A few of my coworkers go on a quick coffee run every morning. It’s definitely a social outing, and a nice break from the office. I always bring my coffee to work (saves money and tastes much better), so I’m never invited on these outings. Sure, I could just go along, but it seems silly to go on a coffee run if I’m not actually going to get anything. I think it would be different if they sat and chatted at the coffee shop before coming back, but this is a quick out and back trip.
I have to admit, I feel a little bit left out.
But not left out enough to stop bringing coffee and starting to buy the coffee. Plus I know my weaknesses. While I’m perfectly fine with good black coffee made in my coffee maker at home, if I end up at Starbucks or the like, I’m going to get a latte or some other drink. Even sugar free and skim, it’s still got calories (I suppose you could argue that a latte does have some nutritional value, but that’s not the point). I definitely don’t need the added calories. In fact, after trying on some clothes in my closet, I could stand to do without any added calories.
I’m usually good about not letting my frugal ways affect my social life. I still go out to lunch on occasion. I go to happy hour. I go out to dinner with friends. But it’s easier to control your spending in those settings, plus those are typically expenses that I enjoy. And more importantly, they’re infrequent. But this daily coffee thing is starting to rub me the wrong way.
Let’s be honest. I’m not actually missing out on anything. I still chat with those same people in the office. But I do feel a slight pang of regret when I see them walk out in the morning.
And then I take a sip of my coffee from my travel mug and go back to my work.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.