Coffee

I have an addiction that is costing me way too much of my hard-earned money. What I'm addicted to is this: coffee.

I can't help it! I need a coffee to wake up in the morning, and heading to my local coffee chain has just become an unconscious part of my daily ritual. Or, actually parts: I go once before school and then go again some other time in the morning. It's a lot of coffee, and a lot of money! I'm afraid to even do the math, but I know that I always seem to be short on cash, and I've taken to asking for gift certificates to my favorite coffee places as gifts for birthdays and holidays. Experts, can you help me wean myself off of coffee somehow? Is that even possible?

Kicking your coffee habit is certainly possible, but it may not be necessary. Experts agree that you can drink up to four cups of coffee per day without suffering any negative health consequences, and some evidence shows that drinking coffee can be a healthy choice. The only problem with your current coffee habit, assuming you're staying within those limits, is that it's costing you too much — quite a bit too much, actually, if you take the time to crunch the numbers!

Here's that math that you were afraid to do — try not to look away. Let's say that you buy one medium coffee per visit to your local chain, and that the coffee costs a typical $2.10. Let's also generously assume that you are more restrained on weekends, and have just one. That's a total of 12 coffees a week, or 624 coffees per year. You're spending $1,310.40 per year on coffee! When you look at it all at once, it’s easy to see that you’re throwing an awful lot of money away on this habit of yours.

It doesn't have to be this way. You can tweak your coffee habit and get the same (or better) taste for less. What you should do is start brewing your own coffee!

When you brew your own cup of joe, each cup can cost as little as 16 cents. Those savings are really going to add up. While you might take some time to transform your habit, you should be able to reprogram your coffee habits to embrace your own brews and cut out at least one of your daily trips to the coffee shop.

Brewing your own coffee doesn't have to be a hassle. You can get a coffee subscription to ensure that you're always well-stocked with high-end coffee, the pros at Moustache Coffee Club say. Such subscriptions also make great coffee gifts, so maybe you should tell your friends and family so and ditch that impersonal gift-card request you made! You can also reduce the hassle of brewing your own coffee by prepping things the night before. Set up a coffee machine so that your coffee starts brewing the next morning with a mere push of a button, or make cold brew in a French press overnight. Don't be surprised, though, if you start purposely investing more and more time in making coffee in new and unique ways. Brewing coffee is a wonderful part of the coffee experience, and it's one you've been denying yourself by heading to the coffee shop.

Your coffee habit isn't a problem, but your spending habits are. If you make a few key decisions and reprogram your habit just a little bit, we think you'll be able to have your coffee and pay less for it, too. Good luck!

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