Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Magic Coffee Cup

There are financial gurus who explain that if you don’t buy a cup of coffee on your way to work, you’ll save hundreds, maybe of thousands of dollars a year. Just bringing a sandwich to work instead of buying your lunch can lead to riches beyond your wildest dreams. Penny-pinching, they argue, is the key, and all you need to do is brew your morning coffee at home, brown-bag all your lunches, and you’ll be on the way to wealth and prosperity.

It’s not always a cup of coffee, of course, but these guys always seem to fixate on some trivial but regular expenditure and the need to remove it if you’re ever going to get anywhere with your finances. For them, the secret of success appears to be in finding and plugging the countless hundreds of little “holes” through which money leaks out of your life.

Here’s a news-flash: If a couple of dollars a week can make or break you, you’ve got more problems than you know.

This isn’t to say that there is no point in trying to cut back on the non-essentials. In fact, we all probably spend more than we should on things we don’t need and could just as easily do without. There really ARE a whole bunch of little holes and leaks in everyone’s budget, and they can cause problems, BUT you won’t get anywhere if you focus on them. If it turns out there’s a three-foot gash in your finances, a couple of slow leaks are the least of your worries.

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