Are You Spending Too Much Money On Coffee?
I’ll be the first to say it, my coffee bill has gotten a little out of control over the years. I fork over my credit card for $5 lattes, expensive cold brew or matcha tea rather liberally without taking a moment to think about how much I’m really spending over time. While I justify the expense based on the smile coffee brings to my face, I sometimes need to be reminded how these small purchases do add up. I’ve compiled an easy point of reference for us all to face the cold hard fact that going out for coffee can get expensive.
3 Types of Coffee Shop Drinkers
For the sake of simplicity, I’ve categorized all coffee drinkers into three buckets based on the number of coffee shop visits each month. Consumption here relates specifically to out-of-home coffee purchases, the main driver in running up a large coffee tab each month.
Note, all drink prices represent the U.S. average (+10% tip) from Square’s 2019 Coffee Report.
- Occasional Coffee Shop Visitor (4x month)
This represents those with enough self-control to keep their coffee shop visits down to about once a week. This could be someone who makes coffee at home each day and periodically treats themselves to a nice latte with a coworker or over the weekend. While you’re good about managing your coffee bill, you still enjoy splurging on occasion and view it as a well-deserved indulgence.
Coffee: $3.44 x 4 = $13.76/month, $165/year
Latte: $4.64 x 4 = $18.56/month, $223/year
Fancy Latte: $5.10 x 4 = $20.40/month, $245/year
- Coffee Shop Regular (10x month)
Most coffee lovers I know will fall into this bucket. Those that have found a nice balance between making coffee at home while still enjoying and exploring local coffee culture. Coffee shop visits may not be a daily occurrence, but this group is visiting frequently enough that the barista may know their name and even their favorite drink.
Coffee: $3.44 x 10 = $34.40/month, $413/year
Latte: $4.64 x 10 = $46.40/month, $557/year
Fancy Latte: $5.10 x 10 = $51/month, $612/year
- Coffee Shop VIP (30x month)
If you’re someone who goes to a coffee shop every day or multiple times a day to get your fix, this is you. You have no hesitation when ordering and know exactly what you want. There is no coffee maker at your home or little to no use for it because you prefer to put yourself in the hands of your local barista. Your gourmet coffee spending has become so rampant, it is more than some people’s car payment.
Coffee: $3.44 x 30 = $103.20/month, $1,238/year
Latte: $4.64 x 30 = $139.20/month, $1,670/year
Fancy Latte: $5.10 x 30 = $153/month, $1,836/year
How to Manage Your Coffee Spending
Hopefully, by this point, you haven’t given up entirely. I promise there’s still hope! Spending money on coffee is not something you need to feel ashamed of, but certainly, it shouldn’t be overlooked either. If you can spend thousands of dollars a year on coffee, more power to you. However, if you’re trying to pull back, here are some ways to limit the burden on your pocketbook.
- Set a Coffee Budget
Look at your monthly budget and set aside a coffee allocation. Maybe it’s $20 a month, or maybe it’s $200, but whatever it is, stick to it. If you hit your budget in the second week each month, it’s time to shift to brewing at home.
- Try Drip Coffee Instead of Fancy Espresso Drinks
The cost of your specialty coffee drink plays a major role in your total spending. If you like the coffee shop experience but want to cut back, consider replacing some of those oat milk lattes with brewed coffee. You can still ask for hot milk if you’d like, but by switching to less expensive coffee, you will significantly reduce your annual spending and get to experience a much wider variety of drip coffee flavors.
- Find Worthy Coffee Moments
I remind myself of this one quite frequently. If you are trying to limit your spending, be selective in the moments you choose to go out for coffee. Prioritize special occasions like finishing a big project or celebrating the end of a crazy week. Also, avoid the run of the mill coffee houses and prioritize those unique local shops to make every penny worth it.
- Buy A Retail Bag
Don’t get me wrong, I think supporting local coffee shops is a must! While I would never want to dissuade people from spending money on good coffee, you can buy a retail bag and bring that coffee shop home. Also, many local shops will even give you a free drink with a retail bag purchase, win-win.
- Make Coffee at Home
The best way to mitigate coffee spending is to make more coffee at home. I understand those who think it’s virtually impossible to make a coffee shop drink at home, but I assure you, you can do it.
Start with a simple goal of making one more coffee at home each week and see how impactful that becomes. If you’re really craving the convenience, quality and consistency of the coffee shop experience at home, I’d keep an eye on Bruvi®. With Bruvi®, you’ll be able to make all the drinks you know and love from your local coffee shops at home for a fraction of the cost. Your wallet can thank me later!