Friday, February 15, 2008


It is so weird that I saw this article on Yahoo today. I was going to write about the state of people’s wallets and what that means about their money tomorrow. But they beat me to it, and did it much better of course. But I totally agree with them. I built this theory when I was working drive through at Dunkin Donuts. Six or seven days a week for about a year I woke up before dawn and pumped that brown gold into just about everyone in my tiny little New England town. I noticed something about people. Some keep their money neatly in their wallet, straight and organized. Others had wads of money floating in their purse, or pocket, or on the floor of their disastrous car. I always figured that those who handed me little balls of money also had a mess in every other area of their financial life. They clearly don’t respect their money.

I also noticed something else. I could tell the size of my tip before the car even stopped rolling at the window. The nicer the car, the lower the tip. Not every time of course, but often enough that I started to see a pattern. Would it be surprising that those that drove the nicer cars also had the neater wallets? Probably not. So those who didn’t respect their money tipped better. Again, not a big surprise. A coffee that should have cost $1.75, would really cost $2.75 every day, because they would leave a dollar tip. While the neat and organized, nice car driving person was only paying $2.00, by only leaving a quarter for a tip. Those that thought about the price of the coffee and had budgeted for it, didn't make a last moment decision and throw another dollar out the window, literally.

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