Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pricey habit

At my workplace we have a couple of coffee makers. One is a fancy brand named monstrosity with a hopper on top that makes freshly ground and brewed coffee while you wait (it's only half bad). The other is a regular old coffee pot that we use for average cups of decaf. The decaf is my choice of drink, but sometimes I make the mistake of stopping at a store on my way to work for iced coffee.

First off, I've got to stop that because nobody sells decaf iced coffee so I get weird feelings and thoughts of paranoia.
Second off, iced coffee is easy enough to make.

I simply take the last bit of coffee from the pot that nobody wants to drink. Pour it into my cup, let it cool, covered on my desk. Then place it in the freezer in the break-room. Later on when it is half frozen, add milk (I keep soy in the fridge and nobody touches it), sugar, stir. It's icy, but when the ice melts, it won't water down my coffee. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes this is bad.

Now I just have to start bringing my own lidded cup with a straw to work so I can stop throwing plastic cups into the landfill (in my city they don't recycle number 5 plastic and I'm too lazy to collect them and take them to the one place that does).

I'm partway through a book that has reminded me of David Bach's "latte factor" so pardon me while I do a little math.

If I avoid buying iced or hot coffee for $2.99 at New York's more affordable donut chain a couple times a week, I'm saving myself over $300 per year, and as much as $3,000 over the next 10 years. I can already think of what I'd rather spend that money on.

1. a cruise for hubby and myself to the Caribbean with all the fixins
2. 3 trips with hubby to the local men's suit shop for 3 suits on sale. Yes, that is 9 suits over the next 10 years.
3. 2 LV handbags and 1 clutch at retail (I would never buy luxury bags brand new. . . they are just like cars with depreciation so I could probably get 6 LV bags secondhand never mind how many C0ach).
4. Stocks that could appreciate to $14,000 over an additional 20 years.
5. Or if I just start investing about $25/month I could have $52,000 after 35 years. 

Some of those alternatives for the money I could be spending on coffee are not that motivating. The ones that require even more saving are not that attractive. I guess because the tangible, the status symbols, and the just plain fun are still somewhat my focus.


  1. Coffee is absolutely essential to my life because I can't be productive without it and I don't like who I am when not under the influence of caffeine, so I can justify spending money on it. Beer, now that mostly just messes up my life, but life would be pretty boring without it.

  2. also it takes a lot of effort to make your own beer, even if it wasn't messing up your life.