My deplorable coffee

I spilled coffee on myself this morning on my commute. I made the coffee myself, so I couldn’t sue anyone for the temperature. It sucked having to turn around and go home to change clothes, though.

One of the “undeplorable” things I do is making coffee in the morning. Yes, I pay for my own coffee when my job provides it free of charge. Sue me, I like to drink from a travel mug while I commute my twenty minutes. It’s probably inertia from when I was a boozer, but I prefer to have coffee in the car before I arrive at work.

Coffee is easy to pick on. I think everyone who blogs or writes about money has run these numbers. I just got an email from Rachel Cruze telling me again that I shouldn’t spend $4 a day (or whatever) on Starbucks coffee. Fair enough. I detest Starbucks, both the coffee and the company, so it’s easy for me to “boycott” them. Deplorably, I can’t say the same about my beloved Dunkin’ Donuts.

Well, until I do the math.

Dunkin’ Donuts turns me into a sugar-craving weakling, so I get a “medium hazelnut regular.” Yes, this is sickly sweet and disgusting and horrible for me. It also costs $1.79 plus tax here in Phoenix. So let’s say I get one every morning and manage not to spill it on myself. That’s $1.94 x 20 work days = $38.80, or $465.65 a year.

I can do better things with $465 in a year, rather than handing it over to a giant corporation.

Now let’s say I’m a pretentious hipster who likes burnt coffee, ugly tattoos and beanie caps. Or I’m a suburban soccer mom who wears yoga pants, Han Solo boots and quilted vests with faux-fur collars. I go to Starbucks and pay $4 plus tax for my Seattle grunge coffee or venti double-mocha pumpkin spice frappe. $4.33 x 20 = $86.64, or $1039.68. Holy smokes, now we’re talking real money.

I can do better things with $1040 in a year, rather than handing it over to a giant corporation that hates me. Better yet, if I take that $1039.68 every year and put it in a mutual fund that averages 8% growth, in 30 years I’d have $127,200 (thank you compound interest).

Harumph, you say, you’re not factoring in the cost of making your own coffee. Now you’re thinking like a deplorable consumer!

Since I am lazy as fuck, I bought a Kuerig for $86.64 last year. It’s a hunk of plastic, so let’s say it lasts three whole years, averaging $28.88 a year or $2.41 a month.

Deplorably, I shop at Walmart, and I buy store brands. Their “Great Value” k-cups (French Vanilla, in my case, because I’m a weakling as stated above) comes in a 48-pack for $14.98. No tax in Phoenix since it’s not for consumption on the premises. That’s 31 cents for one cup of coffee, or $6.24 a month.

Thus, making my own coffee for work costs me $8.65 a month, including amortizing the fancy coffee maker.

$8.65 x 12 months = $103.80. So I’ll now subtract my $103.80 from the Starbucks yearly total of $1039.68, leaving $935.88. Then I’ll take that $935.88 and plug it back into my 8% mutual fund every year to get $114,500 after 30 years.

So basically I’d be paying myself $114,500 to stay away from Starbucks for thirty years. Sue me, I think long-term. How deplorable! (And as a nice side bonus, I’m also not giving money to smug baristas so they can pay off the $120K student loans they took out for their degrees in Transgender Environmental Art Theory.)

I am a deplorable consumer.


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