A latte a day will cost you $1,642.50.
Last week I made a payment of more than three grand for my child’s nursery school for next year. Non-refundable. It’s just a quarter of what I owe for the year. (Yes, insane.) I had to take a big breath before executing payment and tell myself that before long he’d be in kindergarten and that’s free and it’ll be okay, it’ll be okay, paying these expenses won’t get us dispossessed.
I had to dip into savings to make the payment, since my take-home pay doesn’t nearly cover expenses. I realize I’m lucky to have savings to dip into, even while they’re supposed to be adding up for retirement one day out there in a distant, peaceful, financially-secure future. So in the meantime, I do what I can to be frugal and take as little as possible from savings to cover my ample regular expenses: housing, utilities, clothes, coffee.
Yep, coffee. I’m a relatively modest coffee drinker—most days I have one cup in the morning. And most days it’s a single serving French press I prepare myself with a generous splash of milk or half-and-half. No sweetener. But earlier this year I treated myself to a late-day medium latte at Stumptown for a whopping $4.50. I hate to sound like a fogey (aka a Gen-X’er), but I remember when candy bars cost a quarter. For real.
Think about it: If I bought that same latte every day for a year, it’d cost me $1,642.50. Some people buy that kind of drink twice daily, spending more than $3000 annually. That’s the kind of money I could use to start a college savings fund. It’s real money, not random pennies under a pleather cushion in a rec room.
It was several years ago when I started French-pressing at home. There were different reasons for it: I loved (and still do) the suspenseful ceremony of the slow, resistant plunge; I’d long-endured a lack of kitchen counter space in my New York City residency and was grateful for the economy of the device; and, finally, I objected to the cost of a daily caffeine fix from any number of fancy cafés.
My only coffee expense was buying beans. I didn’t even bother getting a grinder; baristas will grind it for free.
But at Stumptown I marveled at the snaking line of customers shelling out cash and decided it was time for a more scientific cost analysis. How much do I actually save in making my own coffee? How much is my self-righteousness worth? And, how much more wasteful would I be if I had never bothered making my own?
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SOURCE: The Huffington Post