Coffee. Sometimes it appears that everyone is drinking it, all of the time. On every street there are coffee shops galore, whether the large ubiquitous chains, or small boutique single outlets offering all manner of different and interesting roasts and flavours. Caffeine must surely now outrank nicotine and alcohol as the worlds favourite drug, as over the last couple of decades the coffee revolution has swept the world.
Famously, over the past few years, some commentators have raised a view that buying expensive coffees is the reason why the millennial generation has less wealth than older generations. At best that sounds extremely simplistic and unfair. At wiseabout.money we don’t care about age – we see everyone as an individual, with an individual financial life, which can always be helped by the use of some simple steps.
Even so, we want to tell you why you don’t need it! Now, we are not saying you don’t need your coffee fix. I am not giving up mine anytime soon (if ever). I generally drink a coffee in the morning, then another in the early afternoon. However, it has been a very long time since I have been into a coffee shop and paid for a takeaway coffee.
How much do you spend on coffee?
A few years ago, I did an analysis of my spending. I was working in Central London at the time – one of the easiest places to spend money on the face of the earth. Whilst most mornings would drink my first coffee at home, once or twice a week I did grab one on the way in. Then every day I would go and get my mid day coffee at one of the dozens of caffeine establishments that was within a 1 minute walk of my office.
My spending analysis did not, of course, show that this coffee habit was a very anywhere near the largest part of my spending. After all I was living in London! My monthly rent was the equivalent of the national debt of a small European nation (which may have had something to do with why I was doing a spending analysis). However, I did find that this takeaway coffee habit was actually amongst the largest non-essential costs. I had to pay my rent, I had to eat. However, with coffee, there is an alternative, which, once you have got used to things, is just as satisfying as buying a coffee in a shop.
The alternative, of course, is to make your own coffee at home, and take it around with you. At first this seems like a bit of a pain, but it is actually pretty easy!
What you need
Firstly, I went through a process of finding a way to make coffee at home that was easy, cheap and great tasting. This is another place where one can be seduced by clever marketing into spending huge amounts on equipment. You don’t need any of it!
With the coffee itself, there are a million different options, from instant coffee granules -which are super quick and easy but don’t taste that great, to coffee beans, which will be incredibly flavourful and fresh, to ground coffee, which I found the best combination of cost and taste. You can find it at any supermarket or store, and even the cheaper brands taste pretty good.
Then in regard to coffee machines. You definitely don’t need one. Especially a beautiful chrome Italian version that costs $$$$$$. In my experience, which includes having at least 2 relatively cheap coffee makers, and of comparing the coffee I make at home with that of what can be bought in coffee shops, my advice is to simply buy a Cafetière. They are cheap, don’t take up much space, and the coffee tastes great.
It’s best to avoid a glass Cafetière. I had one, and despite the glass being very strong, I still managed to break one every 3 month or so. I replaced it with a nice metal one, which was actually a lot cheaper, and it does the job very well and is impossible to smash!
Finally, I got myself a flask. I was lucky and I still have the first ever flask I ever got. It looks nice, keeps the coffee piping hot for many hours, and is not so big that it is a problem to fit in my bag. I just fill this up with coffee at home in the morning, and its there for me whenever I need my caffeine fix.
In summary, it is just so easy to massively reduce, or even eliminate your coffee buying habit, that you don’t need cut down your caffeine intake at all! Get yourself a few realtively cheap items, and you can see huge savings every month!