Brush Up Your Barista Skills
We'll freely admit that the missive to give up your daily latte purchase is tired advice. And for those of us who happen to function more efficiently with a caffeine buzz, being asked to give up our daily dose is as much a threat as welcome help. What we didn't realize, however, is that the latte factor isn't really about the extra whipped goodness we're sipping from a paper cup. It's about cutting back on small, frequent expenses in order to take one large step ahead in your financial future.
A $5 to $30 investment in a French press or drip cone plus filters will make even inexpensive ground coffees taste pretty good, and adding a $20 grinder to your arsenal will give you access to the freshest (and therefore tastiest) coffees. A $5 to $10 bag of grounds or beans should last through a couple weeks of daily consumption, meaning that your home café will pay itself off in less than two months if you're currently buying a few $1.50 coffees or a couple $4.00 lattes per week.
And let's say you spend $100 in coffee shops every month. If you invested that $100 per month at a 10 percent interest rate for the next five years, you'd end up with more than $7,800 [source: Bank Rate]. The same holds true for brown-bagging lunch instead of dining out or mixing up your appletinis at home instead of buying them at the chic downtown watering hole. The savings will add up (painlessly) before you know it.