Living from check to check? Here's why: The little things add up


In a recent post about the massive increase in personal bankruptcies, Zac Bissonette commented on the seeming disappearance of personal responsibility. A corollary to this is the apparent dissolution of self-control. Here's an example:

An acquaintance of mine often complains that he is living from paycheck to paycheck. In spite of the fact that he makes a very healthy salary, he seems incapable of putting aside any money, and regularly wonders why he is always broke.

One day, as he talked about this, I noticed that he was gesturing with a Starbucks cup. Specifically, he was gesturing with a Venti Starbucks cup. From previous experience, I know that his Starbucks cup was full of one of the carbo-loaded, sugary, creamy Starbucks creations that costs $5 or $6. I also know that this is one of two Starbucks beverages that he drinks in the course of any given day.

Keep in mind, by the way, that his employer has a nifty, space-age drink machine that allows the user to choose from a wide variety of coffees and brew an individual cup in seconds. The boss also offers free soy milk as well as a wide selection of regular milks and creamers, not to mention all of the most common sweeteners. This stands in stark comparison to my current employer, who has the same cool machine, but charges 50 cents a cup for coffee and only offers the cheap, crappy synthetic creamer. Honestly, my boss would charge for toilet paper if he could figure out a way to retrofit the dispensers.

Free coffee...lucky bastard...