Friday, February 12, 2010

Battling the Tim Horton's Addiction

First off, for the record, I would like to state that it is all Leaf's fault!  I didn't drink coffee, and the only time I would ever go to Tim Horton's would be to get a chocolate eclair (sadly no longer offered at Tim's).  Not a coffee drinker.  I resisted for at least 5 years, but eventually got hooked.  I think the deciding factor was moving into town and going from 20 minutes away to less than five.  Its on the way to everything.  I can even kayak to Tims.

This past summer, we started putting everything on credit card to better help with budgeting.  Although this goes counter to the conventional  wisdom of paying cash so expenses are noticed, we decided on credit card since everything is tracked.  No more guesstimating the Tims budget, I can just add up the statements.  It wasn't pretty.  I figure we were spending about $100 a month at Tim Horton's (twice what I would have guessed based on cash).  And their coffee isn't even that great.

In our defence, Tim's is our fast food of choice.  If we are away from home - down to the city for  shopping for example - we'll usually eat there.  I don't know about factual information, but their sandwiches and soups at least give the illusion of being healthier than typical fast food.  A family meal is going to run about $20, we eat there at least once a month, the Tim's budget can't be that horrible...

Nevertheless, it needed to be remedied.  We were easily spending over $1000 a year, and there are so many things that would be a better use of the money.  Decided in December (after the giant $120 November tally) to start cutting back.  Due to vagaries of billing cycle we didn't start until mid December, but there was an immediate improvement.  I'm pretty happy with the January numbers.  I don't think we'll ever eliminate it completely, but reducing by two thirds gets us to a more reasonable budget amount.


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