.


Lura said...

As we've been looking at our finances and trying to work out a budget I've also noticed that really, we don't splurge on stuff. We don't go out on dates any more (for a while we went to a free movie at the park every week. THat was cool.), we don't buy coffee or whatever at coffee carts. All the stuff people say you should cut back on or out of your budget we already don't do. SO where do we go from here? I totally get where you are with this.

I'm glad you have the gift cards though. Enjoy that hot chocolate!!

Feather Sky said...

We're the same. Any splurge like dates, movies, fast food or even throwing a bag of chips into the shopping cart have already been cut out of the budget!

One more year and we'll start making enough money.

(but then we'll have to buy a 2nd car, buy more gas for the 2nd car, buy a house, heat and cool the house...OK, so as soon as we get more money it'll be spent again, but still! A girl can dream of not living paycheck-to-paycheck, right?) :)

Heather said...

I'm with all of you. We've been wondering for years what our "daily latte" is and how we can cut it out. The reality is we're trying to be a single income family in Southern California and something has to change before we can start to feel more comfortable.

Alyson said...

So I made this big old comment and blogger was down. I don't have the patients to write it again so all I'm gonna say is:

Steamed Milk

Laural said...

Ditto! That's all I'm gonna say...DITTO!

GoofyJ said...

I'm all about cutting out the splurges, but I have to say that I would never consider going on dates with my husband a splurge. We go, almost faithfully, every week. We need that time together, and we have FUN. To go on a date, doesn't have to be expensive, sometimes its just the cost of an inexpensive babysitter (I'm talking $3-$4 an hour, because I can't pay more, and they take without a blink of an eye and they are AWESOME babysitters). No matter what we do though, it is fun. :) (Sometimes we even swap with another family. We watch their kids and they watch ours)

Karen said...

I once saw an article where a young, urban (single) professional woman was giving up different things for a month so she could write a book about it. The month she gave up buying shoes, her accountant called her wondering why she had so much money in the bank. Answer: she gave up buying shoes.

(I know that's not in the same league as what you guys go through. I just thought it was funny when I read it.)

Alyson said...

Now that i thought about this a little more, when we cut back we get rid of our cell phone, our internet and in one instance our second vehicle. We've cut back on long distance and cable too. Those may not be lattes and totally suck when we've had to do it, but when the choice is between eating and those things eating wins hands down cause when it really comes down to it those things aren't essential, but we certainly got those things back when we could afford it.

terrierchica said...

sariah deleted my comment. I'm here to complain. :P

Sariah said...

I did not. There is NO record of you making a comment. Stop being a punk. I honestly don't know what you're talking about.

Allrie said...

I is terribly hard to give up a little thing like buying lunch at school instead of taking it [now you guys understand why the years of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches] There is only so much that can go. As Heather said--it is the trying to live on one income in a world that expects two income families to be the norm. I don't have any answers. I'm not sure there are any, other than to keep on doing what we're doing and try to keep heads above water and stick together as extended families.

I grew up with a kid whose Grandparents had always lived with them. As a young married couple, just after the War [WWII] there was no place else to go. Then later, after his Dad finished school and started working full time, they moved out and to our town. When the kids started coming, Grandma came to help, and Grandpa to visit, they stayed on as Mom went back to work. Grandpa got a job there and they bought a bigger house...and it worked for them, [but I think that is an exceptional situation.]