Everybody that has read a personal finance blog or book has heard of the latte factor. The basic idea is that little expenditures over the course of time add up to big dollars. If your daily cup of joe is $3, that adds up to $1095 a year. That is some serious coin, so this theory always applies right? Wrong! Allow me to take the other side.
For the sake of argument we will use this mythical $3 drink. Using gift cards you can bring this down to $2.40. That makes the annual total $876. Lets assume once in a while you throw some money in the tip jar and bring the annual total up to $900 even. If you grab your coffee and go, you are throwing your money away. Enjoy the surroundings at the coffee shop for some exceptional savings.
All coffee shops have free wifi these days. If you spend an hour there a day using some email hacks to cut down on your internet usage, you may find you can cancel your home internet bill. Total savings: Approximately $480.
Many people bring there newspapers by in the morning and read them over, leaving them for others to read after words. Stop by during your lunch break and you will have your choice of papers to read. If you still subscribe to a newspaper, this could be an annual savings upwards of $150.
Free Meeting Location
Coffee shops provide a low key intimate environment in which you can bring clients and prospective clients to meet and get to know them better. Picking up the tab on a few drinks could help you close the deal on some new contracts. Approximate value: Unknown, but for the sake of argument lets say this brings in another $1000 additional income from deals closed at the coffee shop.
Free Air Conditioning
Keep the thermostat in your house up and head to the coffee shop during the hottest hours of the summer for some iced beverages and free air conditioning. Catch up on some reading or meet some new friends without spiking your electric bill. Annual Savings: $100.
Adding up the savings and income gained brings our hypothetical annual total $1730. When you subtract the $900 spent on coffee this leads to a gain of $830 dollars. Obviously these numbers will not be the same for everyone. The point being made here is that your daily coffee can be a good thing. Even you do not take advantage of any of the above savings, if the you are happier drinking your latte than you are with Folgers instant coffee the choice is obvious. Spend the money! $1100 is a small price to pay for happiness. You can find other expenditures to reduce or eliminate.