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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Latte Money

Recently I was given a $20 Starbucks gift card. My normal mode of operation would have been to turn around and sell it for $15. However, I was out on the road for work and thought it would be a nice treat to have Starbucks each morning since I wasn't making coffee in my hotel room. 3 days later the card ran out of money. $20 in 3 days. Holy crap. You read about people warning against the money drain a Starbucks addiction can cause, but until you've experienced it first hand it is almost unreal. The amount of coffee I drank over those 3 days was not very much. As I write this, I'm sipping my home brewed stuff and it must cost a whopping $0.03 per cup (I buy coffee in bulk).

The experience really isn't about Starbucks .... it is about watching those daily expenses. Each day the money war rages on and armies are trying to suck it out of you. Chronicle what you spend, then go back and do an analysis. Look for those reoccurring expenses and see if you can eliminate them.

About 5 years ago, we chronicled every single penny we spent over a period of 6 months. The results were enlightening. Areas I thought we were spending poorly on, we did great and areas I thought we were doing great in, there was room for improvement. Test your assumptions.

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