Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Latte Geography Factor

Things with work have been insane for the last week, so it's unlikely I'll get to tackle any big topics for a few more days. But I have been pondering conscious spending and my own personal "latte" factor today, so I thought I would post it. The basic issue is this: I love chai lattes, but feel pretty strongly that they're overpriced in general, which offends my sensibilities. I try to limit my consumption of them at all venues, but every once in awhile I splurge on one from Starbucks (I can't help it - they're so tasty!). When I was in college I used to have one after I took a final, and these days I do it if I'm having a really bad day at work (maybe 6 times a year). But the thing is that I get so concerned about whether it's "wrong" for me to spend money on it, that although I really enjoy the sensory experience, I don't have the same amount of stress reduction I should. (Today in my head I kept hearing "latte factor, latte factor" over and over in a pretend blogger's voice.) One of the things that makes me more likely to splurge is being away from home - if I'm traveling, I am more likely to indulge myself, probably because my habits are pretty good when I'm in my regular life mode. So my question is: does it justify the not-completely-stress-abating splurge if the tasty chai is cheaper where I'm buying it than when I'm at home? Just in general, is it more okay to splurge if you're away from home? I tend to do this, and on some level I think it's okay. But I'm also starting to question whether I'm frugal, or just someone who is habitually non-consumptive and comforted by the familiar status quo.

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