The coffee wars have raged this past week, with financial expert Suze Orman adding her two cents to the conventional financial-guru coffee wisdom: ditch the daily coffee-buying habit and brew at home; you’ll save a bundle!
In fact, she told CNBC, if you put your $100-a-month coffee money into a Roth IRA, you could literally be a millionaire in 40 years with an above-average return. Buying coffee daily, she added, was “peeing a million dollars down the drain.”
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Ladders, for one, defended life’s small pleasures – the daily cup of coffee – but never did the math on what it was costing us.
It seemed only a matter of time until there was a response from Millennials, and Vox soon published an essay called “The Best $20,000 I’ve Ever Spent: Starbucks Every Day of My Adult Life.”
Minnesota graduate student Mae Rice copped to her daily venti iced coffee with hazelnut, soy, and caramel drizzle, a just-under $5 expense. To wit, “In the 12 years since I turned 18 and left home for college, I have spent about $20,000 on Starbucks,” she wrote. Her annual stipend in her MFA program is $18,120, she noted with some irony.
Still, she explained the logic behind her ritual. “We are a country built on habits,” she wrote – morning routines and daily exercise and 15 minutes of meditation – and her Starbucks habit wasn’t necessarily a good one; it “arguably holds me back.”
However, in a twist, the daily cup of coffee is the one thing she can rely on. They say people spend their money on experiences these days, and “Starbucks is my loophole, pleasurable in the present and in the future.” It’s a place that will always be there, wherever she’s living, whatever she’s doing – and it meant that she was secure enough to buy herself a small daily luxury.
Security, comfort, and routine. That, Suze Orman, just might be worth a million bucks.
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