Monday, February 11, 2008

What is Your Weekend Latte Factor?

What did you do this weekend? And more importantly, what was the cost of your weekend?

Tom and I have been striving toward living a more frugal life. I color my own hair, do my own manicures and pedicures. I get my books from the library instead of buying them and owning them and loving them forever. We determine our weekly menu, make the grocery list and then shop for ONLY what is on the list. I have found some amazing deals on beautiful designer clothing at a local resale store.

There are some things that have been difficult to give up, however. My weekly People Magazine is one. I know I can read the gossip online-and I do. But I love holding that glossy magazine in my hands each Friday evening while I sip my wine and relax after a hard week at work.

Another vice I have been working to give up is my daily drive-thru Diet Coke. My husband calls this my latte factor® .

My love affair with diet coke (from a fountain with lots of ice, thank you) costs $1.38 a day-$9.99 per week. You want to die just a little bit more? Over a year's time, that is $502.32! On pop! And yes, there is nothing like the jolt of goodness that courses through my body with the first sip, but is it worth that much of our hard-earned money?

I recently started buying a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke to keep at home and at my office. It's not the same when I'm jonesing for my DC fix, but I have to do my part to save money so we can achieve our financial goals.

Now my Tom allows himself NO luxuries, no vices save his weekly beer (yes, just one) at the brew pub with his buddy Ron. And he's in the Pub Club so that beer is only a buck. He really is a saint.

What about you? Are your kids involved in sports that have you spending money at the concession stand and then going out for pizza afterwards. Do you go out to dinner and a movie every weekend because it IS the weekend? How much is that costing you?

Are you a bored spender? You have nothing to do so you stop off at Target just to walk around and get out of the house? And then you see some cute notecards you have been needing.

Then there is an adorable pair of shoes on clearance for only $5.74. And you can't turn down adorable or clearance. Or $5.74 for that matter.

That would be crazy.

And on the way to the check out, look what else you see. This sweet wrap that would be perfect when you're a bit chilly at the office, but don't want to throw on your old cardigan. It's only $4.99 so it would practically be a sin if you didn't get it.

And then you see this fabulousness. It's a natural pine cone tree that would look per-fect in my home. And it's only $7.49. And what if I never see anything like it again?

So, where are we now?

Note Cards $5.00
Adorable Shoes $5.74
Cute Wrap $4.99
Pine Decor $7.49

Grand total for crap you don't really need: $23.22.

Not a huge amount, but what if you do this a couple times a month? That's over $600.00 per year of unnecessary stuff you're bringing into your home.

And it's not just the Target/Wal Mart/Meijer shoppers either. I have witnessed people walking into my local dollar store with the intention of buying some cheap cleaning products or something and LOAD up their cart with all kinds of other one-dollar items. That trip for $1.00 bathroom cleaner turns into $20.00 of well, crap. Every Saturday.

Think about it this way. That is money that could go toward your family vacation, paying off your car early, buying new clothes for summer for your family, or whatever you have been wanting but can't find the resources for.

I have been following this site and this one as well and am inspired (and a little obsessed) to not accumulate more anything. To only spend when it is necessary. It will not only be a good thing for our community, our world, but for my marriage. 'Cuz there is nothing that makes Tommy happier than a little extra money in his pocket. It'll make him slop sugar all over me. Of that, I am sure .

What needless spending do you participate in every week? What can you give up? I am really curious to hear your thoughts on this topic. Now I'm going to go to the fridge and pour myself a glass of pop. And save a $1.38.

Sister Honey Bunch's Family Lenten Devotional


Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved -made to slip, fall, or fail.

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saintseester said...

We need to do the same thing. The first steps we took were to nip eating out in the bud. I mean severe drastic measures. The kids are jittery from withdrawals.

I, also, do the library. But then I read a book, and love it so much, that I think I need a copy for home. Today, I found a books a million gift card and you'd think I'd laid a gold brick. But, now I can BUY a new book. Yay!

I HAVE to do better, because I may be not-employed come summer...

mom of 2 said...

We don't have any daily or weekly spending habits as we've cut them all out in the past year to pay off our debt. I have to say as I'm driving past Sonic I'd love to stop in for a cherry lime-aid, but I don't...sigh. This weekend the only money we spent was $4.88 for cookies to take to MIL's house for dessert for a family dinner. Our kids do play sports, but there is no visit to a concession stand or pizza afterwards. We have a adopted a firm policy of only buying items if they are a necessity. It's actually liberating not to be a "slave" to stuff! Another way we save/make money is ebay. My kids have grown out of many of their spring clothes from last year. I will be listing them all on ebay next month and I'll use that money to buy them "new to us" clothes on ebay.

I do still get tempted to spend on things that I want, but I know the guilt I'll feel afterward won't be worth it. Good luck!!

Brother Jimmy Eat World said...

Amen, Sister HB!!!! Say it like it is sister!
Let's see, this weekend we spent a little more than we should have on groceries (we need to stick to the list) $150, on a budget of $120, and $4 on Burger King mid-morning snack, and $3 at the video store (on top of netflix), and then about $7 on neccessities.
We really do a pretty good job but we should buckle down and save that money for a very nice vacation!

The Nester said...

hi sisters!

love this post.

hi, my name is the nester and i am a diet coke-aholic. recovering now. i haven't had more than 2 of them this year and i've lost about 3 pounds.

my latte factor? it used to be $60 at Target every week.

now, it's $18 at goodwill. but, that's usually on boys clothes, so i make myself feel better about it.

Ashlee said...

I used to be a lot worse. When I worked it was BAD. I ate out for lunch EVERY day, and usually bought some type of bottled caffeinated beverage on top of that to sip on ALL day.
I also went to Target at least twice a week. It's bad when the people there know who you are. I love Target. When my son was little he called it "our store". I'm hoping to avoid that with the daughter. :0)
We are trying to be more spending conscious around here as well. Though we aren't nearly as good as you. I still buy my books. That way I can pass them along to friends to borrow. I've borrowed some from them though. So, we do it back and forth. And hubby usually eats out every day for lunch. His gut proves it. :0)

BUT! To save myself here...we rarely eat out. If we do have restaurant food, it's usually pizza night and we've invited people over. I actually made "from scratch" stuffed crust pizza a couple of weeks ago so we wouldn't have to order it in. I only go to Target once every couple of weeks. And I avoid the "spots". Like the little girls clothing dept. and the toy dept. I can't NOT buy something cute for my daughter to wear if I see a good deal on it, so it's best not to tempt myself, and since I've always got her with me, it's best not to head into the toy dept. to avoid the fight and then the white flag {on my part}. Sigh.
This last weekend I did spend $24 on two pizzas as we had friends over. $1.89 was spent at KMart on funnels so that I can make treats for my kids VDay party this week. {I'm posting about it later so you will understand then} and that's it. Not too bad. Don't ask about next weekend. We're going out of town.
Sorry for the Xtra long comment!

echolily said...

I quit drinking caffeinated soda earlier this year which means I rarely drink soda anymore. It doesn't seem worth it. Our big family vice is eating out too much. It is hard not to with our weird schedules. I know if I planned ahead it would be easier.

Beck said...

We're frugal ALL WEEK and then spend like a pair of drunken morons on the weekend - fast food! magazines! paying off library fines! booze! It's like we have this shared belief that Saturday spending DOES NOT COUNT.

Sister Honey Bunch said...

OMGosh, Beck. The library and movie rental fines are what could drive my husband over the edge. I have gotten much better at it in order to preserve his sanity.

Sister Sassy said...

We've been eating out way too much here as well... we have decided to start planning much better. But really going out for lunch is the only time JimmyEW and I get time together. Once it gets nicer out we'll eat out by the water and have the quality time together.

...I saw Tommy Boy and Black Sheep double feature at Target for 7.50 and a bought it! EEK! But JimmyEW loves it and i did refrain from buying Goonies at the same time for the same price. oh well.

100 Percent Cottam said...

i SO needed to read that. i'm a total bored spender. gotta get out of the house with the kids - pop by target. popcorn + a drink. clearance items. this and that. wasted bucks, for sure. great advice! thanks for the reminder.

Laura Nelson said...

Ok so I cannot cannot live without the Diet Coke either! It really does kill me to pay the prices at the gas station or the drive through, knowing that the 2 liter is less than a $1.50. I have told my boyfriend that I am not allowing diet coke in the house cause I need to break the addiction. But when we go to the store, I pretend not to notice him putting a couple of 2 liters in the cart. He doesn't drink it, he just knows it makes me happy...haha

Other than that our eating out is bad. He is an amazing cook and we really enjoy cooking at home. We really love having friends and family over for dinner, but we still find ourselves out at some fantastic restaurant a couple of times a week...That's the real culprit of our money spending!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

My latte factor is not high - our worst extravagance is coffee out with my DH on Saturday mornings. The other is occasional spending of food that was "on sale" rather than "on the list". This was a good post - I think I want to monitor the non-on-the-list spending.

Sandy C. said...

Eating out definitely eats up a huge chunk of our budget. Not to mention my addiction to Dunkin donuts coffee. It costs just a bit more than your diet coke everyday....*sigh*....but I love it so :(

Wade Huntsinger said...

TC and I worked hard to be debt free and because of it we are able to do this ministry. If I still had the bills we once had there would be no way. Good post and I recommend Dave Ramsey, a great Christian money guy.

Sister Big said...

My one true splurge at this point in my life is on my hair and that's only every 7 weeks. Oh yeah, and I joined a wine club so I do that once a montth. Plus, I love i-tunes; they're only .99. Suddenly I feel like Steve Martin in "The Jerk". I don't have any bad habits, except this wine, my haircut, i-tunes, and this thermos.

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Love, love, love McDonald's Diet Coke!! The 2-liter just doesn't have that kick! (Thanks for reminding me about a post I want to write!)

I'm not a huge shopper, but my US subscription ran out recently, and I have so far walked away from it at the news stand just once (pure torture).

My sister just lent the Dave Ramsey book to me last week. I've cracked it open and am seriously going to take some steps to put his practices into place. Getting hubby on board could be tough, but I'll try.
Great post.

Jen said...

I've been trying to pare down myself--I've been cooking and packing my lunch. I stopped drinking soda and stopped buying bottled water.

My needless spending is probably books (although it really hurts me to call them "needless"). I usually buy around one per week, which isn't too extravagant, but it really adds up!

Lizzi said...

Ah yes, the latte factor. I know it well.

$600 at Tarjzay in a year? I'm lucky to escape out of there with less than $300 each time! I go in for detergent and come out with a new coat, a living room rug, and more often than not, a couple of DS games.

Thanks for the comment today! Glad to have found your blog!

Little Nothings said...

I love this post, as I do all your others. This one though, I'm very connected to in my heart and our daily living. I had been working on my own post of this sort (saved in Draft mode) and have just found the inspiration to finish it. Thanks for that! It's good to know that although I can say I don't know anyone in my daily life that makes such an effort, there are indeed others out there that dedicate themselves and find direction in this same thing as I do! Not everyone has everything "now" as most of the free world wants us to believe.

Lisa @ Take90West said...

I loved this post, but I really feel quilty now.
Only $24 bucks on stuff I don't need from Target would seem like a bargain, I can never get out of that store without dropping at least a hundred bucks!
I'm a horrible spender. And I wish my latte factor was only 1.38 a day. It's triple that.
I need to do better, thanks for the reminder. If anything though, this post has reminded to appreciate and thank my husband.
Great post!

Martha said...

I agree with Lisa - this is a great post!

Since I'm a freelance worker (read: I don't want a real job. Or maybe a real job doesn't want me? Anywayyyy....) money has been very tight and I've really been trying to watch it. But the People or the US weekly? It's soooo hard to give that up! Sometimes I just sit in the longest line so I can read it all before it's my turn to check out and then I won't have to buy it :)

veronica said...

Boy does this hit home. But nothing beats a fountain soda! My vice is diet coke at chick fila! Not sure I can give it up. Maybe this post will inspire me to save a few pennies and give it up.

Miss jane said...