Mark and I have been far more careful about our spending in the last 6 months or so. We’ve made a concentrated effort to keep our expenses low and implement a (more) frugal lifestyle. In the past, we often stopped 3 or 4 mornings a week to have coffee and bagels at our friendly neighborhood coffee shop. The owner is someone that we consider more than an acquaintance and less than best friends. We stopped for the company as often as we stopped for the coffee.
The problem is that we became invested in her success. We want to see our friend do well. We want to contribute to her success and support her in any way we can. But, of course, our priority is to maintain our goals and financial decisions. We know that the shop is struggling, now that there is a nifty new Starbucks across the street and the economy is slowing. We sure don’t want to see yet another Mom and Pop kind of place go under due to the massive steamroller that is Big Business.
I struggle with this fairly often. I know that the success or failure of her business does not depend on a single customer. I know that it’s a tough business world out there and we’re not responsible for the way life works. But, it’s hard to see someone or something you’ve invested in hit rough times.
There are times when responsible spending is rough. It’s not as easy to see the impact at the Wal-Mart or Starbucks as it is with Mom’s Coffee and Bagels.