A few months ago, this is how a general workday would go financially.
I stop at Fika in the morning before work. Regularly I get a chai latte ($2.50) and a “Halongrotta” raspberry tart ($2.00), and leave the $0.50 change for a tip. More often then not I would be tempted by a scrumptious caramel ginger, cardamom, lime coconut, or lingionberry truffle as well ($2.00/piece), getting anywhere between 2-6 ($4.00-$12.00). On occasion a free truffle would be thrown my way, to help feed my addiction I’m sure.
So, where does that leave me (at the start of my day)? It means that daily I would spend indefinitely $5.00 every workday, but was prone to spend anywhere from $9.00 up to $17.00 on any given day…and that’s at the start. Cutting this stop alone would save me between $25.00-$50.00 per week. If instead I make coffee in the morning to bring to work, and bake my own fruit tarts for the week, I’ll spend only a small fraction of that amount. I figure to bake 12 of my fruit tarts comes to a cost of about $1.50, much better than the steep $24.00 I was spending on the same amount of tarts at the coffee shop.
Around 11:00 am I start getting hungry again, and go out for a soup or small sandwich, sometimes a taco, or some chicken wings. Here, I’ll spend anywhere from $5.00-$10.00 depending on what it is I’m getting.
So there’s another $25.00-$50.00 per week blown. If instead, I make myself small snack sandwiches for the week every Sunday, I’ll spend less than $10.00 a week keeping myself sustained until real lunch.
Often my bosses will buy lunch, cutting that expense for me, but if I do get my own, it’s going to be between $6.00-$15.00. So we’ll say that at most I’m probably spending $30.00 per week on lunch. Not too bad, but it still puts me at $80.00-$130.00 per week now.
Once home for dinner, if we order in, which we usually do, I’m looking at about another $20.00 per work day. That’s another $100.00 per week. So now we’re at $180.00 – $230.00 a week, on food alone, and that’s not including the weekend. So, including the weekends (weather it’s eating out or in) we’ll say I’m spending around $250.00-$300.00 per week to eat. You would think I was 500 pounds…but trust me, I’m far from that.
On top of all that food spending, had been my cigarette addiction. In New York City, it’s an expensive habit to have. At a whopping $12.00 per pack, and a pack a day we’re looking at $84.00 per week. Now I’m at $334.00-$384.00 per week. Yikes!
Of course after that, there’s random additional spending…so let’s just say I’m at like $400.00 a week on nothing that lasts more than a day (minus the possible health issues related to smoking cigarettes). And that, my friends, is bullshit. Bullshit that I can change.
If I bring my coffee, tarts, and snack sandwiches to work every day instead of spending $50-100 per week, I’ll be spending about $2.65 per day, that’s $13.25 per week. Major difference there alone.
I’ll probably still spend that $30.00 per week on lunch. But, if I try to make dinner, on a less complicated scale than I’m used to, we’ll say 2 nights per work week, make breakfast (instead of ordering so often) and 2 dinners on the weekends, we’ll take off another $100.00-$150.00 from my total and replace it with $50.00-$100.00 (as Damany and I split groceries). So now instead of that whopping $250-$300 on food we’re looking at around $65.00-$115.00 (I’m rounding that $13.25 to $15.00 to complicate things less).
Cutting the cigarette habit cuts that $84.00 too. So, now I’m just adding like $25.00 per week in additional mindless spending. So a drastic change from $400 per week to $140 (on the high end) saves me $260 per week. That’s $1,040.00 per month…$12,480.00 per year! $12,480.00 that could be invested, saved, or put towards travel…
And I’ve been wondering where all my money goes.