It took me getting close to broke to realize that I was spending too much on coffee.
Have you ever stopped and wondered how much money you really spend on coffee? Depending on where you buy your coffee, you’re spending anywhere from $1-$6 daily. It’s not so expensive at first, but if you buy coffee daily it can add up to a few hundred dollars a year!
My Coffee Ban
Ok, so technically I’m not banning coffee in the sense that I don’t drink it anymore J
However, I have stopped buying coffee from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Back not too long ago when I was still in college I would buy 1-2 cups of coffee daily. I worked part-time, and most of the money I earned was carelessly spent.
I even became a pro at transferring funds from my Chase mobile app! I remember transferring money from my savings account just to cover my bill while waiting in line.
Eventually, I became tired of feeling broke. Although I didn’t have the best paying job, I was making more than my friends at the time. Plus, I figured if I didn’t get my act together now I would struggle financially even when I had a higher salary.
Since I didn’t see myself looking for a higher paying job at the time, I figured that I needed to cut my expenses. I started by evaluating how I’d spent my money each month by looking back at my bank statements.
When I began calculating how much I’d spent a week with coffee I began noticing that it was too much. Typically, I’d spend anywhere from $2-$5 daily on coffee. This would mean that I’d be spending $40-$60 a month.
The ironic part was that I stayed away from expensive memberships, and yet buying coffee was my biggest one.
Although it seems natural to me now, it took me a few months to fully get used to drinking other types of coffee. I literally started with a coffee brewer that I purchased on Amazon for $15. This machine lasted 2 years!
I remember purchasing roughly 3-4 coffee filters a year (packs of 100). This would cost me about $10 per pack, which you can find them almost in any supermarket. For my coffee blend, I’d purchase a Folger’s 25oz container. This would last me roughly 2-3 months since I wouldn’t drink coffee 7 days a week.
My total costs of drinking coffee in my first year after switching to a coffee brewer were as follows:
Coffee brewer: $15
Coffee filters: $40
Coffee blend: $40
Not too bad right?
With my old coffee habits, I’d be spending on average $600 a year! I’d save $500 my first year of banning coffee.
Breaking Bad Habits
Although it wasn’t easy I was able to save a substantial amount of money breaking my bad coffee habit. Some of the issues I faced were avoiding the temptation of purchasing coffee, especially since there were almost always coffee shops around me. I also didn’t like the taste of the coffee blend that I had initially purchased.
I guess beggars can’t be choosers right?
About a year ago I replaced my $15 coffee brewer with a K-cup coffee maker. The cost of this machine was about $70. From a budgeting perspective, this may not have been the smartest choice.
However, I felt that after I’d had graduating college and receiving a higher paying job it was time. Although the cost of my coffee machine was higher I’m only paying $40 (33%) more on the actual coffee. The best part now is that I actually love drinking my coffee!
After my first success, I began evaluating more of my purchases. I started canceling unnecessary subscriptions and finding alternatives to ones that I really required. It turned out that my bad coffee spending habit was a great lesson in disguise.
I hope that my small victory has inspired you to find yours. If I was able to save a few hundred dollars a year so can you. Take a look at what you spend your money on daily. You’ll be surprised on how much your small purchases can add up.
Today, there are still times when I purchase Dunkin or Starbucks coffee. However, a major difference from a few years ago is that I now manage my personal finances more effectively. I view each dollar as my employee and try to maximize its potential.
It can be challenging to change bad habits, especially when so many people around us are practicing them daily.
I challenge you to view your banking statement and see how you spend your money each week. Pick 1 purchase that stands out the most, and then evaluate if it’s really necessary. Then start banning this purchase!
It’s as simple as that. It won’t be easy, but I promise that you will feel good inside.
Best of luck.