Monday, March 30, 2009

~the cost of an addiction, er obsession~

I have been using MS Money to track my spending and savings since they year 2000. At some point I had to start over with my tracking and it currently goes back only to June 1, 2005.

In light of the current poopy economy, I thought it would be interesting, eye-opening (or more likely, depressing) to see how much money I've spent on certain 'addictions' or 'obsessions', however you want to phrase it.

Let's start with Starbucks. This is a fairly new money-sucker for me...a little over 3 years old.

July-Dec 2005: $67.82
Just getting started...

2006: $53.98
Probably paid cash for a lot of drinks this year...I gradually became one of those chronic users of the debit card who carries little to no cash on them...bad habit, I know.

2007: $238.79
I worked @ SBUX during 2007 so a lot of my spending included gifts, books and mugs. Most of the drinks this year were free, while I was working. If I went in for a drink and wasn't working, then it was discounted 30%.

2008: $40.97
The only reason I can attribute to this number being so low is that I was @ the end of my pregnancy and avoiding caffeine. After E was born, I rarely left the house for the first 8-10 weeks, hence no SBUX visits. Also, I only worked for 3 months in 2008 which translates to having NO money.

2009: (to date) $100.41
Looks like I need to slow down on my SBUX visits this year. Can I blame my mom who originally introduced me to the Iced Chai Tea? It's really the only thing I ever get there anymore.

Grand Total: $501.97 - Damn!! It sure adds up huh?

Now let's look @ Scrapbook Supply Spending...this one will be SCARY!!

2006: $964.84
This year included a SUPER fun trip to Atlanta to a scrapbooking convention, hence the high level of spending. Honestly, this probably doesn't include everything as I'm sure at some point I paid cash for items.

2007: $813.93
No conventions this year, but did go to NC in August for a GREAT scrappin' weekend with my friend, Mary. Clearly, I was OUT OF CONTROL on scrapbook spending. Can I blame it on being pregnant?

2008: $538.61
The lowest spending so far. Probably due to only working for 3 months during this year and having a new baby. Still too much spending if you ask me.

2009: $63.64
Need to keep a hold of the purse strings this year. Making my lowest income since I was 16 years old. Great self-esteem booster huh? (joking!)

Grand Total: $2380.72
This is a conservative number considering that cash transactions are not included.

Lastly, let's look @ iTunes spending...thankfully it hasn't been around as long as SBUX and Scrapbooking....

Oct 2007 - present: $111.47
Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. This does not include the occasional iTunes card I may have purchased.

Dec 2005- present: $445.23
I'd really like to have that money back. Crap! In my defense though, I have become a much more responsible spender over the years and I now rarely carry a balance on my credit card (2008 being the exception due to job situation).

This really turned out to be a fun and interesting exercise for me. Next time I go to buy something that "is only $20", I'll remember how $20 and another $20 add up to HUNDREDS pretty quickly.


Lei said...

so true!
I'm guilty of the starbucks spending too, and lollies in general...bit of a sweet tooth. but i agree...gotta love those chai's :)

Gaston Studio said...

Very interesting. If everyone kept track, I'll bet they would change their spending habits. I sure hope my daughter reads this post!

Neb Sevarg said...

Last time I kept track of spending I didn't like what I was seeing,so I stopped, now I am poor, but happy or Happy but poor or sad and poor. Oh I am so lonely.

visit for the newest and latest ramblings of a Servarg.

william ding said...

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L. Rochelle said...

I live on the Uppa E. Side, across the street from Starbu..s, have been tempted to enter only when they offer coupons for freebies. You save money, but you don't get to mingle much!

Fidgeting Gidget said...

I don't even WANT to know how much I spend on Starbucks, either...I'm living in Canada right now and my drink of choice is a Grande Nonfat Chai Tea $4.75 each, including tax. I have one or two--maybe even three when things are tough--a week. And I really like their lemon poppyseed or their blueberry cake, too. Expensive. I don't want to keep track, I'd be afraid it would make me stop!

DaNiL said...

woW~that alot!!!
i wont spent more than $500 over food in a year but u can spend it only in starbucks???
by the 15 hahah so most of the time my parents cook 4 me hehehe

Shorty said...

Great post! Hubby & I keep track of our spending, too. Sometimes its shocking to see what treats and eats can add up to. We've scaled back A LOT this last year and saved some serious dough. We even got a few Starbucks & restaurant gift cards for the cash back offer from our bank. Spending the free gift cards has really been a nice reward.

Liz said...

Ran across here from "Blogs of Note". I love this, especially since I just made a mental commitment to track some of these things myself. I am still undecided on whether or not I find this post terrifying or encouraging! LOL!

bethbbk said...

If I had to check how much I've spent in Dr. Pepper in the last few years, I'm sure I could probably buy a new car. Isn't it sad how addicted we get to our favorite drinks?

NVG-WmsFam said...

We don't do starbucks or scrapbooking but our bigget expense outside of necessaries (mortgage, insurance, utilities, etc.) is going out to eat. I'm afraid to calculate those! Vikki at

ressydm said...

I like the frapp drinks, or the fruity ones. However, when one keeps track of the spending, you realize, do you really need to have these several times a week?

My hobby isn't scrapbooking but at one point it was Barbie doll collecting, and it got, to be honest, out of control. I had to scale back, sell the bulk of it, and realize 'you can't take it with you'.

I've had to cut back on so much this year, and like you, I'm making money I made when I was 16. It's very humbling and also makes me realize how much money I wasted on stuff to get myself happy because I was blowing ten hours a day in a job that I didn't particularly feel fulfilled at and could do in my sleep.

The msn money program came free with my computer and I'm going to make a more concerted effort to keep track -- between this and calorie counting, people would probably not wonder so much where does it all go and why is it all here?

Anonymous said...

Ouch! That is not a small total!

Love the blog!

Tricia said...

I just don't want to know what I spend in a year on eating out, shopping at Target, or shoes in general. Since hubs is unemployed right now it has been cut WAY back. I have restrained myself but with spring shoes out and so cute I know it will kill me to keep restraining. :(

Abstaining Irene said...

Wow! That really is fascinating. I often tell myself I'm going to write down everything i spend in a week and see where I can improve, but I'm much too lazy. It's interesting how at the time you feel like you're spending so little, but it adds up super quick! I should try that with my social much do I really spend dating/going out to dinner/after work drinks, and even having people over and buying a bottle of wine. Hmmm...

Beatriz Kim said...

As far as the Starbucks goes...I used to spend $80 a month! Finally, I realized what I was doing and cut back...a lot! Then...there's painting supplies, clothes, shoes, decorations, books, literary journals, photography supplies...etc. I finally had to beg my sister to help me reign in my spending habits. Ahh...thanks for the reminder. It certainly is just in time for the economic crisis. What great timing!

kyueyeljay said...

I really don't want to get close to computing my SBUX expenses. I know it will be too much. hehehe... But I love the chai's!

Rob Broadwell said...

its amazing how small amounts ($5 for coffee isn't small really, but you know what I mean) can add up like that.

i haven't kept up with financials like that before so thanks for enlightening me to how much my addictions err obsessions cost =D

Moira said...

My office offered a couple of different little gift card bonuses this year so I got all of mine in SBUX cards. Thats right, several hundred dolars of SBUX cards. Just thinking about them makes me smile.

vernk said...

good Lord!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Really makes you think about how we spend our money, doesn't it?

Argent said...

What a brave post! I'm way too lazy to track my spending like this and, like most others here, would be shocked at the numbers if I ever did. My money-suckers are books and CDs, but I have cut back of late, mainly due to lack of space in my house.

Freebird said...

That's why I don't keep track of my spending! lol. But then again when you're a broke student it's easier.