While working at a bank across the parking lot from a Starbucks, I saw many customers come in with a coffee in their hand. Some of these customers I saw on a daily basis, and a few had a coffee every day they came in. Our district manager enjoyed Starbucks so much that she had a special card given only to people who consume a ridiculous amount of coffee.
Being the accountant that I am and dealing with money all day, I decided to find out how much a daily coffee, or a daily whatever, costs someone. Since I have never bought coffee from Starbucks, I don’t know how much it costs, so I just used an estimate of $5 to make it easy.
Let’s say you buy a coffee every weekday before heading to work. When looking at the small picture, $5 doesn’t seem too much at all. But getting a coffee every weekday leads to 5 days every week, and 52 weeks every year. That comes out to $1,300 every year, all from just one small cup of coffee. I don’t know about you, but $1,300 is quite a bit for me. That could be 5 car payments,or 1 1/2 rental payments, or 7 months of student loan payments.
Now I’m not saying that you should do away with your coffee fix entirely; it is OK to buy things you want sometimes because you earned that money. But I think that a financial review of your wants vs. needs is definitely important, especially if you are struggling to make ends meet. Even if you cut back to getting coffee every other day, that would ‘save’ you $650 every year.