We all spend money. In fact, one of the great satisfactions of earning money is using it to purchase those things we need to get by. It may seem obvious now that we're examining the process, but millions of Americans spend significant amounts of their hard-earned money without even a second thought. A cup of coffee here, a sandwich there; these don't seem like unreasonable purchases - and they may not be. In truth, there's only one way we can determine the true cost of the incidental purchases we make every day. We have to make a budget.

1 cup of coffee | $ | 1.80 |

One week | $ | 9.00 |

One month | $ | 36.00 |

One year | $ | 432.00 |

Let's assume for a moment that you buy a cup of coffee every morning before work. You're not a morning person, so you go for the large, which costs $1.80. Some easy multiplication shows us that's $9 a week. Not bad, you may think to yourself, you can afford that. Taking our calculations a few steps further, however, gives us a more complete idea of how much your morning coffee is costing, specifically, $36 a month, or even worse, $432 a year! Over four hundred dollars for coffee? Suddenly those $1.80 purchases seem a bit more meaningful.