February 2, 2011

Trends

This is a graph of our spending at coffee shops from December 2009 to January 2011. I intentionally omitted the dollar values to protect the guilty. I found this interesting because it highlights some significant events for our household:

My ever-growing addiction to coffee – more specifically sugar-free, flavored lattes (Summer 2010, and the peak of my addiction in September). The graph prior to this period portrays a casual enjoyment on my part (1-2 times a week), with Beth maybe visiting the local brew houses just a few ticks more frequently. September was a blur of caffeine-induced stupor and recklessness that I’m glad I can barely remember.

My hiking-tent-for-an-espresso-maker trade with Eric – Eric needed a hiking tent, and I needed to keep myself from going bankrupt. He got a decent, gently used tent (once outside, twice inside for “demonstration” purposes) and I got a decent steam-driven espresso maker to continue enabling my habit without disabling my finances.

The holiday season – Beth and I had Starbucks gift cards coming out of our ears between my birthday, her birthday, Christmas and the plethora of “rewards” we earned throughout the year with our caffeine binges. That ridiculously low January result was a combination of the holiday season and a conscious effort on my part try to pare down the addiction just a little bit. Our card values are starting to sink back down into the single digits, so we’ll see how February goes.

The graph doesn’t show this in the bars, but the fact that I’ve read into it this much highlights the fact that I’m going budget numbers crazy lately. I think I’m finally starting to grow up when it comes to money. Or maybe I’m just preparing myself for the ultimate money black hole.