What happens when something that was once a special treat, slowly becomes an expected part of your daily routine? Trent, over at frugality blog The Simple Dollar, noticed that things he had previously done as a treat of sorts had become necessary components of his day much to the determent of his wallet. Describing how his enjoyment of the a local coffee shop had changed:
Eventually, the experience became routine. It was no longer a treat, it was just a standard part of my weekday. $5 in the morning, $5 many afternoons, all for something completely routine. It added up, too. $100 a month for my morning drinks. Perhaps $50 a month for my evening coffee. That's $150 a month given over to a treat that had become routine.
After going cold turkey on his morning coffee shop stops, he realised it wasn't so much the coffee that he enjoyed as the familiarity of the routine. Replacing expensive routines with cheaper or free routines allowed him to both save money and increase his enjoyment of the pricier coffee shop when he did stop by. The shift away from the coffee shop wasn't really about the coffee though, it was about finding patterns of unnecessary spending and moving away from them. Most people don't break their budget every month with pricey splurges at upscale stores after all, they whittle it away with a hundred little insubstantial purchases. What treats-turned-routines do you have hiding in your own budget? Photo by journeycoffee.