I recently wrote that I switched from buying donut-store coffee to grocery-store coffee to squeeze as much savings as I can out of my 1-cup morning habit. I self-brew and don't bother to invest the few dollars that buying coffee in a can saves me, so the switch isn't helping M and I pay off the house any quicker. But if you buy a $3 cup of gourmet coffee every morning before work, a cool little online calculator can show you how much it's potentially costing you over the long haul.
Hugh Chou isn't a financial planner. He isn't even in the financial services industry; he's a system administrator at Washington University in St. Louis, and self-proclaimed "geek." But he is a geek that makes great financial calculators.
Among the many--and I mean many--calculators you can find on his no-frills calculator webpage is the "Stop buying coffee and save" calculator. Just plug in the daily cost of your coffee (don't forget tax and any extra treats to go along with it) and see how much you could save by drinking a 25-cent cup from the office coffee machine. What's more, Hugh's calculator will show you how much those savings could potentially turn into if you invested them for a few years or decades or so.
You'll have to decide what's harder to stomach--the office coffee, or the smaller bank account.
Thanks to My 1st Million at 33, Frugal Duchess, and pfblogs.org for highlighting Hugh and his work. And thank you, Hugh!
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