Being Trendy Is Too Expensive

July 27, 2018

Have you heard of Bird? Not the animal with feathers and wings; this Bird. Along with its competitor, Lime, Bird is a California-based dockless e-scooter company that’s taking parts of urban America by storm—for reasons both convenient and intrusive. It was the latter factor that caused Denver officials to briefly ban these two-wheelers, but now they’ve been re-approved (with conditions). The upshot is, as you stroll our city’s streets, you’re better off looking up from your phone and keeping your head on a swivel as these grownup toys zip by.

We’re not Bird haters. Or Lime haters. Or e-scooter haters. They’re undeniably fun, extremely convenient, and to be honest, these companies have pretty interesting business models. The reason we highlight them here is because…well, they’re trendy. And like most trends, so temptingly cool in the moment, they make you feel like you should buy something you probably don’t need—or could get or do on your own—i.e., maybe try walking instead. With that in mind, let’s look at three other trends-du-jour that you should circumvent to keep your wallet thick and your sheeple meter under control.

Avocado toast

With every year comes a new food trend that seemingly dominates the brunch-o-sphere—and in 2018 it’s avocado toast. We at The Dime have definitely enjoyed a good avo toast (or 20) here and there. But the thing is, it could hardly be easier to make at home, because what’s more basic than toast? By doing so, you’ll save plenty of cash; we’ve seen this brunch fad ring in at $6-plus, which is about what it would cost to make a batch of the stuff for your entire circle of friends. So next time the craving comes on, give your own guac-and-bread creation a go. The genius in avocado toast, after all, lies in its simplicity; there are plenty of opportunities to innovate beyond the classic if you opt to enjoy it at home instead. After all, where else would you be able to satisfy your hankering for avo toast with a bacon-bit-and-leftover-pasta-salad twist?

Artisanal coffee

Picture this: You wander into a new coffee shop in the “hip” part of town, and are greeted lukewarmly by a guy in a leather apron and Cold Cave shirt. You scan the menu; the Nicaraguan variety promises notes of cherry and burlap (somehow) and is $2 more than the other options. Must be really good, right? One 10-minute brewing process later, it sits before you in an 8-ounce Swedish ramekin. You gingerly take a sip to find that it tastes like…coffee. Unless the artisan coffee experience is really your jam, there’s no sense in depriving yourself of hard-earned money that could be better spent on something you actually do enjoy. We’re not trying to dis all those legitimate coffee/scotch/wine/baguette snobs connoisseurs. But there’s also no need to convince yourself that “good” coffee is that much better than your ordinary joe—or that you have to pay a premium for that bit of self-delusion.

Gyms

Sorry to say it, but…we’re all getting older. Our bodies just don’t move and bend with the ease that they used to. Staying fit is important—and not just for cosmetic reasons. Motivating yourself to actually work out, though, is another story. For many, it’s a competitive element that keeps them engaged—it’s why fitness concepts like Orangetheory have such a strong following. But if that’s not ultimately what drives you, why spend $100 or more a month to drag yourself to a fancy studio that you know you won’t be able to stick to in the long-term? If at-home or non-gym workouts are more your speed, go for it. Would you rather play a pick-up game of volleyball in Cheeseman? Or go running with a group of like-minded and similarly fit joggers? Go forth and conquer! Seek out whatever activity will get your heart rate up while also keeping you coming back for more (neon flashing lights and thumping music optional).