I know I’ve heard something about something to do with personal finance and coffee…somewhere…I’m not totally sure what it was about? But I think it had something to do with not overspending so that you could retire early?
The thing is, I have a total line in the sand on buying coffee. It’s not possible to make myself a decent cup at work in the afternoon, and I tried bringing it in a thermos a couple of times last year but it didn’t stay acceptably hot until 2:00 pm. And obviously I’m not going to quit that afternoon cup. I just read in my housemate’s copy of Real Simple today that coffee is the healthiest thing you can drink except water! On top of everything else, I like the break in the afternoon that getting up and going for it gives me.
Anyway, the upshot is I pretty much always do buy coffee at work. However, I’ve greatly reduced my costs in a couple of ways. First of all, I switched my coffee-buying venue: from Starbucks to Au Bon Pain. (I’d rather have a better option on campus, but I don’t.) ABP saved me 30 cents a cup right off the top, which was good — I went from $2.11 to $1.81.
Then I had an epiphany. It actually came not because I was trying to save money, but because I’ve been trying to be a bit more environmentally friendly. I dug out a travel mug I used to use sometime, and brought it in one afternoon instead of getting a paper cup. And lo and behold, my $1.81 cup of coffee dropped to $1.27.
That’s a price I can live with. I’m saving $.84 from each cup (based on my baseline Starbucks cup), which is $4.20 a week, enough to pay for the first three coffees I drink the next week. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t start putting the actual change in a jar or something; I’ve been having less fun saving lately, and maybe a game like that would help.