Guest Post: Trivial Costs Don’t Mean Anything

I had a friend e-mail me some thoughts about money the other day, and I loved it!  With his permission, here are Joe Hall's thoughts …

I started thinking the other day about all the "little" things people daily spend "just a little" money on.  Stuff like soft drinks, Starbucks, cigarettes, vending machine snacks or whatever.  All those things seem "little" because the amount paid for them daily seems "small."

Then I thought about this: what if there was only one day a year you could pay for those things?  (In other words, folks had to buy all their Starbucks, snacks, cigarettes or whatever for the year up-front, in one single payment).  Can you imagine the shock … and maybe even the re-ordering of priorities?

  • 1 Coke + 1 Snack from the vending machine at work
    • 0.75 + 0.75  = $1.50 x 5 work days/week = $7.50 weekly x 50 weeks per work year = $375 (pay now)
  • 1 Starbucks coffee per day; Monday-Friday
    • $4?  x  5 =  $20 per week x 50 weeks per work year = $1000 (pay right now)
  • Sweet Tea with Lunch
    • $1.50  x  2 lunches per week = $3  x 52 weeks per year = $156 (due today)
  • Cable TV Service
    • $29.95 month  x  12 months = $360  (pay right now)

I hope that makes sense … it sure came as a shock and made an impression on me about how easy it is to fritter money away on a daily basis, without realizing how "little" things get Super-Big in a hurry.

Joe's thoughts reminded me of a book I read written by an official "" Financial Hero – David Bach.   He writes about the "Latte Factor" – the money that we tend to unconsiously spend throughout our day.  He believes  (I agree with him!) that this money would be better directed toward savings, eliminating debt, or investments!

Thanks, Joe, for sharing!

If you have something you want to share, click HERE and send it my way!

1 Comment

  1. SavingFreak on July 27, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Great post Joe! One item we quickly cut out when my wife and I were working toward debt freedom was eating my lunches out. I figured I averaged $7 per lunch five days a week. That works out to $1750 per year. When I took my lunch that number went down by more than two thirds to $2 per day or $500 per year. Debt goes away a lot faster with an extra $100 per month knocking it down.

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