I Spend a Lot of Money on Tacos and Coffee

Stories in my checking account.

For 8 years I counseled clients on nutrition and one of the primary assignments I would have them do is a food journal. We’d go over everything they wrote down of the course of 3 to 4 days to make sure we’re on the same page about what they had written down. I wanted to be as accurate as possible when putting the information in my nutrition software and assessing it.

While clients hated the recording portion, and many would go so far as to write me a note on the spiritual reasons they didn’t need to do it, they loved and benefited from the results portion. When we could translate what they were eating into nutrients then relate those nutrient excesses or deficiencies to how they felt, it cleared things up for them. Following all that up with a discussion of what foods to eat for health instead of what foods to avoid added fun, excitement and delicious possibilities to the new found clarity. The intangible, overwhelming and emotional task of losing weight became simple, relatable and most important, doable.

This worked for my clients who came to me for headaches, migraines, skin problems and digestive issues as well. Weight loss happens to be what I helped most people with and a very relatable example.

Well here I am 22 days into a month where I said I would work on changing my inner narrative to one of success and I haven’t tackled the primary task I set out to do: dealing with my finances. I rationalized this with the fact I’m doing some things right: I’m good at making money. I have multiple revenue streams. I keep reoccurring bills down to an absolute minimum. I drive a Prius and walk whenever possible, so I’m not spending a ton on gas. I rarely, I mean rarely, buy things I don’t need or use. And I’m not big on shopping.

I heard echoes of all the rationalizations of clients past who held themselves back from their own goals by avoiding doing the work. Once something clicked for them and they started in on the work, they started making great strides towards their goals. One shining example is the client who brought in a thank you note from her doctor because she was able to go off all her medications because of the nutrition and lifestyle choices she had made. She saved so much on medical related expenses she was able to buy her own treadmill for cold days and go on a vacation.

I couldn’t help but to wonder if I had a tropical vacation hidden underneath my bad habits.

The synergistic effect of relistening to “Fire Starter Sessions” by Danielle Laporte, “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins and “Do the Work” by Stephen Pressfield got me to 5–3–4–2–1 stop making excuses and rationalization and do the work on my finances so I could finally feel like a divine-wealthy-success- boss-lady. Hell yeah!

What did I learn of doing the financial equivalent of a diet analysis?

I spend a lot of money on tacos and coffee.

That’s basically the exact thing I would find out doing a dietary analysis. I don’t rightly know if that’s ironic or not because I was an Alanis Morrissette fan in high school. It feels at least Canadian ironic.

This is not to say that I spend an exorbitant amount on food, but rather the majority of what I eat is tacos or a remix thereof. Thankfully I’m a vegetarian or my food costs would be ridiculous, right along with my carbon foot print and elevated risk of colon cancer. …someone is deflecting from dealing with things with plant-based piety…

The percent of my income I spend on food is about the national average. The percent of my food bill spent eating out versus making food at home is better/healthier than the American average despite living in one of the food meccas of the U.S. That’s all swell.

The pattern I knew on some level, but now had empirical data to support is that I run to the store a lot to get things for coffee and tacos. A lot. If I start the day without coffee in my home it’s basically guaranteed my day will go to shit. I do whatever it takes to get to said coffee and throw off the very rituals and routines that I adopted to make my day awesome. Not having coconut milk in my house to put in my coffee has nearly as detrimental of an effect.

This all leads to the one frivolous spending habit I know I have and I know is causing problems — I spend my time poorly. This is not an option for a self-employed writer. I have certain hours I know I write my best and once those are gone, there is no going back. What I can get done between 5am and 11am shocks me. Everything after that is real hit or miss, namely miss.

This all came a week after reading that the average American spends nearly 2 hours a day on social media — 116 minutes to be exact. As an online writer social media is unavoidable for me. That said I have been upset with the amount of time I spend on social media for months now with very little luck of reducing that time. Another time suck is chronic email checking.

In short, what I learned in doing the one thing I was avoiding:

1.) It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

2.) I have clarity and am now actually excited about working on this.

3.) Buying coffee beans, coconut milk, taco shells and salsa in bulk will save me a lot of time and money.

4.) I don’t want to say I never succeeded in life because I was at Target dicking around on social media or checking my email.

5.) My spending is in line with my values. I fucking love coffee and tacos.