If you bought coffee every work day of 2016, you spent about $648
It goes without saying—coffee is addicting. For those of us who consider ourselves coffee-dependent, it’s the first thing we think about when we wake up. A day without coffee ends up being less productive, and let’s be honest, makes us slightly less fun to be around.
If you’re used to picking up a morning cup of joe on your way to work, a coffee addiction can also get pretty expensive. U.S. News & World Report determined that the average American is currently paying $2.70 for a cup of coffee—and that doesn’t even take into consideration the pricier drinks, like seasonal lattes or mochas. And while $2.70 might not seem like much, it adds up quickly. If you’re purchasing one cup of coffee each workday, that’s $13.50 a week, $54 a month, and $648 a year. With that, here are five things you could use your $648 for instead:
1. Invest in a Wardrobe Staple.
If you’re caught in a cycle of throwing away your boots or winter coat every year, you’re throwing away much more than just fabric and labor. You’re actually saying goodbye to your money. It’s tempting (and much easier) to purchase less expensive boots and coats, especially when higher-end pieces feel like so much more money. Buying fast fashion items seems more affordable, but if you have to get rid of them more often, then saving your money to buy better quality is the better investment. With the $648 you’re not spending on coffee this year, you could purchase a solid winter coat or high-quality pair of boots—and still have money left over.
2. Make a Monthly Donation to an Organization That Means a Lot to You.
With the 2016 election behind us, many people are wondering how they can help those who will be adversely affected by a Trump presidency. A great way to get involved and stay active in the fight is to donate to a cause you believe in. If you care deeply about women’s rights, consider setting up a recurring monthly donation to Planned Parenthood. Worried about the effects of climate change? Give to the National Resources Defense Council. Passionate about the LGBTQ community? Look into donating to The Trevor Project.
3. Commit to Buying Better Food.
If you feel as if shopping in the organic section is a strain on your bank account, you’re definitely not alone. Organic food—especially organic produce—tends to be a solid $3-$5 more expensive than the non-organic alternative. But if you’re pocketing an extra $54 a month, that can easily go into your groceries. And if you’re unsure of which groceries are best purchased as organic, Livestrong.com has a handy guide that can point you in the right direction.
4. Put More Money Into Your Savings Account or Retirement Plan.
If you’re saving money from kicking your coffee habit, you might want to think about investing it. While it’s tempting to spend that extra money on fast fashion and the latest trends, investing it shows that you’re thinking in the long term. Your future self will thank you. Remember, investing a small amount now is often a better choice than waiting until you have more to put into your account. Nasdaq offers quotes on shares so you can see what your $54 a month can get you, depending on which stocks you choose.
5. Adopt a Pet.
Caring for a pet is expensive. You have to think about food, vet bills, maintenance and grooming—even adoption fees are expensive. But if money has been your deterrent from getting a dog or a cat, the extra $648 a year might help with that. Adopting a pet, especially if that’s something you feel has been missing from your life, is worth giving up store-bought coffee for.