I tell you, one of the most horrifying things you can do is write down where every scrap of money goes in a fortnight. Did you hear that thump? That was me hitting the floor in a faint after realising how much crap I spend my money on.
I keep all my receipts and write down the little things of life (like $3 for a Diet Coke or $3.80 for a large latte). Oy, that was an eye-opener. Yes, I could very well make my own coffee at work, and I certainly do at home or on the weekend.
The things I have to work out is: what are my *essential* luxuries, and what can I do without?
Under the heading of essential luxuries (go on, laugh at me, it’s a stupid term to use but the best I can come up with) are:
- Waxing. Seriously, I can’t work out how to wax my underarms myself without causing extreme pain, I’m allergic to those magic hair-dissolving mousses, and the hair grows back like crazy after using a razor. Other parts can go without a wax.
- Eyebrow dyeing. I am a klutz. Easier in terms of pain, shrieking and eye solution to get an expert to do this for me.
- Hair colouring. I have a weird amount of grey mixed with brown-red hair that hasn’t been its original shade for umpteen years. I’ve tried to get a professional look myself. It used to work fine before I got more than 50% grey coverage at the front, and now, oy, the mess, the horrible colour, and the waste of home-colouring kits.
- A latte now and then. Yes, I can make a coffee in a bodum or maybe instant coffee. But when it comes to the ability to perk myself up in a simple, and relatively non-fattening way, a latte is worth every bit of the $3.80 for a large cup.
So there you go. I suppose in a way it’s a sort of cost benefit analysis. I’m not sure how to put a dollar value on intangibles like frustration over not getting the hair colour that I really want, but I can work out a cost of time cleaning up the mess of hair dye from the bathroom sink and towels and (most likely) my clothes.