After 30 days of tracking my spending, I realized that I had fallen back into an unhealthy relationship…with Starbucks.
We have this very strange relationship where we might not see each other for months, and then, one innocent meeting and I am head over heels, and can’t get enough.
In the spirit of developing habits, once I form one with Starbucks, I’m committed.
What I love about our relationship?
- Starbucks never lets me down.
- They always give me exactly what I ask for.
- They know what kind of music I like.
- They are always there when I need them.
From the music, to the atmosphere, and most importantly, the amazing consistency of a simple soy dry cappuccino, does me in every time.
Things were moving along just fine, until I analyzed my spending habits last month and saw that I spent $225 in 30 days at Starbucks. I included buying drinks for other people too, but I’m not gonna lie…it was mostly for me.
Being debt free gives me certain freedoms, like spending an obscene amount of money on coffee, but something about this really bothered me. How is it that I had all this money to spend on coffee, but sometimes didn’t have a single dollar bill available to give freely?
My mindless spending at Starbucks wasn’t very “life on purpose” and it wasn’t supporting anything I really cared about.
3 Steps to Start Living Life on Purpose
- Plan Ahead. I’m not suggesting you put your life on a rigorous schedule, but outline the things that are most important to you, and make sure you have the tools to accomplish them.
- Dream about others. Your dreams and desires don’t have to revolve around you. What do you want to do for the world?
- Dump the guilt. Just because your life hasn’t been purposeful doesn’t mean you need an extra month to wallow in guilt before moving forward. Focus on what you are doing right now, not what you did yesterday or three years ago. Close the gap between action and awareness.
After analyzing my spending, I had a few choices. I could ignore it and continue throwing money at baristas. I could feel like crap for spending so much and having nothing to show for it, or I could make a change and do something important.
This month, when I did my budget, I took $225, exactly what I spent at Starbucks, and budgeted it to give away. I spent $80 buying brown paper bags, snacks and juice boxes. With $145 left over, I added $5.00 to make an even $150 and added 3 dollar bills to each of the 50 bags I made. I am going to hand deliver these bags to anyone I see in my daily travels that needs a little pick me up within the next 30 days.
Each bag contains 4 snacks, a juice box and $3.00. There is not enough money or nutrition in each bag to change someone’s life, but maybe there will be enough love and hope to change someone’s day.
For at least the next 30 days, my focus will be on satisfying someone else’s thirst instead of my own. Could you do this or something else that you care about in your community with the money you spend on coffee, fast food or other little purchases? I’d love to hear your ideas.