Let Your Morning Coffee Save Money for You

save money morning coffee

4th and Cherry. That is the bus stop that puts you ten minutes from the First Hill District in downtown Seattle where I worked my first job out of college. Basement cubicle. Entry level. Lot’s of paper pushing. I won’t even get into the salary I somehow managed to survive on.

I lived remotely and took a bus every day because it worked within my budget. Surviving a one hour commute every morning meant that routine was crucial: Wake up and make my breakfast before grabbing my newspaper, bus pass, day bag and raincoat. Lunch was always packed in the fridge. Always have hot sauce. Find the crossword, park my car on the fifth level of the downtown Tacoma parking garage and grab that window seat on the 590 bus by 6:55 AM. At this point, I will attempt to do my crossword and eat my apple and toast.

Once a week I went a little wild and bought a 12 oz mocha from the Starbucks on the corner of 4my bus stop underneath the Columbia Center. It was the treat that I gifted myself so I could start off my weekend with something sweet. This was the routine, perfectly in sync with my 9-5 job and (extremely) modest lifestyle. Budget was everything.

So, I did a little math the other day. This is probably the most math I have done since high school. I worked that job for ten months. That’s 40 cups of coffee. I’m thinking, well I that’s a lot of coffee I bought. Should I stop buying coffee?

As this was a momentary lapse in thinking the answer is obviously not. I cannot live without coffee. Why did I even think that was an option. So I flipped it around and thought about my savings a little differently.

A grande mocha from Starbucks is $3.55 (I’m being generous in cost because prices were hiked in 2016). The whipped cream was free, of course.

That’s $142 I spent on coffee. Yikes.

Now if I’m honest with you, I’m a coffee addict. I lived in the Pacific Northwest, the birthplace of the mega coffee mogul, Starbucks. Coffee shops are on every corner and staying warm ten months out of the rainy year is about strategy. I likely bought 2-3 cups of coffee a week (not including the bags of coffee I kept at home, at work, and in my car). And I bought coffee from some nice coffee shops. They were artists. Seattle baristas are supreme coffee connoisseurs. You have to stay warm out there.

Now let’s assume that coffee, even at those pricey, local hipster spots, was also $3.55.

Let’s also assume I don’t drink coffee out of the house more than twice a week (not possible, but let’s assume). So 80 times in those ten months, I bought a 12 oz. coffee.

If I were to just automatically put away $1.50 every time I got a coffee, that’s $3.00 a week. That’s not so bad. That’s barely anything. I could go on with my life without worrying about that cash and where it is.

Total saved: $120.

Without even thinking about it, I could have generously put away $120.

Buying and drinking coffee: it’s something I love, something that gets me through work, something that dramatically improves my day on a religious level, AKA something I’m not going to stop doing. Just by doing something I love (and need), I could have put away $120 dollars.

Let’s do some really quick math for a second. If I chose three more things from my very efficient daily routine, and set a percentage at which could automatically save for each item, here’s what I get:

Gas – I purchased gas 3 times a month at $45.00 dollars per fill up.
Savings rule: Put away 7% of that purchase every time I get gas for ten months.

Boom: $94.50

Eating out – It happens. It’s hard to make my lunch every day. Let’s say I do that once a week averaging $10 a meal.
Savings rule: Put away 20% of that purchase four times a month.

What’s that? $80.00

Public Transportation – That’s about $2.00 each way so I am spending another $40 a week.
Savings Rule: Put away 10% and multiply that by 10.

Another $160.00 in the bank.

Time for some basic addition: The grand total is $454.50 over ten months. That’s $45.50 every month. That is money saving that doesn’t break the bank.

Just by doing what I have to do and love to do every day, I could save money without having to worry about it. And I can imagine that coordinating all of this sounds pretty tiring. Calculating all of those expenses and percentages, then moving the money over is quite a long process. I can confirm this because I just did all of it and wrote it out in this article.

But this is where I get to tell you, wait for it, there’s an app for that. Looma is the all-inclusive financial management app that does ALL of that math for you and then puts that money into your savings account, automatically. It’s your little money manager with some finesse cause it can do more than just automatically stow away your savings. (Hint: it can do your investing, donating and calculating too.)

Looma - Money Automation App

Saving doesn’t have to be hard when it’s part of your routine. And just because you have a budget, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about putting money away too.

So let an app do all of this for you. Connect it to your bank account. Set the rules, just like I did. And then do what you always do:

Enjoy your coffee and live your life.

And when you look at your savings account in ten months you will think: “Wow…that’s 127 more Lattes right there.”