When considering cutting back or reducing your expenses, have you ever had someone mention how much your daily coffee habit is costing you? Almost suggesting that you should have some level of guilt if this is your daily fix.
If you consider the cost of a daily latte - it's roughly $4.25, but layer the habit repeatedly over the course of one month, and it balloons into $127.50. One year potentially costing you $1,551.25 - (by the way, I assumed you had one on Christmas too - as Starbucks is open on Christmas).
Most of us stop for quick coffees or snacks during our day to satisfy more than hunger/energy alone. After all, satisfying hunger fills a need, where a consumption of a latte fills a want.
Money management becomes a ballet - a dance between the money you have and getting the things you REALLY want.
The trouble is, most of us don't direct our spending intentionally, so our money doesn't provide enough of the things we want.
To simplify, consider having only one choice to make between two options - a coffee every day for a year, or a fully paid one-week tropical holiday each year- which resonates best with you?
Of course, there's no right answer, and there's likely much more than only two options. The right answer for you is what is $1,551.25 best used for, should you be faced with the choice.
That's the thing; your finances are an endless slew of choices and options.
When I've taken serious time to think and reflect, working through what I value and what I want in my life, I've found that my hard-earned money, wasn't necessarily being directed at the things I truly wanted.
Can I tell you something cheesy??
Oprah once made a point of saying if you write down goals or dreams they come true. Something about writing them out gets your subconscious busy on fulfilling them.
When I was in the thick of my financial disaster, I had nothing left to lose, so I leveraged Oprah's advice. I chose one night when I had time alone. I got a glass of wine, lit candles, turned on the fireplace (electric), and wrote on a piece of paper what I REALLY wanted for myself in the next year. I wrote materials things, relationship things, and personal and business things too. And then, I folded the piece of paper into a tiny square, and put it in the furthest corner of my wallet and left it there. I wanted it with me always - as if by osmosis, the words would seep into me and come true.
My number one priority (as reflected in my small piece of paper) was to spend more time with my friends and family in the coming year. This became my focus as I was working a career that had working days in direct conflict with seeing the most important people in my life - it was crushing my soul.
You know what happened after I wrote it down?
When I retrieved that piece of paper from the deepest corner of my wallet one year later, after nearly forgetting about it, I looked through each thing I wrote down and was floored that, even though I didn't consciously remember what I'd written, I had achieved everything on my list.
You can bet that this is now something I make a point of doing each year. I use it as a check-in. Asking myself, what do I want, and am I doing what I need to do to make it happen?
Here's the point - if you don't write down (or put directed focus on) what matters most to you, the days and years will slide by, and time will never stop to care that you're not getting what you want. In a sense, you have to interrupt time and ensure that you fill your cup.
So the point of this isn't about dogging the expense of a daily cup of coffee. Instead, it's about aligning what you WANT and NEED in your life with your cash flow.