Coffee is a luxury many people enjoy. But should you limit yourself to making it at home?
- Consumers are often told making their own coffee could get them closer to their financial goals.
- While it’s cheaper to make coffee at home, buying it may not be an unreasonable thing to do.
Years ago, when I first started writing about personal finance on a full-time basis, I spent some time exploring different financial blogs to see what my fellow money nerds were writing about. And a big theme I saw across a bunch of those sites was the age-old: “Your coffee habit is keeping you from retiring.”
As someone who buys store-bought coffee frequently despite being a strict saver and budget-follower, I happen to find that line of thinking skewed. Of course it’s cheaper to make a cup of coffee at home than to buy it at your local Starbucks. And yes, if I were to take the money I spend every year on coffee and put it into my brokerage account, I’d potentially have the option to grow it into a substantial sum over time.
But I’m not giving up my store-bought coffee anytime soon. And if you’re doing reasonably well financially, neither should you.
Small treats shouldn’t be a source of guilt
In a new survey by “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” a financial blog, 33% of respondents said that “make coffee at home instead of buying it” is toxic financial advice. And as a big fan of store-bought coffee, I can see where they’re coming from.
Now the truth is that if you’re deep in credit card debt, have no money in your savings account to fall back on, and can barely cover your basic bills like rent, then you probably shouldn’t be buying store-bought coffee. In that scenario, you really shouldn’t be buying anything unless it’s an absolute necessity.
But if you’re in a reasonably solid financial spot, then store-bought coffee isn’t a luxury you should feel compelled to give up. And chances are, spending $3 a day on a beverage you could make yourself for pennies isn’t actually stopping you from meeting your long-term goals.
I happen to spend about $700 a year on store-bought coffee. I could probably make my own coffee for $50 a year instead. And yes, if I were to invest that money instead of giving it over to Dunkin on the regular, I’d …….