Friday, March 20, 2009

Avoiding My Coffee Craving

I have a confession.

I am seriously craving a vanilla soy latte.

Or a caramel mocha cappuccino.

Or both. At the same time.

I have been SO good this month. I haven't broken my No Spending Challenge at all. I have been tempted many, many times, but I've held strong. I've dined out, but only with friends and I haven't done any impulse shopping at all. However, there has been one temptation stronger than all others - I have had a craving for a fancy flavored coffee. So far I have held strong though - I have been quenching my craving for coffee with my own home brewed blend, hot chocolate, herbal tea and good old fashioned water. A friend of mine even bought me one the other day, bless her heart*! It hasn't stopped the urge though!

The funny thing is, I am not that much of a coffee drinker. Yes, I like it, but I hardly have it every day. I enjoy the occasional coffee shop specialty, but I never would have thought that that, of all things, would be an issue! I would have thought staying out of hardware stores (I do love my DIY projects) would have been much worse, and yet, every time I drive by a coffee shop my mouth starts watering! I haven't had that problem with Lowes at all. Yesterday, I had to pick up a book for work and the store cafe was tempting me. I could hear it in my head saying, "Come on... no one will know but you... how about a nice Americano???" AGH!!!

I thought it was because I am not spending money this month and it was part of that whole "You only want what you can't have" thing, but yesterday I finally figured out what was really going on. It was something far more insidious...

I want one because I think I deserve it.

I mean after all, look at the facts:

- I am being really good at not spending money this month
- I am working lots of hours and volunteering at the same time
- I've been eating super healthy lately
- I didn't go shopping in the bookstore when I was there for work, even though I wanted to.
- I didn't get fast food either, though I thought about it.
- I haven't had nearly enough sleep
- I'm an adult, I can buy myself a coffee if I want too.
- I'm not only working, but also picking up extra jobs and attending board meetings. I'm working really hard and giving back - I should at least get a coffee.
- Some people were rude to me the other day and hurt my feelings.
- As the lone female manager of my company I get all the sucky girl jobs.

Pathetic, isn't it? If you imagine all those italics as whining, you have an idea of what the 6 year old inside my head is like! Agh!!!

I realized that not only do I buy things on impulse sometimes, I am also an emotionally impulsive eater. Having a big gourmet coffee fills both needs! Descendant spending AND a heavenly mix of chocolate, caffeine, caramel, cream, and all things I love. I want them all NOW because it has been a rough month, and even though consciously I feel perfectly okay with my busy schedule, unconsciously I'm like a whiny kid in a toy store.

I think this was a good lesson to learn. I've never really felt that my buying habits were all that out of whack, but I've never really studied them before. I like learning these things about myself. Would having one coffee kill me or my budget? Of course not, but at the same time I want to stick to my plan not to buy unneeded items this month. It seems kind of funny, but you know, avoiding big purchases is easy. I don't need a new car, television, dvd player, or heaven knows another house! I don't have urges to buy clothing or things for the house. I could use a computer, but staving off that urge is easy. It is the little things that get me! Those are the purchases that sneak in under my radar. Now that I know they are there, I can spend mindfully rather than mindlessly.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get a coffee cup full of fresh, clean, cold water.

Photo by wax.ti

* Thanks Catie!


Frugalchick said...

Ack, now I'm craving a vanilla soy latte! :P

I actually have a coupon for a free Starbucks drink (gotten in a gift basket at Christmas) but I'm trying to wait til a time when I'm feeling *really* deprived, lol.

Dawn said...

Hahahaha! Frugalchick, I do that too! I save goodies until I really, really need them - especially gifts. I love to have a stash of bath products, for example, for that "really rough" night. I save bottles of wine that were gifts and I love to hold onto gift certificates. Glad to meet a fellow hoarder! :)

Miss M said...

You have to be careful not to deny yourself too much, better to spend a few bucks on a coffee craving now than drop a few hundred on a big splurge later. I'm trying to work on my saving/spending balance a little more, I think I strayed too far into tightwad territory.

Dawn said...

Miss M - I would normally agree with you fullheartedily! I'm a big believer in "Moderation in all things - including moderation." However, I set myself a goal for no extra spending in March and I am determined to stick with it. Next month will be different. Probably the first thing I will do is slurp down a big old latte. :)