As followers of the financial superhero Dave Ramsey, my wife and I are both allotted $10 each at the beginning of every week for what is called “blow money.” We can waste it on whatever we want: going out for lunch (instead of bringing our lunch to work), buying a CD, picking up a magazine at the book store, anything that would fall under the category of “disposable income”.
Because it’s evitable we all blow money each week. It keeps us from going crazy. Besides, we all “deserve it”. But my wife and I are putting perimeters on this human tradition. In the terminology of a child, it’s our weekly allowance. The rest of our income is for our needs (groceries, gas, etc.) and paying off our debts. No exceptions.
In the past year since we started doing this, my “blow money” has mainly been spent on the cheapest coffee available at Starbucks ($1.75 with tax). Taking the five minute drive during my lunch break as my workday escape. Sitting in a comfy leather chair, reading a book, sipping what truly is wonderful coffee.
And really, I must admit that a major reason I frequented Starbucks is because all of the staff there knew me by name. There is much truth in the lyric from the Cheers theme song, “You want to go where everybody knows your name.” But like any fast food joint (which Starbucks definitely is, just an upscale version of one), the place has an extremely high turnover in staff.
I realized last week all the people I knew there have gone on. And I just don’t feel like starting over with a new cast of characters. So as of last week, I stopped going.
Conveniently at the same time, I learned that the new office I now work in is a two minute walk from a beautiful walking park. So now I can take a nature walk (comparable to a state park) during my lunch break and read outside at a picnic table next to the flowing creek beside me. And when it’s too cold, I can walk an extra five minutes to Barnes and Noble and get the warm atmosphere I liked so much at Starbucks.
So now each week I use less gas, get more exercise, see the great outdoors, and don’t waste $10 a week on coffee. And now I’ve converted back to work coffee, bringing in good creamer from home like Spiced Vanilla. Still, work coffee is pretty awful. I entitle it “Cigarettes: The Drinkable Version”.