Simple Indulgences: Hurting My Budget and My Butt

November 22, 2011

Yesterday, I decided I needed a week of no Starbucks and no chocolate. Reduced fat chai egg nog lattes have become my necessary evil, and an afternoon pick-me-up is fairly common for anyone who sits at a desk all day, but both of these things are killing my budget and my butt!

Over the summer, I knocked off -14 lbs. Unfortunately, I have since gained +5 back. I’m not mad or sad about it, because I haven’t been working at keeping it off (or losing more), but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to change what is causing this new gain. Fortunately, the culprit is easy to locate. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to squash.

The same way I forced myself to acknowledge my emotional spending, it’s time for me to be honest and say that I am also an emotional eater. You all know how stressed I’ve been the last few weeks and you may also know that I spent most of last weekend eating take-out. See how the two go hand-in-hand!?

I’m sad – I want chocolate. I’m happy – I want Starbucks. I’m stressed – I want pizza. I’m angry – I want wine. And don’t even talk to me when I’m PMS’ing because apparently that’s when I am capable of eating enough food for 3 people.

It doesn’t surprise me that so many personal finance bloggers also discuss their weight loss goals and workout schedules! Many of us are in debt because of splurges on indulgences that we probably could have done without; that includes all take-out coffees and meals. And if you’re like me, you sit around and enjoy it rather than work it off, and you’re left with a few extra debt repayments to make as well as 500 more sit-ups to do.

Well, I can’t afford anymore debt repayments. My money is working hard enough, these days! So, what then? I’ve never been one for dieting nor do I think it’s possible to kiss Starbucks goodbye forever… but despite my busy schedule, I can make time to workout. No, not “I can.” I have to. Even if it’s just twice/week, that’ll be better than going on a single run every few weeks. And I need to get back into meal planning. This used to be easy for me but has become a chore since my schedule got so crazy…

Sorry, Starbucks. You are cut for a week. Chocolate, we’re breaking up too. I know we’re going to see a lot of each other in December, but I need to break our ties until then…

What’s one small indulgence you could do without for a while?

  • centsofacountrygirl November 22, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Potato chips. I am notorious for going to the store just for a bag of chips. It’s awful, but they’re just so darn tasty.

    • Cait November 24, 2011 at 10:27 am

      I almost wish that I had more cravings for salty stuff. Maybe I could balance out my sugar intake then, lol.

  • Michelle November 22, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I agree with centsofacountrygirl, potato chips are my weakness.

  • singletothepenny November 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

    ohhh! I am with you on chocolate. My love!
    Starbucks… I am more of a Non Fat Latte girl, so I figure it is a bit low on the calorie count.
    Good luck, but remember accomplishments to require rewards, even if they are small!

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Ok but I can’t reward myself for doing nothing ;)

  • Kamara @ The Modern Financial November 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I’ve been eating a lot of candy lately and need to quit this habit ASAP! I’m getting married in a year and I’ve bought my dress, but it gives me back cleavage! I need to get serious.

    For me, I workout consistently, but my eating habits always fall of the rails. I need to do both!

    • Cait November 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

      In the past, I’ve found that the more active I am, the less junk I want to eat. And, the less alcohol I want to drink! We can definitely do both :)

  • Serendipity November 22, 2011 at 11:58 am

    starbucks. I love me some coffee and as of lately I can justify it like no other to myself. I even told a barista I was working on my Gold Card status. smh.

    • Cait November 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Oh yea, I’m well on my well to Gold Card status, haha. (Big surprise!)

  • Jaime November 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    What is it with the holiday season and extra Starbucks trips? Damn that delicious steamy egg nog.

    I actually had a similar realization this weekend…after consuming I think 5 Starbucks drinks in 4 days.

    I’m loading my Starbucks card with a set monthly amount and when it’s gone, it’s gone. And since I don’t want to hit a weekend without a latte I’ll be more careful. :)

    • Cait November 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

      That’s a great idea, Jaime! Thanks for sharing.

  • Carrie - Careful Cents November 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I seem to be the opposite. When I’m stressed I don’t eat, but if I’m happy I get fat. It’s horrible Lol. If work is overwhelming or things at home are crazy, my health starts going down the toilet and I get sick really easily. I do however eat when I’m bored so that’s why I try to keep myself busy.

    I’m also a big fan of Starbucks! But I only let myself go once a week or a couple times a month. It’s nice to exercise (physically and monetarily) sometimes. Keep it up!

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      That makes sense. I know a lot of people gain weight in relationships… why? They indulge together, perhaps?

  • lifeisfullofsunnydays November 22, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Late night snacks … I usually don’t have a sweet tooth but lately I discovered Ghirardelli chocolate squares … with caramel … and sea salt. These satisfy my cravings for sugar and salt.

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      oh gosh. Don’t even get me started on sugar & salt! I love salted chocolates… *drools*

  • beingirene November 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I feel your need for a gym schedule – its something I struggle with weekly. Its a mix between not having enough time and just being lazy/tired.

    I tend to stop at tim hortons 3 or more times a week for a tea and cheddar cheese buttered bagel. I could be saving the 3 bucks and eating a healthy breakfast at home but the convience and nice start to my day is just too tempting.. for now. I love starbucks and am so happy there isn’t one close to my commute or work or I would be spending way more on my morning treats!!

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      I just found Tim Horton’s white hot chocolate… have you tried it? Oh baby, it’s good.

  • deenadollars November 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Starbucks has never tempted me — but diet soda? Be still my heart! I have tried to cut back or quit a million times, but I need to do better.

  • Simple Rich Living November 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I eat when I am happy and I eat when I am sad. My biggest weakness is portion size…I can eat a lot. In fact, a friend and I are going through a healthy eating/fitness challenge, we started two weeks ago through to the New Year. For once I am trying real hard to eat healthier and I am doing okay in this department, a lot of salad. Except I can lose control and eat too much. On the fitness front, not so good :(. Need to do better for next week.

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      It’s definitely easy to overeat, especially when everything just tastes so darn good! :(

  • Char November 23, 2011 at 9:15 am

    And food bloggers have these issues, too!
    I try to stick to a budget, but it’s hard. Especially when some days, I just don’t want to cook. Or I really want Starbucks. Emotional eating used to be REALLY bad for me. I’m much better about it now, but I’m sure it’s something I’ll always have to work towards.
    Hang in there!! You’re doing so great & you’ve paid off so much of your debt! Maybe instead of totally restricting the Starbucks, you could reward yourself with one drink a week if you’re doing really well? There’s room for indulgences AND weight loss! :)

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      Char, your comments are always so freaking supportive. I’m happy to say I’ve cut back on Starbucks BIG TIME. And I’m planning on going for a run tomorrow and heading back to my Wednesday gym class next week. Maybe I’ll eat a chocolate after? :P

  • Well Heeled Blog November 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

    I can do without chocolate…. but.. wait, no I can’t.

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      hahaha… nope. It’s a necessity.

  • A+J November 23, 2011 at 9:41 am

    For me, that’s a no brainer – wine! Ever since I moved to the Pacific Northwest I’ve enthusiastically embraced the culture here, which involves lots and lots of delicious wine [or beer, but I don’t do beer].

    On the good side, I have started running, though not nearly as often as I should, and am trying not to eat past 8 p.m. I can’t give up my wine, so I am trying to burn more calories instead :]

    PS – I am sipping on a Caramel Brulee latte right now – yum! But at least it’s non-fat, no-whip…

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      Ooo, yea I can see why you’d be into the wine scene down there! I love a good white wine too but have seriously cutback my alcohol intake since living at home. We’ll see how that keeps up, when I move back out… lol

      Your PS was so tempting! You devil. :)

  • Captain Sweatpants November 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I third Potato Chips… damn the Inca’s for cultivating the crop and damn the Spanish Conquistadors that brought it to Europe! (I will be sobbing with regret and be on my knees pleading for forgiveness in front a bag of potato chips later today however for that comment)

  • fabulouslyfrugirl November 24, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Chocolate bars.

    Ever since Hallowe’en… these have been floating around the office… right to my desk :)

    Must resist!

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Hallowe’en definitely started my chocolate craze!

  • Andrea November 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    ummm coffee, that sucker keeps tempting me and I alwaaaaayss end up budging. I could totally live without chocolate though… but not cheese. Don’t take my cheese!

  • Leanne November 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve lived on the west coast and back east, and I swear to you that in the winter, it’s harder to exercise in the west. I think it’s because it’s so dark, and also because it rains so much. In other places, it’s like what little light there is reflects off all the snow, so it’s not pitch black at 4:30 in the afternoon.

    I find it really hard to stay motivated when it’s so dark outside. All I want to do is sit on the couch and drink Starbucks.

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      That makes sense, actually. I always notice that snow makes outside seem like a light orange colour… maybe the reflection of lamp posts? It’s never pitch black, the way it is here!

  • melruns November 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I never knew there was a personal finance blog niche–this is an awesome discovery for me! I guess I’ve been lost in the health and fitness genre for so long it never occurred to me to look elsewhere! Try buying a bag of individually wrapped Dove chocolates–it keeps you from overeating because you can take one, walk away from the bag, and savor it for 2-3 bites. For the sbux habit… try bringing chai tea bags to work, brewing it with hot water, and adding half skim milk + splenda or honey. An awesome spicey/milky treat for prob less than half the price :)

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      I know I tweeted this to you already but these are awesome suggestions – thanks!

  • Link Love (powered by Hong Kong and Mushroom Cream Soup) | fabulously fru-girl November 29, 2011 at 3:21 am

    […] aka Blonde on a Budget shares how simple indulgences hurt her wallet and butt.  I found this out the hard way, myself and have vowed to make as much food as I can from […]

  • Clare - Never Niche November 29, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I still end up at Starbucks like a moth to a flame but I force myself to get black coffee. Their sugary drinks are enough calories for half a day!

    I need to break up with white wine.

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      That’s a relationship that’s hard to end.

  • Jen @ SheBloggs November 29, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I’m embarrassed to say that the main reason I got into my insane 5-figure debt in the first place is because of eating out. I’d go to Starbucks at least twice a day.

    A caramel macchiato is more than 250 calories… twice a day! That’s pretty much a meal. Once I stopped walking by Starbucks, my wallet and my butt looked better :)

    Red wine… I don’t think I can end that relationship just yet.

    • Cait December 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Don’t be embarrassed. Overall, debt just came from wanting to indulge in yourself. I mean, it’s not good… but there are worse mistakes to make.