Saturday, January 22, 2011


 I love Dunkin Donut's Iced Latte Lite with no sweetener, skim milk, and French Vanilla. Love, love it. I only discovered this love at some point in the Fall Semester of this year (being a teacher, I still qualify life into semesters). I didn't think anything of it until I sat down and REALLY looked through my purchases over Christmas break. Dunkin Donuts came up on the list at a high frequency. Embarrassingly high.

So, I made one of my new years goals to eat out at all only twice per week. Week one of January was a marked success, week two was not as successful, but week three included a trip to Dunkin Donuts every single day. It was like my car turned there all on its own. While choosing to go to Dunkin Donuts seven times this week was a problem, it is actually still better than the number of times I was eating out for dinners before the holidays. That is where it really adds up. I mentioned in my goals that I would re-evaluate that one after January. And I have already (which may be considered cheating, but I'm not sure).

I've decided to limit myself to Dunkin Donuts on Fridays and the weekends. I will see it as something else to look forward to when the weekend comes. The reason I see this as being so important stems from one of the main points of a financial author that I mentioned here.
 One of David Bach's main points is the "Latte factor". When he uses this term, he isn't talking about lattes per se, but he's talking about something that you spend money on that could be reduced without having to change your lifestyle a significant amount. For me, it actually is a latte (and an egg white flat bread with turkey sausage). And for me, it really wouldn't be a lifestyle change to pick up a Vita Top muffin and use my Tassimo latte machine at home before I leave for work. My world would keep turning.

He has a calculator on this website that shows you how much you could save by reducing your habit. It's better than just calculating your savings yourself, because it also takes into account how much you would earn saving your money at different rates (if you don't know about online high yield savings accounts, learn about it here).

So let's pretend I continued going to Dunkin Donuts on a daily basis for the rest of the year. According to this calculator, I would be missing out on $2606 this year. Obviously I wouldn't go everyday, but you (and I) get the picture. That's serious money we're talking about. Even as I write this post I'm re-evaluating my 3 days a week and thinking maybe 2 at Dunkin really is something to shoot for. I think I'll go with Friday and one day on the weekend.

As far as the rest of my goals, I'm doing pretty well. The 30 for 30 will be completed in February instead of January, the blogging is going well, I've been worrying less and being more positive, and I've started setting up automatic payments into my savings accounts so I don't have a choice on the savings point.

So, do you have a "latte factor"? What is it? Do you have any goals or plans to cut back?


Rachel said...

I love Starbucks, but I try to think of it as moer of a treat then a habit. I am trying to cut out my spending like that, but it can be hard! Good for you for doing well with it.

Amber said...

I've never had the coffee at Dunkin Donuts, I'll have to try it! I'm more of a Starbucks girl. It's a problem.

My "latte factor" is Starbucks and eating out, or grabbing the occasional fast food on my way home or for breakfast on the way to work. Each pay period I check my bank account online, and I'd seriously save SO much money if I quit eating out. It's ridiculous. :-/

Haven and Home said...

Sadly there is not a DD around me, but maybe that is better for the wallet! I will have to try this though next time I find myself there.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

This is where I spend most of my money!...eating out, that is, since we don't have Dunkin Donuts in LA :(

I can't even pick up a meal at our local grocery store (next to my work) for less than $6. It's such a rip off. I need to follow in your footsteps. Def need to go grocery shopping more :)

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