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Let's Look at the Bigger Picture

October 15th, 2007 at 09:29 pm

We kind of got off on the soda thing, which is fine, but my point in bringing up soda on the blog was not so much about drinking pop and worrying about our health. I used it as an example of consumerism (and after all aren't we on financial blogs to get insight about money, not our health?). I think we may be missing the bigger picture... I asked in the last blog post what we were going to do about consumerism, not what are going to do about drinking pop. People responded with stuff like "I don't know, drink less pop." That's not the point, the point is we are so used to consuming anything we want, that we don't even realize that less than two decades ago, pop was still considered a treat that you had occassionally, not every day. That comes from consumeristic thinking. That's why I brought up a spending plan as a means to get unncessary spending, such as buying too much pop, under control. Spending is where all financial troubles start, but somehow I think we're missing that big picture view and just getting stuck on details, like who drinks Mountain Dew or Gatorade.

I think the biggest problem anyone can have is to not understand exactly where their money goes, and you can't know that unless you have a plan and track your spending according to a plan, every day, every transaction. Most people think they have a handle on how they spend, but if you don't track it there's no way to know what you really value and where your spending priorities really are. One guy I know tracked how many 32 oz drinks he was buying every day and was shocked to discover he was spending about $72 every month on soda alone! He quit whining to me about not having enough money to pay his cell phone bill and needless to say, he quit drinking those 32 oz. guzzlers. It's okay to drink pop if you want to, that may be where your spending priorities lie, but if you can't drink pop and pay the cell phone bill too, then you have to make changes. You can have anything you want, you just can't have everything...post Depression generations cannot seem to get their mind around that concept.

2 Responses to “Let's Look at the Bigger Picture”

  1. littlemama Says:

    Small things really add up. That's what I'm trying to instill in my kids. You can really nickel and dime yourself into the poor house, and if you don't keep track it can get away from you.

  2. kilcher Says:

    I started cutting down on soda when I realized I was drinking far more soda than water. I found that very disturbing.

    Also, I quit buying soda at work and when eating out. Sodas at work are $1.25 for a bottle, when eating out anywhere from $1.50-$2.00. I just remind myself that I can get a 2 liter for $1, when you realize how bad they're screwing you it's easier to say no.

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