Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Chocolate Croissant Effect

You read a lot these days about the latte effect, and in theory I completely agree. The idea is that it’s easy to waste a lot of money on small things and that, over time, that money could add up to be enough to make a major difference in your life. If you eliminate a latte every day, then by the time you are 60 you will have a significant chunk of money saved up and in retirement.

It’s a great idea. Small changes really are the way to go because they are psychologically easier and they are sustainable. However, despite all this, I’m about to say something which is the complete opposite.
I call it the chocolate croissant effect.

A few summers ago, I was working an extra job to try to save up some extra money before I moved across the country. I didn’t need the money. I was just trying to work hard to get ahead and improve my life.

Downstairs from the place where I worked was a little bakery. It smelled good, it looked pretty, and it was one of the warmest and friendliest places I had seen. One day I forgot to bring coffee from home, and just NEEDED some (yes, I have a problem), so I stopped into the bakery for a small coffee, and I saw them.
Next to the register, on a plate, with a sign next to them, there was a plate of chocolate croissants. Ooey, gooey, fresh from the oven chocolate croissants. For $1 each.

Oh goodness.

I didn’t need a chocolate croissant. If I didn’t buy a chocolate croissant every day for a year, I’d have an extra $365. I wasn’t working an extra job so that I could afford chocolate croissants. But, oh boy did I want one. So, just that once, I bought a chocolate croissant. It was delicious. It really was just as good as it looked.

For the rest of that summer, I knew that the chocolate croissants were there. I didn’t get one every day, and I certainly didn’t spend $365 on them, but when I really wanted a chocolate croissant I got one. When I didn’t buy a chocolate croissant, I was fully aware that I was not buying one and was very proud of the money I was saving. When I did buy one, I took my time and thoroughly enjoyed it, instead of letting myself feel guilty about spending the money.

The truth is, I was still getting ahead. I was making between $60-$120 extra dollars a day by being there, and if a $1 chocolate croissant once in a while was all it took to make me feel good about it, then it was well worth the expense.


Anonymous said...

Oh, great. Now I have a intense craving for a chocolate croissant.

But I did enjoy your (calorie-free, no $1 cost to me) thoughts.

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang said...
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