Thursday, December 4, 2008

Money matters

I am addicted to the lattes at Starbucks. Despite being severely allergic to caffeine, I cannot keep off the Starbucks latte. I have never taken well to caffeine especially in the form of coffee.I get pimples and my acid reflux kicks in and if the coffee was consumed on an empty stomach, I experience discomfort all day long. And yet, when the latte beckons, I cannot muster enough determination to walk away from it! Of course I don't do it everyday. I indulge myself probably once a week.

My aunt often comments on how drinking coffee from Starbucks is so pretentious and how regular coffee isn't good enough for me.Well, I have said this before and I say it again, I love my lattes so sue me! The husband and I are not big spend thrifts but at the same time we don't keep account of how each penny is spent. We eat out when we get bored of cooking at home. We go on a vacation when we feel we need a break and of course if there happens to be a good deal on airfares and hotel tariffs. We shop when we see a sale or when we have coupons. So yes we indulge but we don't overdo it by any standards. We are prudent and we are aware of our how much we can stretch ourselves financially. We have seen life as students here in the US and trust me when I say that being a student in the US is as rough it gets. After being through all of that, we want to take it easy and enjoy some benefits of whatever little we have of our hard earned money. The bottom line is that it works for us and that is all there is to it.

My point is despite the recession and the current economic crisis, there are certain things that I won't comprise on.Groceries for example.We don't believe in skimping on groceries and buying sub standard stuff. So the real question is where does one draw the line? You work so hard all year long and if you cannot enjoy the fruits of your labor then that is a very sad situation. So do you go all out and pull the plug on everything else except basic necessities like food,utilities and rent? Or do you stick to your current lifestyle and stay oblivious to the changes around you?

We took the road in between.We are aware of whats happening around us and we have altered our lifestyle accordingly and are in the process of figuring out what works best for us.

But I would really like to know your take on this matter and what you have been doing to adjust to the current shaky economy.


La vida Loca said...

Same thing here. If i feel especially deprived, I look at online stores- amazon, macy's and feel content. I dont buy, but the process of looking at clothes, shoes puts me in a better mood for sure :)

Anonymous said...

Actually, this year we bought some because there were amazing discounts on things we really wanted, but were priced a little high before. We bought a projector so we can screen movies theater style...So there goes our recession plan!

I feel the biggest money saver is to regulate eating out. We still go out when we feel like it, but mostly it is once or twice a week. And if we overdo it one week, we pull it back the next.

Biggest tip is to not care where you shop as long as you get what you want! Fresh basil costs $4 at Safeway but $1.50 at the Chinese grocery...same freshness and everything!

Anonymous said...

I stop having kids. That is my recession proof plan.

Other than that, I dont really know where to cut back. I mean, we dont eat out, I dont buy branded stuff. I dont watch movies, or buy books or anything.. Wtf do I cut back on?

I do know I have held back on buying somethings, Wii, which I really want but am holding back, remember the pair of boots(I blame you) I saw an awesome pair at Nordstroms.. but at $179, the hand didnt dare swipe the card.

Anonymous said...

Yes, figuring out where to draw the line is difficult!

In our case, we go on long vacations to nice places every 'long' weekend.This time we skipped one of them and stayed home. Saved a good amount of $$ still had fun doing some day trips with close pals.

About grocery - no compromise there. Just like you said :-)

Dee said...

I don know about the US but here in India, prices of some of stuff have come down and some stay up!! So, now the veggies & fruits are very expensive so we stick to grains which have some down.. Also before we picked some product or the other like a new deo facewash, biscuits, chocolates etc; those have stopped completely...

We also now eat outside at places we went as students which is very easy on the pocket.. And moved to a more fuel efficient car..

Honestly there are tons of things u culd do... but will it not make u feel crappy when u have to watch every penny u spend?? I know, I do.. :(

Mama - Mia said...

oh well... not a lot has changed. we make sure the wastage, esp of veggies and fruits which have become soo expensive is minimal.

dont eat out at overly fancy places. In terms of groceries, only cut down on frills such as juices and colas, chips and farssan. so if we bought those at every weekend first, now its only once a month perhaps!

and yeah! its no fun if we you have to think about every penny!



Divya said...

Hmmm, if I think about it, we haven't changed anything consciously. Nothing in fact. But yes, the usual complains on how fruits are expensive and all that happen, but we end up buying the same amount of stuff anyways!
Time to check the savings account I think! :o

I love Lucy said...

@Loca : You know, I can never do that....window shopping or looking at stuff online and not buy anything! Glad it works for you though.

@Cluelessness : We eat out quite often too and since we are so used to it, it is kinda hard to regulate! And that was a clever thing you guys did, buying stuff on sale since they did have pretty good sales this year.

@asaaan : Good one! And I really admire the way you handle everything including your finances.And hey, I still say you deserve that one pair of good boots.Try Aldo, you get really good ones for under $100 especially if there is a sale.Thats where I got mine.

@alwayshappykya : Apparently, there were really good deals on airfare for the long weekend as well as for during Christmas! We had just done a very expensive 5 day trip to SFO and so we decided to chill out at home this long weekend :)

@Dee : Absolutely.That has been my argument all along.You work so hard all year long and then if you have to watch what you spend all the time, it does get frustrating. I believe in making as many or few changes as your situation warrants which is obviously different for different people.

@Mama Mia : You said it! Make some adjustments as needed and not let these things weigh too heavily on you. It is very easy to get influenced by what someone else is doing and get all worked up!

@Divya : I am so glad you said it because that almost describes our situation. We have made a few adjustments.Instead of eating out all weekend long including breakfast, we have started to make an effort to get off our lazy asses and make atleast one meal at home. But yeah otherwise, nothing as changed very drastically since we weren't big spenders to begin with. I still feel a major chunk of our expenses goes off in eating out!

Anjali said...

while we haven't changed our spending habits, HG and i are definitely more aware of what we are spending on. we are trying not to eat out too often but the truth is that it works in some weeks and it doesn't in others. groceries - no change there. shopping - ummmm, you can't expect a girl to give up a nice deal on a pair of boots, can you?