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Why I’ll never give up my daily coffee, even if it meant saving money for travel

Why I'll never give up my daily coffee, even if it meant saving money for travel

I frequent about 5 local coffee shops that I rotate during the week.

Opening the door to one of these cafes and entering into a warm wave of coffee-scented air is one of my favourite feelings, especially knowing that in a few monutes I’ll have a cup of that delicious liquid in my hands.

I know coffee isn’t for everyone, but for me, it’s one of life’s little pleasures.

Occasionally, I’ll come across an article that tells me all the things I can buy if I give up coffee. Sometimes these things will be useless crap that I don’t need, but recently I read a great post that listed all of the investments I could make in my blog for the price of a daily cup.

I’ll admit, these articles are often on point. If I forgo a daily cup of coffee at around $3.50 a day, I could save $105 per month or $1260 per year. As a minimalist, I’m all for reducing spending and redirecting that money towards something more valuable (such as blog improvements or flights to Europe).

Why I'll never give up my daily coffee, even if it meant saving money for travel

But where do we draw the line with these money-saving schemes? Sure, we could try living off rice and beans for a year to save for a round-the-world trip, but is that year going to be enjoyable? Absolutely not. We’ll probably just spend that time being miserable that we can’t purchase anything we enjoy.

So in my opinion, there are some things, like a daily cup of coffee, that might actually be worth spending a little money on even if it seems frivolous.

Over the past few years, I’ve reduced my spending by giving up car ownership (which saves me around $3000-$4000 per year), by going vegetarian (which means I spend less money on groceries), by limiting eating out to 1-2 times per week, and by living in cramped share houses to save on rent.

I also don’t smoke, I don’t go out clubbing on weekends, and I don’t splurge on trendy electronic gadgets (I currently have a 2-year-old HTC smart phone with a cracked screen and barely a day of battery life, but it does the job).

I meticulously follow a budget and track my spending and savings, all so that I can save money for travel.

Coffee

So why do I include a daily coffee in my budget? Yes, it is partly because I really love coffee, but there’s another reason – it’s also an important part of my job as a freelancer.

Self-employment means that I work from home. Now, spending all day in your pajamas might sound like a dream come true, but what most people don’t realise is that there are setbacks to being stuck at home all day.

Not so long ago, my husband showed me a meme of a self-employed person getting excited about a pigeon landing on their windowsill. It’s funny, I know, but it’s actually not far from the truth. Working from home every day can be extremely unstimulating.

We need to occasionally change up our workspace, even if it is for only an hour or two each day. Working in a different space helps us be more productive and gives us a reason to get some light exercise.

Cold brew coffee

Many people might suggest using a co-working space, which are all the rage right now. Now that is a great idea and one that I would love to pursue, but to be honest – it’s expensive.

If I take a look at shared workspaces here in NYC, I’m looking at a minimum of $350 per month just to rent a desk. But if I take my laptop to a cafe to work for a few hours every weekday, my costs are at $75 per month for a daily coffee.

Yep, I’m actually saving $275 per month.

Let’s take this calculation even further. Say I wanted to stay in a cafe all day, purchasing 2 coffees and my lunch in the process. The cost would then go up to about $15 per day or $325 per month, and that figure includes me getting fed. It’s still more cost-efficient than the cheapest co-working space.

For me, a daily coffee is not only an enjoyable experience, it’s also a vital part of keeping my sanity. If I was cooped up in my apartment every single day, I have no doubt that I would slowly go insane.

So, daily coffee, consider yourself justified.


Do you make justifications for your daily coffee, or other little pleasures in life? How do you go about saving money for travel? Share your tips with us in the comments!

Ashlea Wheeler

Blogger & Photographer at A Globe Well Travelled
I'm Ashlea, an excitable Australian who loves photography and exploring the world. Find out more about me.

26 Responses to “Why I’ll never give up my daily coffee, even if it meant saving money for travel”

  1. Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine

    A daily coffee isn’t my little pleasure, but I totally respect this blog post. There was a period of time that I got SERIOUSLY sucked into those “save x amount of $$ now!!” But for me, if I’m not traveling all the time (which I’m not), I have to remember to enjoy my life too. So I do allow myself pleasures as I see fit. 🙂 Sure it might not be the fastest saving method, but I’m happy!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      I’m so glad you can relate, Amanda! You’re absolutely right, most people (myself included) aren’t travelling 100% of the time. While there are certainly places we can cut our budgets to save money for travel, it seems stupid to get so caught up in it that we make our lives less enjoyable in the process. It’s great that you’re making an effort to enjoy those in-between times, too 🙂

      Reply
  2. Polly

    This is great. I’ve just started going through the Afford Anything website and it’s constantly reiterating that well-off people do not get rich by penny-pinching. Honestly, even living an uber-minimal lifestyle, I have those small luxuries (coffee & cheese) that are just not worth giving up!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      That’s great that the Afford Anything website is endorsing this! I think it’s absolutely true that yes, penny-pinching can save you some money, but it’s not going to make you rich or make your life any more enjoyable. There are definitely limits, and it’s important to be aware of them. Thanks for your comment, Polly!

      Reply
  3. Lauren

    I totally agree. Coffee is a daily enjoyment that I just don’t feel like living without. It’s versatile, as you can drink it alone or with other people. And it’s so incredibly tasty.

    Thanks for this article that I know only a true coffee lover would write.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      You saw right through me, Lauren! I’ve been a coffee lover for many years 😛 Glad you can agree with me on this one – coffee makes our days just a little brighter and no-one can stop us from enjoying it!

      Reply
  4. Rachel Oliver

    I completely get you with this post. Nothing beats the feeling and the smell of walking into a coffee shop and then tasting the amazing coffee! Definitely worth not going out at the weekends for!

    rachel // Style Soup

    Reply
  5. Gina

    Sounds justified to me! I love going to coffee shops and wish I had a chance to work in them more.

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      I really love working in coffee shops! If you ever need to get some blogging done and don’t want to do it at home, I highly recommend relocating to your local coffee shop instead 🙂

      Reply
  6. Elise

    This post made me laugh so hard, in a good way! As a student, worker and not the least a freelancer I always save my money to invest into my freelance work, which is hopefully my daily job once I am finished school. And I feel so guilty whenever I buy a cup of coffee or splurge on food in the cafeteria instead of taking the dry bread from home. But it felt a bit more okay after reading this 😉

    Kinkx

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Oh haha that’s good, Elise! Don’t feel guilty about the coffee, as long as you’re not spending freely in other aspects of your life then the odd coffee isn’t going to make a huge difference. Also, it’s fuel for freelancers. We absolutely need it! 😉

      Reply
  7. LisaLDN

    I completely justify my daily coffee(s)! I am a huge lover of caffeine, but since I only drink my coffee black, I rarely buy it in a coffee shop any way. Thus, I don’t really have to justify the spending, only the fact that some people think 4-6 cups of coffee a day is a little too much.. Oh well, it keeps me happy 🙂

    LOVE this article, because whenever I see those ‘this is how much you could save if you give up coffee’ I wasn to scream – I love my coffee, and would never give it up! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Exactly! The weirdest thing is that you never really see these posts in relation to anything else, like how much money you could save if you stopped smoking, or drinking, or eating out. Why is it always coffee!? A coffee a day (or 4-6) never hurt anyone!

      Reply
  8. Rachel

    I could never ever give up my daily coffees! I love my morning ritual so much and it just sets the tone for a super productive day ahead. I also find I get far more done working from cafes than I do from home. Great post! xx

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Me too! Coffee is part of my ritual and without it I don’t think I’d be nearly as productive in the mornings. And I absolutely agree about getting more done when working in cafes – it allows us to stop thinking about distractions at home and just power through our work! So glad you agree with me on this one, Rachel 😀

      Reply
  9. Kelly

    I agree with you. Everyone has their own non-negotiables. There are things I am willing to spend money on, guilt free. I save in other ways. And coffee in a coffee shop, especially independent coffee houses, is worth its weight in gold. Cheers!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Absolutely! Purchasing a coffee is also a contribution to the local economy. And if we get some serious enjoyment out of it too, then it’s a win-win situation! Thanks Kelly 🙂

      Reply
  10. Emma

    It is worth every penny I say! I am a total coffee and tea person and will spend a good amount to get a decent cuppa. Coffee has been by my side through all my assignments getting me through uni, so I am team coffee all the way and totally supporting your spending!

    Fabulous post!
    em xx

    emlouhow.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      I agree, Emma – every penny spent on coffee is a penny well spent! It’s one of things that has more than just a dollar value, especially when we use it to get us through uni assignments and work days!

      Reply
  11. Francesca

    I LOVE this!! You always hear about things you can give up in order to save money, but like you said, how enjoyable will that time in your life be if you can’t buy little things that make you happy. You just have to prioritize and figure out what is needed for your sanity and then give up the rest so you can save for your dreams, whether that be travel or whatever! Great take on a common blog topic 🙂

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks, Francesca! There’s definitely a line to be drawn for frugality. Travel is fantastic and all, but those in-between times should be great, too! I’m so glad you agree with me on this one. It’s nice to know there are other people who understand that we should be enjoying ALL of our lives, not just some of it!

      Reply
  12. Cayce

    I hear you! I try to save as much as I can for my adventures, but I just love (the taste of good) coffee too much to give it up. What is life without small (“guilty”) pleasures, eh? 😉

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Exactly! These little guilty pleasures (and they really are little, it’s not like we’re splurging on something expensive here) are what makes our day to day lives enjoyable. So glad you enjoy a good coffee as much as I do, Cayce!

      Reply
  13. All Around the Midwest

    I love coffee shops! I could NEVER give up my coffee. It’s like a part of me!
    Me and my friend just started a food and travel blog! We are extremely excited to start traveling around the midwest states. We made sure to bookmark this blog. It has many tips that will help us out. Plus it’s addicting! I couldn’t stop going from post to post!

    Melanie

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      That’s great, Melanie! I’m so glad you’ve found my posts useful for your travels, it’s great to get such fabulous feedback 😀

      Reply

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