Save money and help the environment in Sarnia

by Joel Sandwith on September 30, 2010

Over this past weekend I was studying for the courses that lead to becoming a bankruptcy trustee – the program takes about five years to complete and isn’t all that easy.  I generally spend most of each Saturday from September to April studying, then every waking hour in May reviewing before the big exam.

As I was reading this past Saturday, I realized I had gone through about two full pots of coffee and felt like I could use another.  (I love my job, but if you’ve ever seen the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, you’ll know why I needed a fair amount of coffee).

My mind wandered a bit to the meetings we have each day in our offices, helping people work out solutions to their money problems.  It’s not uncommon by the end of the day to have five, even 10 coffee cups in our garbage cans, from clients who have brought a Timmies or McDonalds, or sometimes a Starbucks to the meeting.

In these meetings, we generally talk about the ‘big picture’ issues, the large credit card debts, collection calls, consumer proposals and bankruptcies.  We also try to discuss the day to day issues as well, such as budgeting, wise use of credit, and so on.  I want to take a closer look at that coffee cup.

In the Sarnia office, I would say about 50% of the people who come in bring a coffee.  If we see 20 people a week, that is 10 coffees, or about $20 per week.  That means that over $1000 is spent each year on coffee during our meetings!  For an individual who spends $10 on coffee, Danish, lunch, etcetera each day, that person could be saving $70 per week or $3500 in a year on SNACKS.  These numbers could go on and on, but they can be very real.  Here’s a blog on this very subject by Doug Hoyes, a trustee in Cambridge.

In addition to the money you could save by making your own coffee, imagine if all of those coffee cups didn’t end up in a landfill.

What’s the point?  The point is, this is how the small stuff becomes the big stuff.  If you can find ways to control spending on things like coffee, you might be able to control the big picture better.  Start tracking your spending, so that you can decide if you are happy with where your money goes.  Promise yourself to make a few simple changes, like making your own coffee, bring a lunch, using a grocery list and planning meals to save money.

Maybe these changes will be enough to actually help solve those money problems.  Give us a call so that we can help, toll free at 310-PLAN (7526) no area code required, or locally in Sarnia at 519-344-1058.

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