We hate to break it to you, but your daily coffee run might a major reason why your savings are shrinking before your eyes. If you're a regular coffee drinker, you probably spend more on your morning brew than you do on investing. But it's a necessity, right?
Thirty-four percent of Americans spend more money each year on coffee than they do on stocks, bonds and other investments, according to investing app Acorns. And women, in particular, spend the most on coffee, according to a poll of more than 1,000 coffee drinkers by Amerisleep. Specifically, women spend an average of $2,327 dollars a year on coffee, which adds up to just under $200 a month.
That's $200 a month that could pay your utility bills, finally fix your cracked smartphone screen, sign yourself up for a new gym, or invest.
Of course, women are willing to drop dollars on a latte of lattes for a number of reasons. While only a surprising 26 percent say that they drink coffee for energy, almost 43 percent drink it because they like the taste. That's fair enough. Another nearly 50 percent feel "moderately productive" after drinking coffee and 24 percent feel "extremely productive," which makes sense since coffee triggers dopamine production in the brain, which helps keep you feeling focused and good.
We asked women just how much they spend on coffee each month and what their reasoning for this hefty expense is. Here's what they had to say.
1. Around $80 a month.
"I spend around $80 on coffee per month — I love drinking it and it is definitely an important part of my daily routine," says Emma Green. "I typically grab a cup on my way to work, as well as on my lunch break. I definitely think it helps me to be more productive, although I would like to be able drink less and still feel like I can get a lot of stuff done."
2. About $100 a month.
"Sadly, I used to spend a few thousand dollars every year as I went to Starbucks once every work day — sometimes twice in the same day — and ordered a $5-6 venti each time," says Amanda Ponzar. "Now, I usually only go to Starbucks once a week ($5-6), plus buy the bottled Frappuccino four packs ($5 is a good price for four bottles), and drink one to two of those a day, mixed with brewed coffee (we brew our own at home). Per month, I probably spend close to $100 on coffee."
She says coffee is her fuel and powers her day, improves her mood, helps her work faster and keep up with her job and her kids, and, honestly, just makes her happy. She also likes how it tastes, and loves having coffee with friends.
"I would rather have coffee than eat out. I would rather drink coffee than anything else," she says. "Coffee gift cards are one of the top gifts I receive for my birthday, Christmas, and other holidays as well."
3. $10 to $15 per month.
"I work from home in a rural place, which means I don’t have any regular access to coffee that I didn’t brew myself," says Lydia Noyes. "My preferred method is the French press, and I spend about $10-$15 per month on a bag of bulk beans at my local grocery store. This gives me enough coffee for two to three cups a day — a great deal compared to going to Starbucks (I’m spending less than $0.20 per cup)."
4. Around $30 a month.
"I used to spend over $50.00 per month," says Shelby Vert. "Now, I am a little more cautious and spend about $20 at coffee shops (Starbucks, Coffee Bean, etc.) and $10 on store-bought coffee pods for my Keurig."
5. $100 a month — and she's not sorry.
"I think I spend about $100 on coffee every month, and I am not ashamed to admit it — this is my treat!" says Heather Taylor. "I usually go to Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf before work Mondays through Fridays and get a latte. I've tried to cut back on coffee in the past, going from five days a week to three or giving it up cold turkey, but it isn't a habit I can make stick."
Taylor is in the process of repaying her student loans right now, and she knows there's a school of thought that says to repay debt you should cut coffee from your budget first.
"Personally, though, I think it's much more effective to give up big ticket items (like a car or my own apartment, neither of which I have) over the small ones to get out of debt," she says. "I've found I'm able to repay my loans much faster by not having major expenses over sacrificing the little ones that bring you joy. Like my lattes. Never gonna give you up."
6. Exactly $64 a month.
"I hate to admit it but I get a $4 cold brew on the way in to work four out of five days a week, which adds up to $64/month," says Joanna. "It helps me wake up in the morning. Also, I switched from an iced mocha which is 300+ calories, and the cold brew I drink now is 15 calories."
7. $40 on K-Cups and $12 to $18 a week on coffee runs.
"I buy the big box of Dunkin' Donut Coffee from Sam's Club for $40. It has 72 K-Cups in it, so it lasts me a month — especially because sometimes I have two to three cups of coffee a day," says Angela Worley. "On top of the $40, I do spend an extra $12-$18 a week if I buy coffee at a drive-thru.
Worley is a work-from-home mom, so she says she really needs all the energy to keep up with the amount of clients she has, while also keeping up with her 17-month baby.
"Also, I come from a Latin family, and it is part of the culture to have at least one cup of coffee a day. I have been drinking since I can remember, and get those awful headaches when I skip it in the morning."
8. $300 a month.
"I’m a recording artist for Manhaton Records, and I live my life on tour. When I’m not on stage, I’m in pursuit of the comfort of aromatic coffee houses across the US, UK and Europe," says Sari Schorr. "I think my tour bus is fueled by coffee. Without it, I feel like I’m running through the sand in stilettos."
Schorr spends about $300 per month on her “refined coffee addiction."
9. $48 a month.
"I've never understood the whole 'Suburban Mom Starbucks' thing — who spends $5 a day on coffee?" asks Lisa Lightner. "I buy my coffee ground, $12 a bag, and brew it at home. When I have extra time in the morning, I use an old-fashioned percolator and make Bulletproof Coffee. Otherwise, drip is fine. I spend $48 a month; 1 bag per week. I haven't purchased a fancy coffee drink in decades. Seems like a waste of money and calories and carbs."
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.