More Bread

This is my quest to get MORE BREAD (ie money), get rid of debt and other random things in my life.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How I waste money

I received my utilities bill in the mail yesterday and noticed something interesting. We used 13 CCF (ccf  = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons) of water but our sewer bill shows only 12 CCF going down the drain. Where did 100 cubic feet of water go??? I gave up watering the lawn and we rarely wash our cars. That's almost 94 gallons a week that we are not putting in the sewer system. I'm not sure if this is good, bad, or not worth wasting a post on. If anyone has an idea of where this water might be going I'd appreciate your insight.

This got me thinking about others things I do to waste money: Buying Lunch, Coffee/candy, Going to a movie, out to drinks with friends.

Buying lunch is at the top of the list. Being downtown, buying lunch means at least $6 but usually closer to $8-$10. I try to limit this by bringing my lunch most times, though usually once a week I have to buy it. The best way to guarantee I bring my lunch to work is to make it the night before. Then I just have to make sure I grab it from the fridge.

Another waste is coffee ($4). Seattle is the coffee capital of the world, so it's hard to pass up a cup of Joe every now and then. Thankfully, for health reasons, I limit my cups to about once a week. Buying snacks and candy are an easy way to spend a buck here or there but will add up over time. This can be overcome by drinking the coffee provided by my company, not as good but free, and bringing snacks from home. I can put them in the lunch bag the night before.

Going out to movies ($20 for 2 tix) isn't cheap, especially when we LOVE to see movies. We've tried to cut back by limiting to one movie a month. Another way to appease our movie hunger is (or Netflix). For a monthly fee, we get unlimited rentals (3 at a time) mailed to us and once a week free in-store rental. This costs about the same as going to a movie once which is how we justify it.

Going out to drinks with friends is a great social time. There's just one problem. Alcohol cost too damn much. I won't say how much we spend when we go out, but it is just ridiculous. The way to get around this is simple: Don't go. It takes discipline, something I have yet to learn in this area. Have friends over for cocktails, dinner, game night, movie night, etc. The trick is to create a fun time that isn't at bar.

I could go on about other ways I waste money, but this post is already too long.


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