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How I Stopped Buying $5 Coffees Every Day for 5 Years, Saved Nearly $10,000, and Still Find Myself on the Brink of Financial Collapse After One Flat Tire and Medical Bill

You guys! I finally did it and accomplished the unthinkable. I stopped going to Starbucks before work every day, and after five years, I’m no better off than I was before deciding to forgo the one thing that actually gets me out of bed in the morning. In fact, I had car troubles during the same week I needed to go in for an emergency root-canal, and I probably won’t recover from the out-of-pocket expenses for at least six months. But hey, fiscal responsibility, amiright?

For as long as I can remember, my parents told me that I’d never be able to afford a down payment on my dream house if I treated myself to a latte every morning. So I stopped. But there’s one issue that needs to be considered: I only saved $10,000, which is nowhere near what I would need for a down payment on a house, or even a nice car now that I think about it. Not to mention that making coffee at home isn’t free either. Heck, I even reuse old grounds sometimes because eggs are about to be $9 a dozen again and I have to cut corners somewhere. Sure, I didn’t treat myself to anything for five years, but the money’s gone anyway.

If you’re an older reader, I’ll bet you’re thinking that I spent too much money on my iPhone. Well, you’re probably forgetting the fact that my iPhone is actually my boss!

First of all, without a smartphone, how am I supposed to pick up a shift as a Door-Dasher? I’ve got to supplement my income somehow because I haven’t gotten a raise at my office job in three years despite the fact that half of the branch was laid off and I got all of this extra work dumped on me.

Secondly, I need my iPhone to do a quick Google search for “broken arm home remedy” because I don’t have health insurance and I need to somehow justify the $150 phone bill I pay every month. Since I’m apparently not allowed to put avocados on toasted bread and post it to Instagram, I figured I’d teach myself how to fashion a makeshift splint out of plywood and old underwear while biting on a piece of tile and waiting for the unskippable YouTube ad to run its course so I can administer first aid from the comfort of the studio apartment I share with three other roommates.

But I’m as frugal as frugal can be. Here’s a list of other things I don’t allow myself to enjoy because I decided to go to art school when I was 18: streaming, dining out, ride-sharing, getting drinks with friends, going to shows, paying my water bill, and turning the heat on.

Now, you may want to ask, “Are you suffering?” Yes, immeasurably! But I’m one slow-drip cup of Maxwell House closer to financial stability.

Just kidding, I’m going to die like this.