Setting a financial goal is the first step to success. And when we decided we had a long road ahead of us to achieve what we wanted, we knew we would be making some sacrifices.
We started with the obvious money-suckers: eating out and clothing. We have two teenage girls at home and money doesn’t seem to slip through our fingers faster than it does when these precious ladies head to a mall. We slashed the budget for restaurants and clothes shopping and felt very satisfied to see a noticeable improvement fairly quickly (and, somehow, the girls lived to tell the tale, contrary to popular belief).
We were making a dent in our financial situation and that motivated us. We didn’t have a lot of debt, but we sure had a lot of dreams. There seemed to be only one way to reach them–and slowly we were making it work.
I don’t know if it was the cold Canadian winter that caused my husband’s lapse in judgment, or if it was just coincidence. Anyway, one frosty night we were sitting by the fire talking finances. He looked at me and said, “I think we should give up our weekend Starbucks.”
It seemed like time stood still. I smiled at him, waiting for the punch line. He said nothing, but kept looking at me expectantly. Our Starbucks stop was how we started each and every weekend morning. After our leisurely coffee at home, we would head over to Starbucks to place our order before carrying on with our errands. It was our routine, for crying out loud!
How Going to Starbucks Helps Us Achieve Our Money Goals …
“So, let me get this straight. You think it’s time for me to give up my non-fat chai tea latte?” It felt like my eyes wouldn’t stop blinking.
“Well, no. I just think it’s an indulgence we can cut out that could make a significant impact on how much we can save. “
You’re torn here, aren’t you? Half of you are nodding in agreement with my poor husband and the other half are indignant, right along with me!
It may be possible. But it wasn’t fun. And, in this case, I didn’t want to give up the one and only thing my husband and I do together out of the house each week. So I put away the daggers and put on my big girl pants to have a grown-up conversation. I imagine he didn’t realize negotiations would be taking place around this!
I’ll spare you the details of my whimpering and cut to the chase. Our family is working together toward a financial goal that requires dedication, commitment and, yes, sacrifice. But everyone has to be on the same page. So, we compromised. After all, if our girls could survive without constantly being at the mall, surely I could survive with one fewer tea.
Instead of visiting our coffee shop every Saturday and Sunday, we will go once a weekend. That provides us with the balance of working toward our goals without complete and total caffeine deprivation. And since my terrible poker face revealed my true thoughts on this idea, my husband took pity on me and learned how to froth milk at home. He’s a keeper.
If I manage to ween myself down to skipping a full weekend of Starbucks now and then, I’ll be sure to let you know!
What about you? Did you decide to splurge and keep something you enjoy while doing a Spending Fast or Spending Diet?
Phae Eckhart-Neilson is the proud, caffeinated mom of two teenage girls. She and husband Chris enjoy the simple things in life. You can learn more about Phae on her blog.
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp! SpendingFastBootcamp.com