stop to think

How often do you stop to think about how you spend your money? I know that since getting married and living on a strict budget, we think about it a lot in our household.  Now don't get me wrong, we splurge sometimes on things...such as a Starbucks drinks (you'll hear more about that in a second), dinner out, or a new article of clothing we find on sale that we don't necessarily need but want.  I think we all do that.  However, I'm one of those people that have a really hard time justifying splurges.  I just feel guilty.  I've always been kinda "tight" with my money and it actually seems now to be a fruitful trait on our Dave Ramsey budget.  (Hence all my budget-friendly and thrifty posts.)  We've always been people that give of our time and money.  We go on mission trips each year with our church and give often.  However, Justin and I have been talking more and more lately about how God is calling us to give even more.  More of our money and more of our time.  I've been convicted of spending money on all those "extras" when there are so many people in need in my very own community.  Needs that are as simple as food to put on the table and diapers for babies.  So where am I going with this?

Well a few weeks ago, Justin was finishing up his final big paper for school.  His paper had to center around a company that has recently had problems and he had to discuss ways to "fix" the problems within the company.  He chose Starbucks and their recent decline in sales due to the economony.  He found this great website with a Coffee Cost Calculator that I just had to share.  If you are a Starbucks person...this is for you.  (And I'm even talking to the "a few times a month" Starbucks drinkers like myself.)  This website allows you to put in the average cost of the drink you purchase and approximately how many days out of the year you purchase the drink.  You can then choose how many years you want it to calculate and the percentage for your investment yield (your interest on the money if you put it into savings).  The default was $3.50 for one cup of coffee for 250 days out of the year (average number of days in a work year) for 10 years at a 4% investment yield.  (The website includes an extra slot to input your cups of coffee from your office as well.  I just input a 0 there.)  After a year, at this many cups of coffee, you spend $812.50 (yikes!), after 10 years with this money invested, you would have $9,754.96 in the bank.  Oh my! Even if you just get a cup about once every week throughout the year, like myself, that's still a little over $2,000 in savings.  Crazy!

So my point in all this? Even those Starbucks "splurges" add up.  That's $2,000 I could be putting to further God's kingdom and help those so much less fortunate than our little family.  That's $2,000 that could go toward our savings or whatever else God has in mind.  That's $2,000.

I'm not here to tell you what to do.  Not my point at all. I'm just sharing what God has laid on my heart recently.  I'm definitely thinking more about those "little expenses" that just don't seem so necessary anymore!

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  1. i'm like you... i think about how we spend every one of our dimes. we are on a super strict budget too and it just makes me sick to my tummy when things happen that throw our budget for a loop! it seems like when the car breaks, everything else does too! ugh! then i'm reminded that God is faithful and promises to provide for our needs. i went to starbucks only one time last year... i felt like I deserved an award - ha!

  2. wow, that is insane. i have heard that before--my dad stopped drinking starbucks for a summer once and saved hundreds of dollars!

  3. I remember seeing a similar study done with the cost of cigarettes ( to show another reason for folks to kick the habit) - crazy how seemingly small things add up BIG.

  4. This is crazy and so true! It's amazing how much we don't need, and if we prioritize, it's really humbling! I love this post! :) And all of your posts, of course!

  5. Wow. Sad and so true. Thanks for showing this! I typically use gift cards, but without them I'm not sure it would be worth it after reading this. You know you can get gift cards off Swagbucks? Or I haven't looked in awhile... you used to be able too. Anyway that might be fun for a treat! But otherwise good idea on the saving!

  6. Hey, funny you post this...we have been talking about the same stuff! Actually we received a phone call today (randomly) from one.org. They are participating in the Lazarus Project. If you haven't heard of it- several bands and organizations have put together this project to stop the spread of AIDs/HIV in third world countries. On April 10th they are asking all churches to join them in giving to the Lazarus project. For only 33 cents you can provide the vaccine to one person in a third world country. Think about it...$1 can save a family. Thought that was pretty cool. Keep posting!


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