Fall is here! For many, it means cooler temperatures, bringing out our favorite jeans, boots, and jackets, football, the return of our favorite television shows and of course ...
PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES! You guys? I'm an addict. I love Starbucks all year round, but things get crazy in the fall and during Christmas time. Usually I get a Starbucks drink at the store maybe once every two weeks for a treat. But now that October is here? My habit has been bumped up to at least once a week, maybe more.
The problem? It's killing my budget!
Enter the free Starbucks app:
There are MANY cool things about this app (it's available for iPhone AND Android!), but my favorite is that it encourages you to organize and use Starbucks gift cards with a rewards system. If you register your gift cards on the app, you can then SCAN YOUR PHONE at Starbucks and you don't have to worry about where you put them! You can reload your cards using Paypal right on your phone, or you can reload your card at Starbucks and it will automatically update your balance on your phone. You can also consolidate your gift cards on the phone so you don't have a bunch will small balances rolling around your purse (I have a messy purse and lose gift cards sometimes, so this is perfect for me!).
So, here's what I do: If I sell something on eBay (which I only do once in a great while) I just transfer $10 to my card via Paypal, which is instant. OR I make myself put $10 on a gift card and then the balance transfers to my phone account. I find that if I budget myself to $10 every week or two weeks, that I stick to it and it helps keep things under control. Now? I REFUSE to use my debit card at Starbucks. If I don't have enough in the account on my phone I either take the extra steps to reload it or - imagine this - cut myself off! It's very helpful. AND! It's fun to see your points add up! There are perks to using the rewards system: Free drink on your birthday, free flavor shots and refills, and also as your points add up you eventually get a free beverage here and there. Sweet, right?
The app is also a great way to give: You can send anyone a digital gift card to their email address. If they have the app it registers to their account on their phone (I think!). Very handy and what an easy way to surprise your favorite people!
How do you budget for your favorite indulgence?
And if you're a Pumpkin Spice Latte junkie like me? HIGH FIVE!
(Photos from: Someecards.com and Starbucks)