The Internet is full of advice. It will feed you a list of news stories with the top ten ways to save money, or keep your job in a bad economy, or pick a retirement town. What it doesn’t do is qualify the information as to whether or not those ten facts will actually be a) newsworthy or b) at all useful.
For example: I feel that all the financial advice doled out on the internet includes a nugget about giving up a $7 a day Starbucks habit and to start bringing your lunch to work and stop eating out.
I don’t know what planet the people who come up with this advice live on, but I live in a world where if I bought $17 worth of convenience food each weekday, I’d be broke by 1 pm Wednesday.
While pretty much every “save money” faux-news article that craftily sucks me in mentions this universal coffee addiction expense, only about half of them tell you to run your errands or commute by bicycle. I’m going to skip the obvious waste of time this info is (how else would I run errands or get to work? By foot? feet are for chumps) and focus on the lame fact that’s always included: somebody mentions that bike commuters feel that their bike commute is the best part of their workday.
This is either a blatant lie or most people who commute by bike have really shitty jobs and lunches. My job is pretty good, but even when the day goes poorly, my lunch outshines my commute. These bike commuters with so much joy must either: not be on high traffic potholed urban roads, or they need to learn how to make a proper sandwich.
Even on the lousiest day at work, I get more joy from my delicious and lovingly packed lunch than I do from the few miles I spend trying to get to work quickly without excessively sweating or getting crushed by a larger vehicle (equal importance on these two).
Regarding seven dollar coffee, I actually have been bringing a thermos from home, despite my office’s free coffee maker.
Sometimes I need more coffee than my thermos can provide, and I buckle to the call of the Keurig. However, just looking at it makes me angry. 1) it’s a disposable coffee machine. 2) it makes an average cup of coffee (at best) 3) those little cups cost someone a lot of money. Because my organization eats the costs, its free for me, and I’d actually save money by using it. I still limit my consumption of its products because it pisses me off. I just can’t get behind the idea of a sub-par cup of coffee (or tea) that costs twice as much (or more) the cost of brewing it yourself, even if it costs 40% the price per cup than purchasing the same size cup from your local barista. Sure it’s easy, but there are a lot of other ways to make sub-par to average coffee/tea that are cheaper and less wasteful.
More seasonally, I’m saving money by making Husband Dan a valentine instead of buying one. This means that the two hours spent on this project, saved $3 and the fifteen minutes spent on picking out a heartfelt card. I still have to print and sign it.
At first, I thought I could adjust some of his favorite quotes into loving messages.
Then I realized that was a bad idea.
So, I took a cue from the fact that while I’ve been sitting in front of a screen in my office, he’s been going on some pretty enjoyable bike rides as part of his house husband duties (“find me better routes for weekend rides and then make me some tacos. Thanks”) and thought I’d make him something bicycle related. I think it’s better than a card from Walgreens. Hopefully he will like it enough to not divorce me.