Even the most fiscally responsible person has their form of financial kryptonite, whether it presents itself in the form of an overpriced new release novel, or a $23.00 coffee from Starbucks.
The fact of the matter is, no matter how high-end or prestigious your purchase may be, if it takes money away from your weekly or monthly budget, the purchase may be frivolous or gratuitous.
We’ve all been there before. Your feeling content with the fact that your bills are current, and you have a few thousand dollars in your savings account. The comfort of being financially responsible often breeds temptations to ignore your set budget and “live a little.”
With this in mind, I’ve created a list of five forms of financial kryptonite that may deplete your savings account, little by little, if you’re not strong enough to fight the temptation.
Whether it’s the high caffeine levels or the surplus of caffeinated breakfast options, Starbucks has such a stronghold on the coffee market they could even offer the late Sam Walton a marketing lesson.
Whereas the average American probably won’t purchase a $23.00 coffee every day, many Starbucks customers will spend $4 a day on a fancy cup of coffee. While four bucks may not seem like a lot to spend on coffee, this daily expense definitely adds up in the long run. Here’s the total cost the average coffee drinker incurs annually:
- $4 (5 days) = $20 weekly
- $20 (52 weeks) = $1,040 year
If you think $1,040 annually is too much to pay for coffee just to start off your workday, take a look at how much more coffee drinkers who also drink coffee on the weekend spend:
- $ 4 (7 days) = $28 weekly
- $28 (52 days) = $1,456 annually
While I’m not a coffee drinker, and I’m sure Starbucks makes a hell of a cup of Malawi Lake of Stars, I’m not willing to spend $1000 more than I pay for my gym membership for the whole year ($456) just to drink coffee!
Hardcover New Releases
While clipping Barnes & Noble coupons to purchase Charles Frazier’s latest novel, I was surprised to discover that the hardcover copy of Thirteen Moons is currently $27 higher than the Kindle edition on Amazon.
Whereas I love feeling the texture of the shrinking stack of pages in my right hand as I read, I’m growing tired of paying $40 for a new release that I may finish reading in less than a week.
Yet, my admiration for my growing book collection paired with my ambition to collect more books than my father currently owns, prohibits me from joining the growing Nook and Kindle community.
Moreover, my love of reading is starting to cause financial issues, as I’ve grown too impatient to wait (months) until a new release is reissued on paperback just to save $20 or $30.
For avid readers like myself, I suggest purchasing digital books you can read on your iPad or eReader device. Not only will digital books save you money, they’ll also save you lots of storage space.
While I’m not a smoker (nor can I stand the smell of cigarette smoke), research has revealed that a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day will spend more than $4000 a year on tobacco!
That $4000 a year equates to more than 10% of the average American’s income before taxes, and it’s more than the average American spends per year on milk and fresh fruit combined!
Eating out for lunch
As a bachelor without a clue in the kitchen, I purchase breakfast, lunch and dinner from a different restaurant everyday. I’ve even gone as far as including my food budget in my monthly financial plan so I feel less embarrassed and guilty for eating out every day.
While I don’t complain about spending $220 per week going out to eat as much lobster and steak as I want, I know I have to change this bad habit before my current pace leaves me with an $11,440 annual take out bill!
My parents are so sold on the propaganda promoting the health benefits of bottled water that they absolutely refuse to drink any water that’s not bottled. Similarly, Tennis star Andre Agassi claimed his finances were nearly destroyed when his ex-wife Brooke Shields refused to bathe in anything but bottled water.
Aside from the safety regulations that some bottled water companies must comply with, there are reports that actually question whether tap water is cleaner than bottled water!
While life can’t be fully planned out, it’s important to make a budget so you can track your money before financial kryptonite sucks your willpower and finances dry.
You never know, but your financial plans today may forecast your financial abilities in the future.