Being Truly Rich

Was chatting with a friend the other day. Our conversations usually revolve around money, careers and retirement, savings and investments. No, he does not sell insurance! But he is business savvy and enterprising; I am amazed at how he is brave to embark on various moneymaking ventures… which turn out to be lucrative, mind you. And these are all perfectly legal, btw. ๐Ÿ˜›

Lately though he’s been feeling overwhelmed and is contemplating on retiring early.

“What is the measure of being rich?” he asked. I am amused at how our conversation suddenly took a philosophical turn.

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The Latte Factor

A term coined by David Bach, it pertains to the unconscious spending on little things that do not add any value to our lives (or in KonMari terms, do not spark joy ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). And ifย you add these little expenditures–these so-called “lattes”–you can save up for… an espresso machine! ๐Ÿ˜› That is, if you add the everyday little expenses and save them, you can purchase something of greater value. It’s very much like when we were little, when we’d save our allowance to buy a much-coveted toy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Furthermore, if you invest the money, you will even be *wealthier* off. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I thought about listing down my own little “lattes” so as to keep track of where my money goes. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Especially now that we have upcoming expenses on house renovations, err,ย rectifications… yet again (I think I might have mentioned it in a previous post, but in case you didn’t know the back story, the SOBcontractor who built the house scrimped and used substandard materials, and took off with the rest of our money. It took 3 years before the house became habitable, but there’s still a lot to be fixed. Now that the rains have arrived, leaks have been spouting in the ceiling. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ )

But I digress. Sorry, I just really get carried away whenever I remember the injustice. He got fired anyway, but we still have to deal with the inefficiencies and inconveniences. ๐Ÿ˜ก

Anyway, enough of the rant. Nothing like an impending major expense to let me revisit our finances. While I am generally mindful of BIG purchases, it’s the little things which when totaled can cause quite a dent in our budget. And here are my usual culprits:

1. Coffee. It ain’t called The Latte Factor for nothing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As part of my morning routine with my husband, we drive through McDonalds on our way to work to order a cappuccino that costs P80. If we do this everyday for the whole year, we would spend P29,200. Double it coz there’s two of us, then that would be P58,400. May pambili na den sana ako ng smartphone to replace my 5-year-old Blackberry which has been conking out on me these past several months. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ IDK if I am ready to give up this habit, since our drives to work are our “two-gether” times, having already dropped off our son with the grandparents. They are rare and priceless. Maybe we could find a cheaper alternative. Or bring our own coffee. ๐Ÿ˜‰

2. Magazines. I would compulsively grab the latest issue of Real Living, especially when the cover has the following words: vintage, country, scandinavian, shabby chic, white, pastel, small spaces, home organization, decluttering… ๐Ÿ˜‰ P120 a month seems harmless, but could reach P1,440 by year’s end. Hindi ko den naman nasusulit coz I just breeze through the mag, and end up reading on their online site anyway. Fortunately this year, I have been mindful of my magazine purchases and haven’t bought any.

3. Fancy eat outs when stressed. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I could easily blow P300++ on a full meal with fancy drinks, followed by cake and coffee. (In the process, I also consume more calories and gain more weight. ๐Ÿ˜› )

4. Snacks! Parang 3 items na dito ang food-related…. Hindi naman talaga ako gutom, gusto ko lang kumain. ๐Ÿ˜› A seemingly trivial 20 pesos day on chichirya can reachย P600 a month.

5. Tricycle rides coz I’m too lazy to walk. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Even if the destination’s just two three blocks away. ๐Ÿ˜› Ang init den kase! And minsan ang dami kongย dala.

6. Eye makeup. I always buy with the intention of learning how to put on eyeshadow and eyeliner. But I barely have the time to put on makeup in the mornings (what with a toddler running about, mostly wanting to play, at times needing something else). While they’re usually cheap department store brands, they reach expiry date barely used! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I think I’ll just shelve this plan of learning how to apply eye makeup.

7. Pretty notebooks. They’re sooo lovely to behold… until I start writing on them. Then they get ruined. ๐Ÿ˜›

How about you? What are your little “lattes”? Do answer in the comments below. ๐Ÿ˜‰