How To Make The Most Out Of A Coffee Loyalty Card.

Like most people, I enjoy buying hot drinks from coffee shops.

However, recently, I have been trying to cut down on the amount of money I am spending on a daily basis.

In an average coffee shop, a medium latte costs around £2.75 which on its own doesn’t seem that expensive.

However, if you buy one latte every day for a year, then it all adds up to an amount that I can’t figure out right now because maths is hard – but it’s probably quite a lot.

Therefore, in an attempt to save a bit of money in coffee shops, I have started using loyalty cards.

Every time I go into a coffee shop and buy a drink, I get a stamp on my loyalty card and, once I have collected six stamps, I am allowed a free coffee as a reward for my unwavering dedication.

I have been using loyalty cards for a while now and have figured out a way to ensure that I am using them as effectively as possible.

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Unfortunately, I am getting slightly addicted to the feeling of satisfaction and achievement that completing a loyalty card induces.

As a result, I am probably going to coffee shops more often than I would have previously.

Sometimes, I have several loyalty cards for various different coffee shops on the go at once which I’m pretty sure completely undermines the concept of loyalty.

Therefore, although saving £3.45 on an extra large mint hot chocolate with marshmallows makes me feel like a savvy supersaver, the fact that I have previously spent just under £5 on overpriced tea in order to obtain it probably suggests otherwise.

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I Think I Might Be Scared Of My Comfort Zone.

I have a love-hate relationship with my comfort zone.

On one hand, I like my comfort zone because it makes me feel as if I am in control.

When I am inside my comfort zone, I feel confident, stable and grounded.

On the other hand, if I stay inside my comfort zone for an extended period of time, I start to feel guilty.

I get anxious that I’m not progressing or developing in any way, that I’m letting myself down and that my life isn’t going anywhere.

At this point, I start to resent my comfort zone.

I worry that my tendency to stay within my comfort zone is causing me to miss out on important life experiences and preventing me from fulfilling my potential.

My comfort zone transforms into my FOMO zone.

Eventually, the anxiety of staying inside my comfort zone becomes so huge that it overwhelms my fear of straying outside of it.

At this point, I make a concerted effort seek out activities that scare me in an attempt to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

I like to imagine that I’m an astronaut taking one small step into the unknown depths of space when, in reality, I’m probably just taking a phone call from an unknown caller ID.

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Popcorn Is The Most Moreish Substance Known To Man.

Whenever I go to the cinema, I buy popcorn in the assumption that I will eat it steadily over the course of the entire movie.

However, once the first piece of popcorn touches my lips, all semblance of self-control disintegrates and I start to make my way through the bucket as if it is the first food that I have had after being lost in the wilderness for an extended period of time.

Popcorn is quite consistent in its flavour and texture so around a quarter of the way down the bucket, I tend to get a bit bored.

After a while, I get to a stage where I’m not really enjoying the taste of the popcorn enough to justify the number of calories I am taking on by eating it.

However, by this point, it is too late.

My hand is set in an unbreakable, mechanical rhythm and I cannot stop it from shoving handfuls of popcorn into my mouth, against the wishes of the rest of my body.

Eventually, I reach the stage where I am no longer eating out of hunger or enjoyment.

Instead, my desire to consume the popcorn is fuelled purely by a guilty obligation to finish the entire bucket in order to justify the hole in my bank account that I carved out when I bought it.

By the time the film actually starts, I have completely exhausted my supply of popcorn and am left with nothing but regret and the knowledge that I have paid about £100000 to have kernels permanently engrained in my teeth.

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4 Reasons Why Everyday Life Is Scarier Than Halloween.

Halloween is supposed to be the scariest day of the year.

However, I find it strangely calming.

I think this is because everyday life tends freak me out on a regular basis and, at least at Halloween, I have legitimate reason to feel this way.

Creatures such as ghosts, vampires, werewolves and witches are specifically designed to induce a sense of fear and anxiety and it is acceptable to be afraid of them.

It is less acceptable to be afraid of receiving a phone call from an unknown user ID.

To celebrate Halloween, here are four everyday things that scare me more than any ghost, vampire, werewolf or witch ever could.

1. Finances

As a fully-grown adult, I am expected to manage my own finances which is unfortunate really because I understand money about as well as I understand supernatural forces.

Just to clarify, I’d probably have a better chance of banishing an evil spirit from my house than I would completing a tax return form.

Fortunately, I have come up with some techniques to help me wrap my mind around my finances.

Unfortunately, these techniques aren’t very effective.

My current tactic for dealing with my student debt is pretending that it doesn’t exist which is extremely counter-productive.

Because it does exist.

And it’s going to be haunting me for years…

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2. Public Speaking

Sometimes, the fact that I am scared of public speaking makes me feel like a bit of a wimp.

People are scared of vampires, zombies and other Halloween creatures because they are legitimately dangerous – they either want to drink your blood, eat your brains or cause you some other form of significant bodily harm.

The only scary thing about public speaking is the collective judgement of others.

Unfortunately, the idea of being negatively judged by multiple people causes me to experience a paralysing fear that can be equated to the abject horror that Frodo Baggins felt when looking into the eye of Sauron.

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People often tell me that the way to conquer my fear of public speaking is to approach the situation with a positive attitude and visualise success.

However, whenever I try these visualisation techniques, I just end up unearthing the ghosts of all the previous times that I messed up on stage.

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3. Dating

Modern dating is terrifying, predominantly because it is so confusing.

Technological advancements mean that a lot of communication isn’t done face to face.

As a result, when you first start dating someone, most of your time is spent desperately trying to figure out what the other person is thinking.

Unfortunately, no two people think in exactly the same way and therefore trying to understand what another person is thinking through the context of your own thought processes is impossible.

For a lot of people, communicating with a potential partner is a bit like receiving messages from another dimension.

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Sometimes, you don’t get anything back at all.

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4. The Future

The future is scary because it is a complete unknown.

We can attempt to exert some level of control over the future by planning ahead but, for the most part, it is impossible to predict what is going to happen.

Some people find this exciting.

I find it absolutely terrifying.

I do not currently have a very strong sense of identity.

In fact, Halloween is pretty much the only time of year when I actually have a solid idea of who I am.

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Therefore, when somebody asks me who I am going to be in the future, my brain suffers a system malfunction and completely shuts down and I have to find a way to actively remove myself from the conversation.

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Whenever I can manage to haul myself out of my own narcissistic, self-absorbed, millennial mind bubble for a few minutes, I also get scared about the future of mankind and the planet.

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There is no need to invest in a horror movie when you can get the same effect by simply turning on the TV.

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I honestly don’t know how we all get out of bed in the morning…

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The World Is A Harsh Place Full Of Unfortunate Baking Incidents.

A few weeks ago, whilst I was watching the Great British Bake Off, I decided that I wanted to become a baker so I impulse bought a guidebook called ‘The Ultimate Guide To Baking’ in the assumption that it would instantly transform me into the next Mary Berry.

‘The Ultimate Guide To Baking’ is full of images of expertly constructed, pristinely decorated cakes.

Each image is accompanied by a set of instructions which are arranged in a series of ‘simple steps’.

In theory, following these simple steps will enable you to accurately replicate the cake in the book.

The problem with guidebooks is that they tend to be written by extremely talented people who have spent years honing their craft.

Therefore, what may seem like a ‘simple step’ to them, is actually quite challenging for the average person.

In addition, each ‘simple step’ is linked within a co-dependant chain of other simple steps so, in order to successfully replicate the image in the book, it is necessary to follow every single simple step correctly.

If you mess up one simple step, it directly affects all the other steps and the entire thing collapses – like a game of ‘simple step’ jenga.

I first learnt that simple steps aren’t as simple as they seem when I decided to learn to draw as a child and made the mistake of believing that a ‘Drawing Made Easy’ guidebook would transform me into a skilled and masterful artist.

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It turns out that 23 year old me can’t cope with simple steps either…

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I Wish That Anything In Life Could Excite Me As Much As Squirrels Excite My Dogs.

Autumn is an exciting time of year for my dogs, mostly because there is a significant increase in the number of squirrels running around in the park.

When my dogs encounter a squirrel, they experience a level of excitement beyond that which humans can cognitively process.

I could win the lottery, be offered a free luxury round-the-world cruise and discover the secret to eternal youth, all within the space of a single hour, and still not come close to scraping the surface of the excitement that my dogs experience when they see a squirrel.

Upon seeing a squirrel, my dogs become so excited that they are no longer completely in control of their bodies.

All they can do is run around, barking manically, their movements and actions controlled by the all-consuming power of their base instincts.

At this time of year, the squirrels are collecting food in preparation for winter which means that they spend a lot of time running around on the ground.

This puts them in direct visual range of my dogs.

Normally, my dogs can barely cope with the presence of one squirrel.

Seeing multiple squirrels sends their brains into overdrive and their squirrel radars switch to high alert.

This means that pretty much everything in the park has the potential to be a squirrel.

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I Should Not, Under Any Circumstances, Be Allowed More Than Two Alcoholic Beverages…

I like to think of myself as a sensible, graceful, sophisticated human being and like all sensible, graceful, sophisticated people, I know my limits when it comes to drinking alcohol.

I don’t tend to go out drinking a lot so my tolerance for alcohol is relatively low – on average, I only have to consume two drinks before I start to feel the effects.

Once I have had two drinks, I usually recognise that I have reached my limit and my rational mind prevents me from ingesting any more alcohol in an attempt to preserve my dignity.

However, sometimes, I get cocky.

Sometimes, despite prior evidence to the contrary, I become convinced that my body can cope with a further two units of alcohol.

Sometimes, I have a third drink.

This is the first in a series of stupid decisions.

For me, the process of getting drunk starts with denial.

Whilst I am making my way through my third drink, my brain comes up with a series of excuses to convince both myself and the people around me that I am still the dignified person that I consider myself to be.

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Eventually, however, the realisation that I am, in fact, drunk hits me with the force of a life-altering epiphany.

At this point, the fact that I’m drunk becomes the single most important piece of information in existence and I experience an unstoppable urge to share it with everyone in the immediate vicinity.

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For a couple of hours, the feeling of being drunk eclipses everything, including a sense of shame or social dignity.

This means that I am much more confident and much less socially inhibited than I am in everyday life.

Normally, I am quite a shy person who can be slightly apprehensive when meeting new people.

For me, making friends usually involves finding a person with whom I have a lot in common and then building up connection and trust over an extended period of time.

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2_LI (2)34_LIWhen I am drunk, I am happy to make friends with pretty much anyone as long as they are equally as drunk as me.

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Unfortunately, at some point in the night, I start to sober up.

The confidence and bravado that alcohol had bestowed upon me suddenly dissipates and is replaced by an intense vulnerability.

This part of the night tends to be quite an emotional time for me.

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Having an emotional breakdown tends to leave me feeling quite drained and, once I have attempted to fill the emotional void with various types of fried food, any remotely flat surface becomes a viable place to sleep.

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