I am addicted to coffee. I've tried everything from bribing myself with J.Crew blazers, eliminating take-out dinners, and even taxing myself every time I buy a cup. When that didn’t work I gave away my coffee maker, which was a terrible decision since I purchased coffee instead. I've been promised everything short of a hot air balloon and yet the thought of going without my morning pick-me-up wins every time.
This inconvenience sparked a conversation with my friend Deborah. Deborah LOVES her coffee and she needs it. Yet it is precisely for these reasons that she told me her secret, a secret that applies to far more than coffee...
We were walking through the kitchen on a Wednesday morning and I offered her an espresso:
"I only drink coffee Thursday through Saturday,” she said.
"Oh?" I asked.
"Yes...it's really hard, but I need coffee to work for me. If I have it every day it won’t work for me anymore."
I pondered this.
"So, you mean you always want coffee but if you had it every day it would stop working for you?"
"Exactly. And when you work six days a week like I do that can't happen. I'd die without my coffee kick. Besides, when I do have it, I feel good because I’ve earned it."
As I marveled at Deborah’s words, I started thinking about the way ImpulseSave uses a similar strategy to help me beat my compulsive blouse-buying habit.
By intercepting every point of transaction, ImpulseSave allows me to assess my purchases, whether online or off, and suggests a percentage to put back towards the savings goals I care about (ie my trip to Paris!).
You see, when I’m in Target looking at a blouse, I’m facing the same dilemma as with my coffee: is that blouse going to working for me? If I need it, then ABSOLUTELY! But, if I’m just buying it out of habit, or to make myself feel better -- I’m a slave!
With ImpulseSave I now have the option to put the blouse back and instantly take that $20 out of my checking account and toss it into my savings account. Not only will ImpulseSave tell me how great I am for doing this, but it will also show me how much closer I am to reaching my goal!
So as I think about my coffee problem, instead of deciding to quit cold turkey every week for the next 40 years of my life, I’m going to take a lesson from Deborah and ImpulseSave. I’m not going to stop buying things or stop buying coffee, but I am going to think twice about whether that purchase is working for me or whether I’m enslaved.
Can you work it? ;)