Author Topic: Why 'Shark Tank' investor Kevin O’Leary refuses to spend $2.50 on a cup of coffe  (Read 8665 times)

rugorak

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(warning - one of those annoying autoplay videos)

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/04/kevin-oleary-wont-pay-2-point-50-for-coffee-instead-he-invests-it.html

Old news to the crowd here but always good to see something like this out there.

DS

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He probably has people sucking up to him who just bring him coffee haha

Enigma

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I posted this article on my Facebook.  This is what my financial heroes look like.  Loved his quotes.

"Do I pay $2.50 for a coffee? Never, never, never do I do that," ..."Because if I don't buy it, the money is going to be invested and make money every year for me while I'm sleeping." - Kevin O'Leary

NoStacheOhio

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I posted this article on my Facebook.  This is what my financial heroes look like.  Loved his quotes.

"Do I pay $2.50 for a coffee? Never, never, never do I do that," ..."Because if I don't buy it, the money is going to be invested and make money every year for me while I'm sleeping." - Kevin O'Leary

He sleeps during business hours? ;)

libertarian4321

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O'Leary has it right.

After years of peer pressure (I have lots of friends/relatives in Vermont, who are fanatical about Keurig and Green Mountain coffee), I finally broke down and bought a Keurig at a really low "Black Friday" price.

I realized I was paying about ~60 cents a cup with it, which is way too high (to say nothing of the $3 Starbucks coffee).  I'm a multimillionaire, but there is no way I can afford to rationalize paying 60 cents for a cup of coffee.

So I invested a few bucks in refillable K-cups, and now have my cost down to about 25 cents a cup.

Chesleygirl

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This "don't buy or drink coffee" advice is starting to get really old.

What about people that buy wine? That's throwing money away too. What about people who buy a soda instead of water at the restaurant? Wow, who would have realized that there are other beverages out there that cost money.

I'm not sure why coffee is singled out every single time.

What about people that pay for NetFlix? They could invest that money instead!

BlueMR2

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I'm not sure why coffee is singled out every single time.

For whatever reason, coffee in my culture is seen as a requirement to survive mornings.  Soda and wine are considered "important, but not necessary" (despite having similar addictive properties).  So, people are used to ditching those when funds are low.  Coffee however is considered a necessity and people will do ridiculous things to keep it.  Therefore, not having coffee becomes the shocking headline.

sparkytheop

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This "don't buy or drink coffee" advice is starting to get really old.

What about people that buy wine? That's throwing money away too. What about people who buy a soda instead of water at the restaurant? Wow, who would have realized that there are other beverages out there that cost money.

I'm not sure why coffee is singled out every single time.

What about people that pay for NetFlix? They could invest that money instead!

Part of the reason, I think...  Coffee is easily made at home, or something that can be so much cheaper than people pay for it.  These are not usually the people buying a 99 cent gas station coffee.  These are people who have the daily $5 plus tip jar money coffee habit.  Even when office coffee is available (I'm not saying office coffee is good, just available).

Pop/soda is not something easily/cheaply made at home.  While cheaper to buy a two liter bottle at a grocery store, even buying one with lunch/dinner is not costing $5 every time.

Wine is also not something made easily/cheaply at home.  Neither is beer. 

So, while reducing intake of all three will help save money, or even just how you buy it, coffee has become the easiest target.  It also seems to be the one that has seen the most change in how it is purchased in the last 20 years.  I know my town didn't have any coffee shops then, and "iced coffee" was some weird Japanese concoction in a can.  Now the stuff is everywhere and has gone from a luxury to a daily occurrence for many.


Chesleygirl

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I'm not sure why coffee is singled out every single time.

For whatever reason, coffee in my culture is seen as a requirement to survive mornings.  Soda and wine are considered "important, but not necessary" (despite having similar addictive properties).  So, people are used to ditching those when funds are low.  Coffee however is considered a necessity and people will do ridiculous things to keep it.  Therefore, not having coffee becomes the shocking headline.

Coffee isn't the only addictive thing that people will do ridiculous things to keep. Lots of people are alcoholics (beer, wine) and won't stop drinking and lots of people smoke cigarettes. These things are considered necessities to these people, even if they know they're unhealthy. So is eating meat. Many people insist protein is necessary for survival. But I haven't eaten any form of meat in 25 years and I'm still alive. I probably spend less on food than these people do but I'm not going to write articles about how I'm directing meat funds towards investments.

There is also the obvious issue of people who never drink coffee but they are poor.  They have nothing invested at all.

So it's just not that simple.

Anyone who spends $5 a day on coffee drinks is probably over-spending in other areas of their life too. Focusing only on the coffee habit isn't going to help this person. They are probably also buying too many clothes, fancy car, taking too many vacations, shopping at Whole Foods, etc. etc. Trying to talk to them about cutting out $5 coffee drinks is like trying to put a band-aid on a big, gaping wound. It's not going to help.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 02:30:18 PM by Chesleygirl »

Chesleygirl

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Coffee is easily made at home, or something that can be so much cheaper than people pay for it.  These are not usually the people buying a 99 cent gas station coffee.  These are people who have the daily $5 plus tip jar money coffee habit.

No, lattes, cappuccinos and espressos aren't easily made at home unless you own the machinery to make these kinds of drinks.  They aren't the same thing as a cup of coffee from the gas station. They are all espresso based drinks and am espresso machine and milk foamer are also used. It's not like drinking a cup of brewed coffee. It is a different type of drink altogether. That's what people don't understand. Is is still foolish to spend $3 a day on one? Probably so, but that depends on the person's finances and what they have budgeted for luxuries. We can't say. What someone wants to work into their luxury budget might be different from what you would. You might want to work movies into that budget or an occasional shopping trip. While that person might think, hey lattes are what I want for my indulgence so that is what I'm going to work into my luxury budget.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 02:35:14 PM by Chesleygirl »

sparkytheop

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Coffee is easily made at home, or something that can be so much cheaper than people pay for it.  These are not usually the people buying a 99 cent gas station coffee.  These are people who have the daily $5 plus tip jar money coffee habit.

No, lattes, cappuccinos and espressos aren't easily made at home unless you own the machinery to make these kinds of drinks.  They aren't the same thing as a cup of coffee from the gas station. They are all espresso based drinks and am espresso machine and milk foamer are also used. It's not like drinking a cup of brewed coffee. It is a different type of drink altogether. That's what people don't understand. Is is still foolish to spend $3 a day on one? Probably so, but that depends on the person's finances and what they have budgeted for luxuries. We can't say. What someone wants to work into their luxury budget might be different from what you would. You might want to work movies into that budget or an occasional shopping trip. While that person might think, hey lattes are what I want for my indulgence so that is what I'm going to work into my luxury budget.

Oh, as someone who often roasts my own coffee and has a fancy espresso machine I use to make myself a daily latte, I get that they "aren't the same".  However, most people who write the articles see "coffee" and think "why spend $5/day when you can brew your own for 25 cents".  (And, even though I have this daily habit, I would never go buy a daily coffee.  When I was at work training I drank the hotel coffee, but did buy my own cream to keep in the fridge.)

I think it's just the result of looking at "a lot of people waste money they can't afford to waste on this" for a general argument, than worrying about all the variables.  Generalization for the win...

Chesleygirl

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It's a current trend to bash coffee as the sole source of financial struggles. Ten years from now, all these people who are giving up coffee are going to wonder why they aren't rich.  They'll think "but I did everything right and stayed away from Starbuck's. What happened?

libertarian4321

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It's a current trend to bash coffee as the sole source of financial struggles. Ten years from now, all these people who are giving up coffee are going to wonder why they aren't rich.  They'll think "but I did everything right and stayed away from Starbuck's. What happened?

I've never seen anyone claim coffee is the sole source of financial struggles.

But it is a perfect example of how seemingly little indulgences add up over time, and could end up costing you hundreds of thousands, or even millions in retirement.

A person who thinks nothing of plunking down $3.50 for a cup of coffee may well be the kind of person who drops $10 on theater popcorn, $20 on an Avocado sandwich, 1.25 on a can of soda at the office, etc.

None of those things alone is a financial killer, but add them up, and they can create the "I can't understand why I can't get ahead" victim mentality that we all hear far too often from people making 6-figure incomes but complaining that they are "just getting by."

boarder42

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It's a current trend to bash coffee as the sole source of financial struggles. Ten years from now, all these people who are giving up coffee are going to wonder why they aren't rich.  They'll think "but I did everything right and stayed away from Starbuck's. What happened?

I've never seen anyone claim coffee is the sole source of financial struggles.

But it is a perfect example of how seemingly little indulgences add up over time, and could end up costing you hundreds of thousands, or even millions in retirement.

A person who thinks nothing of plunking down $3.50 for a cup of coffee may well be the kind of person who drops $10 on theater popcorn, $20 on an Avocado sandwich, 1.25 on a can of soda at the office, etc.

None of those things alone is a financial killer, but add them up, and they can create the "I can't understand why I can't get ahead" victim mentality that we all hear far too often from people making 6-figure incomes but complaining that they are "just getting by."

+1.

Clearly you take issue with the coffee part of this chesley but even in the video that started this thread it was used to show an example.  Can you drink Starbucks daily and still be rich yeah. But you have to be aware of all your other spending in life. It's a great starting point for the conversation about all money spending habits.

Chesleygirl

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It's a current trend to bash coffee as the sole source of financial struggles. Ten years from now, all these people who are giving up coffee are going to wonder why they aren't rich.  They'll think "but I did everything right and stayed away from Starbuck's. What happened?

I've never seen anyone claim coffee is the sole source of financial struggles.

There are plenty of financial advice articles that do claim this: Coffee is the only source of people's financial difficulties. Other types of financial habits are rarely or never discussed. It just gets old. I think these writers need to find a new schtick.

And if you really want to save money over the course of a lifetime, stop eating meat.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 10:11:42 PM by Chesleygirl »

runbikerun

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I always assumed the focus on coffee was because it presents the perfect introduction to the mindset of rethinking how you spend your money. It's a pretty small daily expense, and it enables probably the biggest percentage difference in cost for any substitution - and switching for one month actually produces visible results. If someone sets up a savings account and transfers $3.50 each time they drink their own coffee instead of buying it, then at the end of the month they have a remarkably clear visual of what they can change.

For example, if you start with "why are you paying $6 for a craft beer in a bar when you could host friends at home and drink the same beer for $3 from the store", it's very easy for someone to say "well, I mostly go to the bar to watch the game, and I'd have to pay for the sports package to do that at home, and I don't necessarily want ten of my friends getting loaded in my living room and yelling at the TV". It's a saving, but not necessarily a huge one, and it's very easy to rationalise why you don't want to go down that road.

If you instead say "why are you spending $3.50 on a fancy-ass coffee when you could get a French press and a bag of ground coffee and make your own for less than ten cent a cup", the response is much more likely to be "well, I do like my frappa - wait, how much did you say? Less than ten fucking cent? What the absolute fuck? What kind of innumerate spendthrift idiot does that coffeeshop think I am? I'll show those assholes." And then a month later they're buying their second bag of ground coffee for two dollars and they think "maybe it's worth looking at my other expenses". At that point, they've already been primed to think in a different way, and having seen the difference the morning coffee makes, they're ready to look at less drastic and more marginal cases. In terms of operating expenses, switching out brings your coffee costs from $77 a month (assuming one coffee bought at $3.50 on each of 22 working days) to $2 (one bag of ground coffee, large enough to produce 22 cups of black coffee). That's a 97.4% reduction in operating costs (admittedly, it's less if you want sugar or dairy with it), and the person is still getting their morning coffee. It's small and fairly easily done, and it produces a bigger relative saving than just about anything you can do bar selling your car and buying a $200 secondhand bike.

When I started reading MMM, I'd been trying to get into the habit of drinking coffee rather than cola, but it was meeting with limited success. It wasn't until I did the maths and realised I could caffeinate myself for less than 10% of the cost that I really went to town on substituting one for the other, and started shovelling as much as I could manage into savings accounts to build up an emergency fund.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 01:47:04 AM by runbikerun »

boarder42

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It's a current trend to bash coffee as the sole source of financial struggles. Ten years from now, all these people who are giving up coffee are going to wonder why they aren't rich.  They'll think "but I did everything right and stayed away from Starbuck's. What happened?

I've never seen anyone claim coffee is the sole source of financial struggles.

There are plenty of financial advice articles that do claim this: Coffee is the only source of people's financial difficulties. Other types of financial habits are rarely or never discussed. It just gets old. I think these writers need to find a new schtick.

And if you really want to save money over the course of a lifetime, stop eating meat.

again this is a dietary change that isnt going to start the conversation with many people.  the coffee change is just a habitual change to make your own instead of buying a starbucks with no real additional life effort - maybe even life effort saved from waiting in a starbucks line.

You're not going to get very far with a blog post about why you should stop eating meat to save money in your life.  b/c now you've just instituted a much larger change than simply sourcing meat more affordably -  something like only buy meat when its on sale as the loss leader - or buy half a cow if you want steak because steaks are overpriced at the store all start a much better conversation than change your diet to save money.

Chesleygirl

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again this is a dietary change that isnt going to start the conversation with many people.  the coffee change is just a habitual change to make your own instead of buying a starbucks with no real additional life effort - maybe even life effort saved from waiting in a starbucks line.

You're not going to get very far with a blog post about why you should stop eating meat to save money in your life.  b/c now you've just instituted a much larger change than simply sourcing meat more affordably -  something like only buy meat when its on sale as the loss leader - or buy half a cow if you want steak because steaks are overpriced at the store all start a much better conversation than change your diet to save money.

I feel the same way about the massive numbers of blogs and articles about how the "skipping your daily latte can make you a millionaire". Those don't go far with me, and I'm sure don't go far with lots of other people, either. Besides I don't know anyone who buys at Starbuck's every single day.

boarder42

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again this is a dietary change that isnt going to start the conversation with many people.  the coffee change is just a habitual change to make your own instead of buying a starbucks with no real additional life effort - maybe even life effort saved from waiting in a starbucks line.

You're not going to get very far with a blog post about why you should stop eating meat to save money in your life.  b/c now you've just instituted a much larger change than simply sourcing meat more affordably -  something like only buy meat when its on sale as the loss leader - or buy half a cow if you want steak because steaks are overpriced at the store all start a much better conversation than change your diet to save money.

I feel the same way about the massive numbers of blogs and articles about how the "skipping your daily latte can make you a millionaire". Those don't go far with me, and I'm sure don't go far with lots of other people, either. Besides I don't know anyone who buys at Starbuck's every single day.

you obviously dont work in an office building or on a job site etc. my company put in a starbucks like coffee shop in our brand new building that is as far away from where my team sits as possible and people have a daily ritual to walk the 20 mins round trip a couple times a day to get a new coffee when there is coffee in the break room 1 minute away.  starbucks sells 8MM cups of coffee a day last i heard.  thats alot of people spending a lot of money there.

But either way you dont have to like the example.  i personally think its one of the best examples out there to start a conversation - esp when you see someone holding a starbucks cup.

oldtoyota

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I realized I was paying about ~60 cents a cup with it, which is way too high (to say nothing of the $3 Starbucks coffee).  I'm a multimillionaire, but there is no way I can afford to rationalize paying 60 cents for a cup of coffee.


Statements like these are why I love this forum.

GuitarStv

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Many people insist protein is necessary for survival. But I haven't eaten any form of meat in 25 years and I'm still alive.

To be fair, protein is necessary for survival.  It's just meat that is optional.  :P

NoStacheOhio

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again this is a dietary change that isnt going to start the conversation with many people.  the coffee change is just a habitual change to make your own instead of buying a starbucks with no real additional life effort - maybe even life effort saved from waiting in a starbucks line.

You're not going to get very far with a blog post about why you should stop eating meat to save money in your life.  b/c now you've just instituted a much larger change than simply sourcing meat more affordably -  something like only buy meat when its on sale as the loss leader - or buy half a cow if you want steak because steaks are overpriced at the store all start a much better conversation than change your diet to save money.

I feel the same way about the massive numbers of blogs and articles about how the "skipping your daily latte can make you a millionaire". Those don't go far with me, and I'm sure don't go far with lots of other people, either. Besides I don't know anyone who buys at Starbuck's every single day.

you obviously dont work in an office building or on a job site etc. my company put in a starbucks like coffee shop in our brand new building that is as far away from where my team sits as possible and people have a daily ritual to walk the 20 mins round trip a couple times a day to get a new coffee when there is coffee in the break room 1 minute away.  starbucks sells 8MM cups of coffee a day last i heard.  thats alot of people spending a lot of money there.

But either way you dont have to like the example.  i personally think its one of the best examples out there to start a conversation - esp when you see someone holding a starbucks cup.

I have a developer trying to put a bar ~250 feet from my house because they can't secure tenants in the adjacent office building without "amenities."

I literally sat in a city council meeting where they talked about how millennials (me) won't go work somewhere without on-site lunch spots (no explanation why they need to be bars that also do robust weekend/evening business). I wanted to pull my hair out. Nevermind the pre-existing restaurants within walking distance (which they're also using to justify the rezoning).

radram

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This "don't buy or drink coffee" advice is starting to get really old.

What about people that buy wine? That's throwing money away too. What about people who buy a soda instead of water at the restaurant? Wow, who would have realized that there are other beverages out there that cost money.

I'm not sure why coffee is singled out every single time.

What about people that pay for NetFlix? They could invest that money instead!

All great examples.

Wine - I buy all the $4-$6 bottles of wine I want. I have spent more than $20 on a bottle exactly 1 time. A tour of a Winery in Italy, followed by a tasting, followed by the purchase of 1 bottle of their most expensive ( $25 Euro ) wine that was consumed our last night in Italy. It was the family's first trip outside of the country(except for Canada). Worth the cost for the experience alone.

Netflix - I never subscribed to cable, so you could say I "saved" $30-$100 per month for 25 years based on the package. Used free over the air antenna and LOVED it untill I could no longer receive the free digital TV guide that connected directly to Windows media Center to record live shows. Total cost was $90 for the tuner placed in a PC that was just sitting around. The income that is generated from that stache now pays for Newflix, Hulu, AND Amazon Prime. It will for the rest of my life, or until something better comes along or I lose interest. Already thinking about having Hulu OR Netflix, switching periodically instead of both at once.

$2.50 for a soda(sometimes with no refill!) at a restaurant vs. $0.10 for 1 glass from a $.99 2 liter bottle at home drives me up a freaking wall. I once saw a sale for $0.50 a 2 liter of soda. I then took my daughter to a festival and she wanted 1 glass of $4.00 soda. I said she could drink 1 soda now, or she could drink water from the drinking fountain 20 yards away. On the way home, we would stop and buy 8-2 liter bottles of soda. She could drink them whenever she wanted. She choose the water and the visit to the store on the way home. That was 4 months ago. She has 1 bottle left :)

We had the same discussion with beer, but she did not like the idea of me drinking 22 beers as soon as we got home(that was the mark-up for 1 beer at the festival). Good thing, as I most likely would have died :)  I did eventually run out though.

Cell phones are also a sticking point for me. I have a smart phone with 50 times more calls than I make, 20 more texts than I use, and usually most of the data I want, all reset every month. I watch it carefully to stop using it all together if I am close to running out so I can still use it in an emergency. Why do I do this? Because my monthly bill is $0.00. Others would rather die than run out of data on their cell plan. Paying $1000.00 per year when I can get something close (and acceptable to me) would hurt my heart and mind, even though I could afford it if I wanted to.

I think the bigger picture that is getting lost with you is that is all about options. You must choose how to spend your money, when to say no, and when something else is "good enough".

BUYING water...... NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. But that's me.

You are right, coffee IS used a lot. You could just as easily use any product with a generally accepted markup of 3500%. Do you know of any other items other than coffee?


Enigma

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I posted this article on my Facebook.  This is what my financial heroes look like.  Loved his quotes.

"Do I pay $2.50 for a coffee? Never, never, never do I do that," ..."Because if I don't buy it, the money is going to be invested and make money every year for me while I'm sleeping." - Kevin O'Leary

He sleeps during business hours? ;)

My father used to tell me...  If you made money while you slept that is a good sign you will become wealthy.  The idea is you are gaining interests and dividends on money you have loaned out.  I set up a rental portal and my dad was trilled people were sending money around midnight and early morning hours.  He felt wealthier just with the thought

NoStacheOhio

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I posted this article on my Facebook.  This is what my financial heroes look like.  Loved his quotes.

"Do I pay $2.50 for a coffee? Never, never, never do I do that," ..."Because if I don't buy it, the money is going to be invested and make money every year for me while I'm sleeping." - Kevin O'Leary

He sleeps during business hours? ;)

My father used to tell me...  If you made money while you slept that is a good sign you will become wealthy.  The idea is you are gaining interests and dividends on money you have loaned out.  I set up a rental portal and my dad was trilled people were sending money around midnight and early morning hours.  He felt wealthier just with the thought

I was really just referring to the markets being closed

Enigma

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Some markets are open all the time....  For example foreign markets (opposite times) and the cryptocurrency/currency exchange markets (24hrs)

Chesleygirl

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BUYING water...... NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. But that's me.

You are right, coffee IS used a lot. You could just as easily use any product with a generally accepted markup of 3500%. Do you know of any other items other than coffee?

Water is one you mentioned I forgot to. Bottled water is mostly a waste of money. Also, food & snacks bought at movie theaters have huge markups. Better to stop by the store on your way to buy snacks; and stuff them into your handbag or pockets. Otherwise, you could spend more on food than you would on the movie tickets.

Also, candy stores where they have candies in bins and you scoop them, bag them and they weigh them on a scale to determine how much money you owe. Very expensive, huge markup.

This was a gourmet chocolate company in my area that went out of business after they were exposed as not really making the chocolates themselves as they claimed to.  It costs about $2,000 a pound. They simply put it in fancy molds and nice, steel boxes and people would buy it thinking it was specially made gourmet chocolate. It turns out they were a chocolatier, not a chocolate maker and they sourced their chocolate from cheaper places.

http://dallasfood.org/2006/12/noka-chocolate-part-1/

"To make some “apples to oranges” comparisons, Noka chocolates cost more than:

Foie gras — $50 per pound
Domestic sturgeon caviar — $275 per pound
American Wagyu and Japanese Kobe beef — $100 to $300 per pound
Sterling silver — $170 per pound
Marijuana in El Paso — $350 per pound
A fat stack of dollar bills — $454 per pound"

"Who would guess that the world’s most expensive chocolates (several times over) are made in a tiny kitchen shoehorned between a pair of hair salons in a half-abandoned strip mall in Plano, Texas?".  (My note: yes, I've seen their location myself. It's tiny).

https://consumerist.com/2006/12/22/noka-chocolate-is-a-scam/
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 12:52:00 PM by Chesleygirl »

sparkytheop

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There are limited situations where I can see buying bottled water...

Had an ex-bf who lived in an area where the tap water smelled like sulfur.  Not just a hint of it, but very strong.  You felt like you needed a shower after taking a shower.  You couldn't filter out the smell, so buying water to drink was almost a necessity (he could have filled bottles from my house, from work, etc instead though).  However, he would buy expensive individual bottles instead of by the gallon/5 gallon (which would have done the same thing and been so much cheaper).  There are bigger reasons he is an ex, but the way he would spend money on some stuff would have played a part in deciding if I would have made it longer term...

Chesleygirl

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I can see buying water in some cases. I've read that some of it's just tap water put into bottles, though. Who knows.

https://www.elitedaily.com/life/stupid-buy-bottled-water/1097287

"Here are five myths we tell ourselves to rationalize buying bottled water -- debunked:

1. We think bottled water is safer to drink.
Think again.

There have been recent and frequent bottled water contaminations. Fourteen brands of bottled water were recalled a few weeks ago due to possible E. coli contamination. Such contaminations are likely because bottled water is subject to fewer filtering laws than tap water.

Yes. You heard me.

TAP WATER quality is more strictly regulated and consistently enforced than bottled water quality. And this has been the case for decades.

Yet we Millennials who still buy bottled water are blindly following a trend.

2. We don’t like the taste of tap water.
Buy a filter. It will still save you money.


3. We don’t care about the environment.
If we buy bottled water, we might as well tattoo "F*CK THE EARTH" on our foreheads.

This is possibly the most important reason not to buy bottled water.

It contributes to an unsustainable amount of waste in our global ecosystem. There are numerous consequences of plastic waste for both terrestrial and marine environments.

Recycling cannot solve this problem, but not buying bottled water can.

This isn't something we don’t already know. Buying bottled water is wasteful.

4. We are stupid.
As active, smart and responsible people, there is really no good reason to justify buying bottled water when we have access to drinkable tap water and affordable reusable water bottles.

Granted, some of us live in developing countries where bottled water is the only safe option. When I lived in rural Thailand this past year, I cringed every time I had to purchase a bottle at my local 7-Eleven, but what choice did I have?

I recycled the bottles diligently -- even though it wasn’t convenient -- and tried not to think of all of my peers back home who have access to clean tap water yet still buy bottled water.

5. We are ignorant and lazy.
I surmise that those who still buy bottled water must be embarrassingly narrow-minded or lazy.

We can change that.

We are capable of acting like the generation we claim to be. We must hold each other accountable.

It’s not cool to have plastic bottles piled up in our kitchens. It’s not cool to constantly pass up on buying a reusable water bottle because we’re too stingy.

We’re clearly not doing the math and not realizing that all of those “one-time purchases” of overpriced bottled waters are way more expensive than the actual one-time purchase of a reusable water bottle.

It’s not cool to ignore environmental stewardship and waste reduction.

We love to vacation in the tropics. Yet we forget that what we think of as pristine beaches are incredibly vulnerable to devastation from plastic waste.

While chugging away in our everyday lives, we cannot forget that those “ideal vacation spots” won’t stay immaculate forever if we continue to do things like buy bottled water.

We cannot forget those bottles travel to places other than the corner trash bin.

We don’t have to make conservation or climate change mitigation our careers. But we do owe it to each other, to our kids and to our grandkids, to be smart and responsible people.

This means not wasting money on bottled water and not ignoring environmental issues. We are better than that."
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 02:59:27 PM by Chesleygirl »

Enigma

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Buying a bottle of water is just as equivalent as buying a $2.50 coffee IMO.  However, that aside looking at water for just a second...

My father used to never let us as kids buy water in the store.  We had to get a Gatorade, coke, or another sugary drink.  His justification was that water was nearly free on the tap and water fountains were plentiful.  As an adult looking back on all those purchases -- water was still a wiser investment than the sugary drinks we ended up buying.  My mom is a diabetic...  my brother was a borderline diabetic...  plus I have had a few grandparents die due to diabetes issues.

When you are thirsty you need water.  You don't need a sugary drink or energy drink.  Even coffee when I started to drink it black only with cinnamon one thing I couldn't justify is a $4 cup of black coffee from starbucks.  If you are going to buy a drink (coffee, water, sugary drink, or energy drink), I would recommend hands down buying a bottle of water.

What I actually do --  I have at my work desk a $10 BPA-Free Nalgene 1-liter (32oz) bottle which I fill up multiple times throughout the day.  When I get off work, I walk around with a 1 liter plastic bottle that I refill on the weekends.  It is also worth noting on my desk is a coffee mug that I make my morning 33 cent cup of joe and a stainless steel metal tumbler that I make tea the rest of the day.

enron

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A lesson in opportunity cost.  I don't drink coffee, but I apply this thinking toward buying lunch at work versus bringing something from home.



Cali

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O'Leary has it right.

After years of peer pressure (I have lots of friends/relatives in Vermont, who are fanatical about Keurig and Green Mountain coffee), I finally broke down and bought a Keurig at a really low "Black Friday" price.

I realized I was paying about ~60 cents a cup with it, which is way too high (to say nothing of the $3 Starbucks coffee).  I'm a multimillionaire, but there is no way I can afford to rationalize paying 60 cents for a cup of coffee.

So I invested a few bucks in refillable K-cups, and now have my cost down to about 25 cents a cup.

Not to mention you aren’t filling landfills with those awful overpriced pods.

BlueMR2

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After having suffered through a couple of water emergencies (where tap water in our entire region was unusable for several days and all the bottled water vanished from store shelves instantly), we now keep a couple cases of bottled water around and rotate them out every year or 2.

Dabnasty

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This "don't buy or drink coffee" advice is starting to get really old.

What about people that buy wine? That's throwing money away too. What about people who buy a soda instead of water at the restaurant? Wow, who would have realized that there are other beverages out there that cost money.

I'm not sure why coffee is singled out every single time.

What about people that pay for NetFlix? They could invest that money instead!

For people who read things like MMM and financial advice articles on the regular, yes definately getting old. But for everyone else, maybe not.

"Why coffee" has been covered pretty well but I want to put it a bit more succinctly. It is the most common daily spending habit in North America and the price difference between homemade and coffeeshop is significant. It's just statistics.

This conversation reminds me of the first time I bought tea in a shop. They gave me a cup of hot water and a teabag. I get that it's not that much different than a cup of tea and in a way it does make sense... but I just paid close to $2 for a teabag. I was pissed.

Cashonda

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This "don't buy or drink coffee" advice is starting to get really old.

What about people that buy wine? That's throwing money away too. What about people who buy a soda instead of water at the restaurant? Wow, who would have realized that there are other beverages out there that cost money.

I'm not sure why coffee is singled out every single time.

What about people that pay for NetFlix? They could invest that money instead!

This is a good point related to Kevin O'Leary since he is eschewing coffee as being a waste of money but often brags about his extensive wine collection and super expensive wine club memberships. I call bullshit. But of course... it is true that mindlessly throwing away money on things that are not necessary is unwise if you are trying to save money.

PS: I am always jealous when he talks about his fancy wine habits. Sounds like fun! I'm too cheap for that.

FIRE@50

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Coffee is free at Trader Joe's and normally pretty good. Have a great weekend everyone!

runbikerun

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BUYING water...... NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. But that's me.

You are right, coffee IS used a lot. You could just as easily use any product with a generally accepted markup of 3500%. Do you know of any other items other than coffee?

Water is one you mentioned I forgot to. Bottled water is mostly a waste of money. Also, food & snacks bought at movie theaters have huge markups. Better to stop by the store on your way to buy snacks; and stuff them into your handbag or pockets. Otherwise, you could spend more on food than you would on the movie tickets.

Also, candy stores where they have candies in bins and you scoop them, bag them and they weigh them on a scale to determine how much money you owe. Very expensive, huge markup.

This was a gourmet chocolate company in my area that went out of business after they were exposed as not really making the chocolates themselves as they claimed to.  It costs about $2,000 a pound. They simply put it in fancy molds and nice, steel boxes and people would buy it thinking it was specially made gourmet chocolate. It turns out they were a chocolatier, not a chocolate maker and they sourced their chocolate from cheaper places.

http://dallasfood.org/2006/12/noka-chocolate-part-1/

"To make some “apples to oranges” comparisons, Noka chocolates cost more than:

Foie gras — $50 per pound
Domestic sturgeon caviar — $275 per pound
American Wagyu and Japanese Kobe beef — $100 to $300 per pound
Sterling silver — $170 per pound
Marijuana in El Paso — $350 per pound
A fat stack of dollar bills — $454 per pound"

"Who would guess that the world’s most expensive chocolates (several times over) are made in a tiny kitchen shoehorned between a pair of hair salons in a half-abandoned strip mall in Plano, Texas?".  (My note: yes, I've seen their location myself. It's tiny).

https://consumerist.com/2006/12/22/noka-chocolate-is-a-scam/

This was a genuinely fascinating read. It's faintly astonishing that the company survived for any length of time at all following that evisceration; I suspect that if it had all happened ten years later, the story would have broken the company in days.

golden1

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It kills me that people buy $2.50 coffee because with easily available knowledge and a small amount of upfront money (cheaper than a Keurig) you can make a far superior cup for 1/5 the price or less. 

Kyle Schuant

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I always assumed the focus on coffee was because it presents the perfect introduction to the mindset of rethinking how you spend your money. It's a pretty small daily expense, and it enables probably the biggest percentage difference in cost for any substitution - and switching for one month actually produces visible results.
I've seen a lot of case studies pop up here, and I can't recall one in which coffee was a significant expense overall. I disagree that focusing on small things helps mindset. In fact I believe it actually hinders the person, not seeing the forest for the trees and all that.

I actually work in a job which requires people to change their lifestyle for success - the fitness industry. Now in our certificate and in the media generally there's a lot of talk of small changes, like whether it's good to have lots of carbs or lots of protein, whether you should have regular sugar in your coffee or artificial sweetener, and so on. And yet the Western world is getting fatter and sicker than ever. So I think we can say that focusing on the small stuff actually doesn't produce lasting change.

The beginning and end of all nutrition questions is, "What did you have for breakfast?" If breakfast was awful, the rest of the day will be, too. If it was great, so will be the rest of the day. The best answer I ever got was, "Couple beers." Did I need to ask the guy what he had for lunch? Should I have got him to count his macros? The guy needed to have something for breakfast - something without alcohol! Fruit loops would be an improvement. Once he's having an actual breakfast, then he can worry about what he's having for breakfast. But really if he's having booze for breakfast then we are probably looking at some more serious mental and physical health issues than can be addressed in the gym.

In saving money as in so many other things, there's an 80/20 rule - though not literally true down to the last percent, it's true that doing just a few things will usually give you quite large savings. If, and only if that's been done, then you worry about other stuff. And look to see if there are more serious issues there, too.

Don't major in the minors. The parable of the jar with the stones and the pebbles comes to mind.