Little Things Count
You might be amazed at just how much those little purchases add up. Take the seemingly innocent 3 dollar morning cup of coffee from that chain store. Over the course of a year, that cup of coffee is costing you almost 1100 dollars. 1100 dollars, all because you do not want to put forth the effort needed to make your own coffee.
Of course, this also assumes that you buy a straight cup of coffee and not a more elaborate drink such as a mochaccino. If you are addicted to the specialty coffee drinks, you could be spending well over 2000 dollars a year, a staggering amount.
So, is this expense worth it? No, not really. The money that you are spending on coffee would be much better spent on boosting your savings or investment account. Nobody says that you have to give up coffee though, you just need to be smarter about it.
Replacing Store Bought Brew
If you want to maximize your savings, you need to cut out the little expenditures on things that are not a necessity. We all should be able to agree that store bought coffee is something that is not truly needed, but the coffee itself is appreciated. If you are a coffee addict, life might just not be worth living without your morning cup of Joe. Don’t worry, you can still have it, you just need to get your fix the smart way.
What smart means is making your own coffee. Luckily, this is cheap and easy to do. Even better is the fact that you will probably end up liking your home brewed coffee much more. It will be fresher, brewed just how you like it and you will be able to get it a lot faster.
Here is what you need to invest in. You will need a coffee grinder, french press, a good travel mug and a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans. With these four things, you can brew a perfect cup of coffee and you can buy all of this for well under $40. You first couple weeks of coffee savings will more than make up for the expense.
So, why do you need the four items above? Because you are used to gourmet coffee and you will just not be happy making a switch to Sanka. Each of the four items above serves a purpose and will allow you to make a cup of coffee that is even better than what you are waiting in line for. Let’s take a look.
One of the reasons that chain store coffee tastes so good is that they grind the beans fresh. They do not use pre-ground coffee beans because you lose so much of the flavor. Having a grinder will allow you to have the freshest tasting coffee and it will save you money over buying the ready to go ground beans. Un-ground beans are cheaper to buy and they will keep for a much longer time.
A French Press is a wonderful brewing tool and is cheaper than a standard coffee pot. With a press, you add the grounds and then hot water. You let it sit the desired time and then push in a strainer and pour. The great thing about this brewing technique is that you can vary the time that you let the water sit, giving you the perfect strength coffee. With a little trial and error, you will be out-brewing the coffee shops because you can make your coffee just how you like it.
A good travel mug will keep your coffee hot and fresh far longer than the Styrofoam cup you are currently used to. They are indispensable for maintaining coffee quality and will make consumption easier on those long drives to work.
The last thing that you want to do is try to replace your gourmet coffee with some generic pre-ground beans. Buy a good quality bean and grind it yourself every morning for the best results. Keep your beans in an airtight container in a dark place, such as a pantry. Do not refrigerate or freeze your beans if you will use them in 2 to 3 weeks. This can expose them to moisture and can cause them to pick up flavor from your food.
Looking At The Long Term
Clearly, it is actually quite easy to satisfy your coffee addiction, without spending 1100 dollars a year. Most people will even find that they lose the taste for store bought brew, preferring the taste of their own home made coffee. Some might just need a it more convincing however. After all, is it really worth giving up this little luxury for a measly 1100 dollars? For those of you who think this way, take a look at the longer term financial benefits.
Let’s take that 1100 dollars and put it into an investment fund earning 5 percent every year. This is a very doable amount in a low risk investment fund. If interest is compounded monthly, you would have almost 15,000 dollars in just 10 years. After 20 years, you would have 38,000 dollars and in 30 years, you would be looking at an additional 77,000 dollars in your investment account. All for the trouble of brewing your own coffee.
Will skipping the coffee shop make you a ton of money right this second? Of course not, but it is fairly obvious to see that a little thing like this can make a huge impact on your long term savings and retirement goals.
It just goes to show you, that all the little things really matter.