22 Days without Coffee

pexels-photo-266755.jpegI don’t think people truly understand how much I love coffee. They laugh and call me an addict, but that’s such an inaccurate label that I’m genuinely offended when called it. Let’s be clear.. addicts have a problem.. I am in a committed, loving, life long relationship with caffeine and we have no problems. Got it? Good. Moving on..

Since starting my debt free journey, I’ve looked for different ways to cut down on expenses; sticking to a budget, implementing no spend days, and being mindful of where I drive to save on gas. Towards the end of January I came up with the crazy idea to cut my coffee spending completely for the month of February. I was going to stick with the coffee that I brewed from home, but I allowed myself to spend the rest of my Starbucks gift cards from Christmas (about $12) and I had one free drink reward reserved for emergency situations. I was nervous, I had a few doubts, but I was determined to go the full twenty eight days.

I think I died several times the first week. Maybe not an actual physical death, but my spirit definitely visited the after life, then came back and told the rest of me that even the after life had coffee houses. It seemed like I couldn’t have picked a more difficult month to cut my caffeine intake. Not only was I set to launch my blog, I started going back to the gym (two words.. leg day), kids were sick, Valentines Day celebrations, Spirit Week festivities, ¬†all piled on top of our regularly scheduled program. My gift cards were depleted by the eighth day and my drink reward was used on the fifteenth.. but I got a Venti, drank half, and reserved the other half for the next day #resourceful.

I admit, it was pretty comical to see how much of a mess I was just by removing the option to spend money at a coffee house. I would look for free coffee options while I ran errands (shout out to Trader Joe’s!), brew a cup to take with me even if I didn’t need it at the moment, and I reconnected with my old college friend.. the power nap. The delirium eventually subsided shortly after Valentines and I settled into a good, but still tired, routine. I then started to reflect on the days that past and realized.. this was stupid. The whole point of this experiment was to save money but I concluded..

  1. I wasn’t spending much money on coffee to begin with. A tall black coffee cost me $1.95 two, maybe three, times a week ($23.40 a month).
  2. I wasn’t seeing a change in my finances. Instead of saving the money I wasn’t spending on coffee, it was being used toward my other love.. Target.. now THAT’S an addiction.

So on the twenty second day I ended my no spend streak to reunite with my old flame. I joyfully handed over two hard earned dollars to the barista, got my pretty white and green cup, strolled around Target’s home decor section, and enjoyed my kid free moment in peace. The way I look at it? It’s cheaper than a day at the spa and yields the same benefits. So if $23 a month is going to keep me sane, these kids alive, and dinner on the table.. then load this mama’s Starbucks card up! Can I get an amen.. and a refill?