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Is 520$ a year too much for coffee?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Dh and I are trying to pay off debt and save some money.
I am the financial person in the house and here is my new dilema:
DH is an on again off again coffee drinker. (Not so good for his health)

We used to make it here in the house and he went through two conatiners of organic cream a week and however much organic coffee at 9.99 a pound, I never really tracked that expense so much but did think that it was quite pricey.

Well now he has a new big job and spends a lot of time at the local wireless connection internet coffee shop place and is buying one cup of coffee a day there. (in his own cup it is 1.75 there). There is another place he can get it for 1.00.

Anyhow, I felt ok about giving him 5.00 a week for coffee but now it is going up to almost 10.00.

I know there are varying levels of being thrifty and that you can look at how much you spend over the year and think about applying that to the CCs or the house or whatever and 520$ over a year doesn't seem really huge to me, but for coffee, it does.

If we go back to him making it in-house, we would have to get a new coffee pot probably at a thrift store but nonetheless it is still an expense.

I'd rather him just quit drinking the dern stuff to be honest but what are some other ways I could get him excited about saving in this area too?
post #2 of 19
I he loves his coffee, I would suggest finding the most cost effective way for him to have it.

If anyone tried to cut my coffee out of the budget, I would freak!!!

He may be motivated by the idea of saving money. Talk with him regarding cutting spending. See what he has to say.
post #3 of 19
I think it's perfectly reasonable for dh to have some "spending money" each week that he can choose to use for anything he wants- a new toy, or a cup of coffee each day, or lunch out once a week, or save up to buy you a surprise. I don't think it's healthy for the relationship for you to be nagging him about little stuff (or for him to nag you about similar things.) If he wants coffee, it comes out of his "play money" and it doesn't affect you at all- he just gets less spending money for other things he may want.

It's up to the two of you to decide how much "play money" you each get each week (or each month, whatever works best for you) and then you can BOTH get little treats for yourselves without blowing the household budget.
post #4 of 19
ITA with Ruthla- I would say you each get a set amount of money (how much or how little depends on your budget) weekly or monthly that you don't really need to account for to the other (well, provided nobody is doing something immoral or illicit)- a "slush" fund.

My personal financial advisor, Dave Ramsey (a radio talk-show host) agrees that this is reasonable and usually necessary, and he is not easy to slip one by- he suggests blackbelt tightwaddery when needed, so I think if he says it is okay, it waould probably work for most people.

So, I say, as long as you get the same amount of slush if you want it, go for it. I usually apply my "matching funds" to bills, but DH just needs to be able to buy a Coke once in a while. blech
post #5 of 19
post #6 of 19
I agree that if it brings him so much pleasure, it's a small issue and I wouldn't pursue it. Consider, if you're ok with him buying the $1/cup/day coffee, times 50 weeks (I assume he takes some vacation time,) that's $250/year. At $1.75, it's $437.50. The actual difference is $187.50/year, or $15.63/month. Personally, I wouldn't worry about that little amount of money for how much enjoyment he gets out of it.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok, I am not nagging him.

I am doing what I have been financially advised to do which is look at the spending habits of the family and evaluate if they are the best way to be attaining the goal.

I am happy for him to get his coffee each day if he wants it and 520 doesn't seem like much money for an entire year of coffee. I just know of a few super-frugal people who would say that we could get that cost down to at least half and could use the money elsewhere. That's where I was going with this.

When I get in super frugal mode I just start looking at the whole picture.
post #8 of 19
post #9 of 19
Money's weird. I will spend $50 on dinner and not feel like that's out of line at all, but I won't spend $50 on a pair of pants that will last ages longer than a good thai dinner.
I guess I'm just trying to say that only you and he can decide about that. And hopefully you agree, 'cause that's easiest.
My husband loves his lunches out. He spends about $30 a week eating out. It's way more than I would spend, but I've had to become okay with it because we're partners.
post #10 of 19
I would cut it down. I just bought a beautiful Melitta coffeepot for $2 at a garage sale. So, yes gtting a coffeepot is an expense, but an investmetn that will pay for itself time and again. You can reuse grounds, putting a little fresh stuff ontop of yesterdays. You can do that for a week and it is much less coffee used.
post #11 of 19
Yes, I think that $520 a year for coffee is too much. We buy Fair Trade coffee for my husband (the coffee drinker in our family) for $7.99 a pound (whole bean), and each pound lasts for more than a month.

It all depends on which is worth more to you: drinking coffee shop coffee or paying down your debt. The only way I think you could get your husband excited about cutting down on overpriced coffee shop coffee is to get him to see what else could be done with that money.

Our fiscal goal is to save for another adoption, and $520 a year would be a big help to us.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi Prana, I was a bit defensive feeling, thanks for clarifying .

Thanks all of you for your input. I was looking for this wide-array of answers and view points.

It is important to pay down our debt and I may just have to tell my husband that he is the one working so hard to make citibank rich and if he wants to buy the coffee, he can. I am going to suggest that he go to the 1.00 a cup place though.

We'll see how it goes.
post #13 of 19
Yes, I'd say that's too much. You could save half that if you switch to a cheaper brand.
post #14 of 19

We're big time coffee drinkers here (Maxwell House or Folgers, $5 for the big can at Dollar General...less with coupons of if DH ventures into that big W store that shall not be named.)

I think we go through a big can (roughly 2 1/2 pounds) every 2 weeks or so. At full price, that equals out to $130 a year. BIG savings, and that's with us being 2 coffee drinkers and 2 pots per day (YIKES!)
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
DH won't drink anything but grind-your-own coffee and I won't buy anything other than organic. He likes italian roast which is 9.99/lb. He drinks less if it is dark coffee. On just coffee we probably spent 10.00 a month but then when you factor in two organic creams @ 2.78 ea. a week and sugar, it goes up a bit from there. + coffee filters too.

Anyhow, I am not going to try tweaking much with his budget on this topic. If he gives up this pleasure who knows what pleasure he will want to take up next.
I am also glad he isn't getting his daily burrito out and letting all his lunch food go bad at home.
post #16 of 19
FWIW I think the fact that he's basically buying the coffee in order to use their wi-fi internet more than makes up for the cost.
post #17 of 19
Everyone needs a little money that is their own to make decisions about. I too, go into super frugal mode from time to time. I have to counsel myself to be reasonable.

When money is tight, we return soda cans for our 'wants'. I like a bottle of Merlot every week, DH likes his Coke. However, I can drink the cheap stuff, if ness. and he prefers cans but will go with the 2 liter bottle .

However, when the money is coming in, I drink a slightly nicer wine, he gets his cans.

I have paid off all my debt, well almost all of it, by paying things down, one at a time. If we get any bonus money, or found money, we put most of it on whichever thing we're trying to pay off ( I went with highest interest rate, first), and take a little for a treat, like a dinner out. Another few months should put us to having only our mortgage to pay off. Again.
post #18 of 19
I totally agree with the poster on the whole eating out vs. pants thing.
post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by stretchmark
when you factor in two organic creams @ 2.78 ea. a week and sugar, it goes up a bit from there. + coffee filters too.
I used to drink mine with all the flavored creamers, but cut back (calories too!) to just drinking it black. Also, just wanted to mention that they do make a metal reusable filter. I bought one at a local store for under $5. It's just a very fine metal mesh basket, and you rinse it out each time. Have had it for at least 5 years now.
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