Falling Off the Wagon #illumedati 2

Hey everyone, it’s Finance Fridays today. Today I’m going to do some introspection and talk about “Falling Off the Wagon“.

Falling Off the Wagon

Stock Photo from: Pixabay

So, you may recall a few months ago I did a post called “Trimming the Fat“. It was mostly based around cutting out extra stuff I didn’t need in order to keep my budget efficient. Additionally, it had the added benefit of allowing me to exercise my Value Cost Ratio more.

I was able to stick to it for awhile… but recently I’ve noticed that:

I’m Falling Off the Wagon.

This term is most commonly used in the context of alcohol, when someone gives up drinking and becomes sober, only to “fall off the wagon” and relapse into drinking again. However, it can technically be used for any relapse into a bad habit, so I think it works here.

Let’s examine:

Bye Starbucks?

I was doing so so well with just using my Deathwish coffee and Keurig for many many months. However, I’ve been doing a lot more night shifts these last few months and getting through the last few hours has been difficult. So I broke down one time and bought Starbucks before my shift started. A Venti Pike will last me my whole shift and I can be efficient for the whole evening. Then, all of the sudden it became a habit to just get a Venti Pike before work every-single-day.

I don’t usually drink coffee on my days off, but that still equates to about 20 Venti Pikes a month or so, which can add up. After looking at my internal Value Cost Ratio, I think I’m just going to have to allow this little guilty pleasure. This little Venti Pike really does help me stay attentive for the entirety of my 10 hour shift, and I think that value is worth it.

Bye Eating Out at Work?

This one has really come back with ferocity. I was doing oh-so-well after my post, only eating out once or maybe twice per 8 day shift. However, these last few months I definitely have fallen off the wagon. There are a few reasons for this, but the main reason is probably because of how easy it is. If you recall, previously there was one of my colleagues who liked picking up food mid-shift and we kind of relied on him to get us food once in awhile. However, one of our new hires also doesn’t mind stepping out to get food. As you can imagine, that spells double trouble.

While it wasn’t too hard to say no to one person, it is more difficult to say no to two different people offering two different types of food. Suffice it to say that these last few months I’ve definitely gone way above the once or twice per 8 day shift goal I set up. However, the first step is acceptance. I accept that I’ve fallen off the wagon so I need to really look at my Value Cost Ratio again to see which food is “really worth it”.

Worth it?

For example, it’s kind of hard to pass up soba because I like it so much. However, something more common like McDonald’s or Taco Bell is probably easier to say no to.

Also, quick shout-out to my No Risk, No Reward, No Pad Thai colleague at work who bought me a burrito from El Ranchero in Wahiawa as he was coming back from surfing at the North Shore. This burrito is hands down the best burrito on Oahu and trust me I’ve tried a lot of them. It reminds me of the burritos I used to eat in Southern California. They aren’t quite up to that standard, but I don’t think many burritos are, and overall they’re pretty darn close. I got the chicken burrito this last time, but I’ll get the al pastor burrito next time… but only once (I hope).

Bye “Cheesecake Factory”

Interestingly, I’ve been pretty good about not eating out at Cheesecake Factory all that much. This is kind of a combination of us being so busy on Saturdays that we don’t really have the time to go. Kylie and Lucas have swimming on Saturdays and then there has been a flurry of birthday parties and other events. As such, we’ve been too busy to get to Cheesecake Factory over the last probably 6 months or so. I was planning to go there this Saturday actually, but apparently the one in Waikiki now opens at 10am for brunch on Saturdays (was only Sunday before). This means we won’t be able to get there “when it opens” anymore unless they don’t have swimming. If we got there at 11am we would probably be stuck waiting 1 or 2 hours since it will have been open for an hour already.

Either way, I’ve been doing pretty good on this one, so hopefully I can stick to it.

Bye Random Toys?

Um ok, I really fell off the wagon on this one. Since I’ve been trying to get Kylie’s YouTube channel started I’ve bought a bunch of toys for her to review. I didn’t buy them on a whim, I actually researched looking for good toys that I think are good value and that she would like. However, amazon simply makes it too easy to buy stuff. Sometimes I’ll just see something went on sale and I’ll buy it and then the boxes come to the house and I stack them down in her room…

Now there are boxes and boxes of Ninjago and Nexo Knights stuff.

Look at all this stuff we still need to review:


It’s ok, we’ll get to it eventually. Lucas has taken a liking to Ninjago and Nexo Knights too, so I think they’ll both get use out of it. Like I said before, I’m a big fan of Lego and I believe it is very important for kids to learn manual dexterity from building the sets. I think there is also a sense of accomplishment from building something as a child, which is very underrated.

Here’s a clip which illustrates that – skip to around 8 minutes in. To go directly to 8 minutes in, use this link.

  • “Daddy didn’t help you at all?”
  • “Nooooooo.”
  • “Not even a little bit?”
  • “Maybe a little bit.”
  • “Yea. But I did MOST.”


All in all, out of the 4 items I’ve tried to trim the fat on, I’ve relapsed on 3 of them.

However, acceptance is the first step and I think I can make some changes (I hope).


Kylie got into the top 50 (Semi-Finalist) for the Honolulu Family Cover Contest. If you can take a second, please vote for her (everyday if possible) from now until November 30th.

Here’s the direct link: http://woobox.com/zw2p3a/gallery/PCOl9eZ1bbA



I fell off the wagon.

Starbucks, Eating Out at Work, and Buying Random Toys has returned with a vengeance.

However, I have managed to stay away from Cheesecake Factory, so that’s kind of a small victory there.

Starbucks will probably remain a guilty pleasure.

However, I do plan to cut back on Eating Out at Work and Buying Random Toys again. We’ll see.

Also, vote for Kylie. Mahalo!

Finance Fridays Sensei


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