Author Topic: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?  (Read 14149 times)

JamesAt15

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« on: July 26, 2012, 06:27:06 PM »
What Americans Are Paying to Work

Quote
What would you say to a 2-percent raise? Sound good? Then stop drinking coffee. While this might seem odd, based on a median income for American households of just over $46,000, 2 percent of their income is what the average American worker spends on coffee over the course of the year.

It's a short article telling us things we already know, but it is nice to see them collecting figures on it.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4038
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 12:59:41 AM »
OK, but how much would my productivity (and thus income) fall if I didn't have access to coffee?  A lot more than 2%, I bet.

Now about that 2% figure.  A 2 lb can of store brand coffee costs me about $8, and lasts a couple of months, so call it $50/year.  No, let's make it $100/year, to cover cost of electricity & the occasional coffemaker replacement (and to make the math simple.)  So multiply that by 50...  Well, I assure you that my income is a lot more than $5000 a year!

JamesAt15

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 01:15:02 AM »
Well, you're obviously getting your efficiency burst a lot more cost-effectively than the average guy in this article, spending $20/week on coffee.

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9443
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 01:19:33 AM »
I have given up daily coffee as part of my frugal makeover and estimate I will save about $800/year. (net, it costs me about closer to $1200 pretax dollars. )  I used to be a coffee addict, but have found giving up to be quite easy this time round. I feel better for it. I drink it only on special occasions now. Next I am tackling my tea habit, which has gradually grown over the years as my coffee consumption declined!

I know there are ways to drink coffee cheaply if its a key pleasure in life, as Jamesqf says. The article is referring to the takeaway/cafe cost...certainly where I live ,  you always see people running around carrying takeaways.


igthebold

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
  • Age: 45
  • Location: NC Piedmont
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 07:17:10 AM »
It's hard to change one's schedule to fit it, but becoming serious about sleep will eliminate any need for caffeine. And let you live longer. I know some people have insomnia issues, but in general people should just sleep more.

tooqk4u22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2848
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 08:58:39 AM »
I like my coffee and won't eliminate and obviously the 2% figure is based on buying it at a coffee place of some kind. 

Brewing at home is far cheaper even if using expensive coffee brands.

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2012, 09:40:37 AM »
What I don't understand are coffee pod machines.  Both the price of and the waste generated by those disposable plastic pods disconcert me.

Admittedly I like good beans.  Dearest husband recently found an old Chemex pot for me a yard sale.  I found a beautiful reusable filter for it on Kickstarter.  Good to go...at less than 2% of our income.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8433
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2012, 09:42:43 AM »
Good to go...at less than 2% of our income.

Please tell me you give at least as much money to charity as you spend on your caffeine habit. 

Failing that, tell me how you've made peace with that decision.

amyable

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2012, 09:43:52 AM »
I like my coffee and won't eliminate and obviously the 2% figure is based on buying it at a coffee place of some kind. 

Brewing at home is far cheaper even if using expensive coffee brands.

Agreed...I drink very fancy coffee (made at home) out of a super fancy-schmancy klean kanteen coffee thermos, and I might spend $20 a month.  The people in the survey are obviously hitting a coffee shop everyday.   

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2012, 09:56:14 AM »
Good to go...at less than 2% of our income.

Please tell me you give at least as much money to charity as you spend on your caffeine habit. 

Failing that, tell me how you've made peace with that decision.

I give far more than my caffeine habit to charity.

Coffee is my vice.  I love the stuff--drink it black without sugar or other additions.  A pound of coffee does last a while so I am surprised by your reaction.  Anti-caffeine?

Sylly

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 265
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 11:49:19 AM »

Good to go...at less than 2% of our income.

Please tell me you give at least as much money to charity as you spend on your caffeine habit. 

Failing that, tell me how you've made peace with that decision.

That seems judgemental and uncalled for. Plus I can't fathom how to make the connection between WS finding a frugal way to get her coffee to her charity spending.

More on topic, I've never seen nor heard of a Chemex pot before. Do they make better coffee by some virtue of their shape/material/whatever, or just a nice-shaped coffee maker + pot in one?

Sunflower

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 245
  • Location: US
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 11:52:22 AM »
I needed to see this....I've been super busy lately and have slipped into buying my coffee at the local shop on campus every morning instead of getting up a few minutes earlier to make it myself at home (I bring my own cup and just get drip coffee but that's not really a good excuse) and it's been way to much of my budget the last couple weeks!! Start tomorrow this will change!

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2012, 12:20:39 PM »

Good to go...at less than 2% of our income.

Please tell me you give at least as much money to charity as you spend on your caffeine habit. 

Failing that, tell me how you've made peace with that decision.

That seems judgemental and uncalled for. Plus I can't fathom how to make the connection between WS finding a frugal way to get her coffee to her charity spending.

More on topic, I've never seen nor heard of a Chemex pot before. Do they make better coffee by some virtue of their shape/material/whatever, or just a nice-shaped coffee maker + pot in one?

The Chemex coffee pot has a beautiful and elegant design:  lab glass with a wooden collar at the neck.  Some coffee freaks claim that they make the best coffee.  Personally I love the design of the pot and the fact that it is a non-electrical appliance (as opposed to most that sit plugged in at the counter). Made in the US too.

Shrugging at Sol's comment. 

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8433
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 12:26:30 PM »
That seems judgemental and uncalled for.

I would not dispute that assessment.  Some days that's a fair description of how I feel about all kinds of things.

Quote
Plus I can't fathom how to make the connection between WS finding a frugal way to get her coffee to her charity spending.

I see coffee as a vice.  It's a drug that people take because they like the way it makes them feel, and aside from being more socially accepted it is analogous to a whole host of other drugs.  I've never been a big fan of deceiving my brain with pharmaceuticals just because I'm not badass enough to deal with real life straight up.

The ongoing discussion in the forum's other trending thread about what people are willing to sacrifice for others vs what people are willing to ask others to sacrifice for them has had me thinking.  And the relatively tepid response from the mustachians to IPD's thread about charitable giving has put a much finer point on it.

For anyone who hasn't read those threads and made the connection to this one for themselves, I'll just spell it out for you; this community appears to value personal wealth at the expense of others over communal wealth for the greater good.  For example, your average mustachian would rather put $20/wk into a savings account than spend $20/wk on coffee, but would also rather spend $20/wk on coffee than on feeding a starving child. 

This is all neatly tied up in the forum's ongoing undercurrent of capitalist ideals and personal responsibility, with folks like Bakari and smedley also playing key roles even though they have not participated much in the above threads.  There are dark things afoot here, just below the surface of our discussions, that I think have been quietly left unaddressed because they make people uncomfortable.  2% on your drug habit is just the tip of the iceberg.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4038
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 12:37:11 PM »
I know there are ways to drink coffee cheaply if its a key pleasure in life, as Jamesqf says.

I think you misunderstood me.  Coffee is not a pleasure to me.  I know there are people who claim to like it, but to me it is a rather bitter-tasting medicine I use to kickstart my slow brain into action.

grantmeaname

  • CM*MW 2023 Attendees
  • Walrus Stache
  • *
  • Posts: 6029
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Middle West
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2012, 12:39:37 PM »
There are dark things afoot here, just below the surface of our discussions, that I think have been quietly left unaddressed because they make people uncomfortable.  2% on your drug habit is just the tip of the iceberg.
So start a thread about it, and we'll have a fantastic discussion! Don't bitch about how nobody's willing to talk about dark icebergs that only you are genius enough to see.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4038
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2012, 12:41:28 PM »
...I'll just spell it out for you; this community appears to value personal wealth at the expense of others over communal wealth for the greater good.

Yes indeed.  Now please tell us why it is you who gets to decide what exactly this greater good is supposed to be, and why that communal wealth almost invariably gets used on things that make me poorer.

tooqk4u22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2848
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2012, 01:00:04 PM »
.....this community appears to value personal wealth at the expense of others over communal wealth for the greater good.  For example, your average mustachian would rather put $20/wk into a savings account than spend $20/wk on coffee, but would also rather spend $20/wk on coffee than on feeding a starving child. 

Absolutely, unconditionally, I am a capitalist and should be free to do what I want with my money.  Ignoring the fact that I have paid and continue to pay a ridiculous amount of taxes (income, wage, sales, property, among others) into a system that doesn't work to largely support people that don't work.  I am all for help those in need and I do give to charity but I will take care of myself and my family first - I also work hard and earned what I have so if I want to by a coffee or a beer - I am fuckin entitled to it because it is out of my own pocket.  To many people (sounds like your camp) feel they are entitled to the same rewards but on someone elses dime.  Fuck that. 

In fact stop taking my money via taxes and instead force me to donate an equivelant amount - I guarantee that resources will go a lot farther and help far more people.


sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8433
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2012, 01:04:42 PM »
Grant, tooqk's post above is the reason I think I will not start a new thread on this topic.

grantmeaname

  • CM*MW 2023 Attendees
  • Walrus Stache
  • *
  • Posts: 6029
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Middle West
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2012, 01:09:21 PM »
He doesn't have to be invited. ;)

If you think it's a moral imperative to help your fellow man financially, and that other uses of wealth are less just, I'd like to hear your argument why. I think there are several pragmatic and theoretical problems with the assertion, and I think discussing them would be thrilling.

I am fuckin entitled to your opinion.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8433
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2012, 01:26:04 PM »
I am fuckin entitled to your opinion.

I was wondering if anyone else was going to pick up on that.  Hilarity.

Here's an abbreviated version for you;  if the Fed is going to create another ten billion dollars of new money in the economy, I would rather see that money distributed equally to every American citizen than see it given to ten individual billionaires.  I just don't think a man who already has a billion dollars sees very much utility out of a second or third or tenth billion, yet this is the system we have implemented.

tooqk4u22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2848
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2012, 01:56:53 PM »
I am fuckin entitled to your opinion.

I was wondering if anyone else was going to pick up on that.  Hilarity.

Here's an abbreviated version for you;  if the Fed is going to create another ten billion dollars of new money in the economy, I would rather see that money distributed equally to every American citizen than see it given to ten individual billionaires.  I just don't think a man who already has a billion dollars sees very much utility out of a second or third or tenth billion, yet this is the system we have implemented.

I am sure you think it is hilarious because most people feel they are fuckin entitled to someone elses money so it is hilarious to think that I am entitled to my own money. 

The problem with your logic about the fed creating another 10 billion dollars is that in reality it is not created because of many factors including eventual inflation, low interest rates that punish savers, etc.  Furthermore, fed and treasury manipulation of fiscal and monetary policy is not my idea of capitalism and it doesn't work long term - eventually the piper needs to be paid.  All this political BS is not creating jobs - the only place it is really having an impact is in commercial real estate acquisitions and sales, which does nothing for the economy.  And distributing the money equally wouldn't do much either and that is proven by the numerous tax credits and elongated unemployment that went out that resulted in one of two things (i) people used the money to save, pay down debt, or meet basic needs none of which helps the economy and (ii) temporarily inflated asset prices or slowed the decline but it eventually went to where it wanted to. 

What the government and all the talking heads fail to realize is that this downturn is a demand and deleveraging issue.  If people, companies, governements have everything they need and are deleveragin because the have to then no matter what you do with interest rates and stimulus it will not increase demand - if that were not the case housing would be rebounding pretty steadily given a great combination of low prices and low rates.  The only effect that stimulus and lower rates is having is causing people/companies/governments to do stupid things (Chasing yield and ignoring risk/Solyndra/rampant increase in debt)

I think there are a lot of injustices in our tax code (carried interest, tax benefits of commercial real estate, 50% of pop not paying fed taxes) at the top and bottom (really the middle is the one that gets screwed) but don't lose sight of how much the top pays of the pie.  Not to mention all the politicians ineffective and borderline corrupt, why would you want them to have and control more of OUR money.

An its not about utility - Warren Buffett and Bill Gates created companies that created imense wealth and thousands if not millions of jobs over time and both paid a lot of taxes along the way even if the effective rate was lower, and you know what they both gave most of it away with results that are probably far more effective, efficient and overall impactful than if it were the government doing it. 

Sorry you took it personally but if you are going to put your opinion out there you can't expect everyone to agree with you. 

Like grant says a discussion can still be worthwhile and don't invite me, I'll just crash the party and we'll have some fun:).  Let's talk, don't be afraid, a may snip a bit but I won't bite.

tooqk4u22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2848
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2012, 02:27:58 PM »
..... if the Fed is going to create another ten billion dollars of new money in the economy, I would rather see that money distributed equally to every American citizen than see it given to ten individual billionaires. 

Sol - your comment in another post is causing me to add on to this one.  You made a comment about infrastructure and in the spirit of simply blowing money I think it would make a whole lot of sense to have blown trillions of dollars on infrastructure projects - (1) it would have put people to work and (2) our infrastructure would be improved so we would at least get something for the money. Would have been far more productive overall.


Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4038
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2012, 03:21:50 PM »
f the Fed is going to create another ten billion dollars of new money in the economy, I would rather see that money distributed equally to every American citizen than see it given to ten individual billionaires.

As who wouldn't?  (Except maybe those ten billionaires.)  But how is a loaded example like that at all relevant?  Surely the questions we should be addressing start with the first "if".

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28450
  • Age: -997
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 03:35:59 PM »
That seems judgemental and uncalled for.

I would not dispute that assessment.  Some days that's a fair description of how I feel about all kinds of things.

Quote
Plus I can't fathom how to make the connection between WS finding a frugal way to get her coffee to her charity spending.

I see coffee as a vice.  It's a drug that people take because they like the way it makes them feel, and aside from being more socially accepted it is analogous to a whole host of other drugs.  I've never been a big fan of deceiving my brain with pharmaceuticals just because I'm not badass enough to deal with real life straight up.

The ongoing discussion in the forum's other trending thread about what people are willing to sacrifice for others vs what people are willing to ask others to sacrifice for them has had me thinking.  And the relatively tepid response from the mustachians to IPD's thread about charitable giving has put a much finer point on it.

For anyone who hasn't read those threads and made the connection to this one for themselves, I'll just spell it out for you; this community appears to value personal wealth at the expense of others over communal wealth for the greater good.  For example, your average mustachian would rather put $20/wk into a savings account than spend $20/wk on coffee, but would also rather spend $20/wk on coffee than on feeding a starving child. 

This is all neatly tied up in the forum's ongoing undercurrent of capitalist ideals and personal responsibility, with folks like Bakari and smedley also playing key roles even though they have not participated much in the above threads.  There are dark things afoot here, just below the surface of our discussions, that I think have been quietly left unaddressed because they make people uncomfortable.  2% on your drug habit is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sol: this post made me stop and think.   (Maybe because it hits a little too close to home.)

Don't not start a thread because it might get some backlash.  If you change the minds of even a few Mustachians, isn't it worth a little discomfort and backlash?

I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8433
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2012, 05:39:35 PM »
Sol: this post made me stop and think.   (Maybe because it hits a little too close to home.)

Don't not start a thread because it might get some backlash.  If you change the minds of even a few Mustachians, isn't it worth a little discomfort and backlash?

Fine, I started a new thread to concentrate the fire and leave the rest of these poor folks alone.

I suspect it will rapidly devolve into accusations of socialism, but that's fine.

amyable

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2012, 06:40:46 AM »
I see coffee as a vice.  It's a drug that people take because they like the way it makes them feel, and aside from being more socially accepted it is analogous to a whole host of other drugs.  I've never been a big fan of deceiving my brain with pharmaceuticals just because I'm not badass enough to deal with real life.

Or, you know, because coffee is really tasty.  I'm sure you never imbibe anything simply because it is  tasty.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1799
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2012, 08:39:04 AM »
This is all neatly tied up in the forum's ongoing undercurrent of capitalist ideals and personal responsibility, with folks like Bakari and smedley also playing key roles even though they have not participated much in the above threads. 

Wait, what?  How did I get dragged into this??!!

I don't know how it is that I always seem to end up arguing with you Sol, given that we seem to both be on the same side of debate.


Quote

I see coffee as a vice.  It's a drug that people take because they like the way it makes them feel, and aside from being more socially accepted it is analogous to a whole host of other drugs.  I've never been a big fan of deceiving my brain with pharmaceuticals just because I'm not badass enough to deal with real life straight up.

Its worse than that.  Like any drug, one builds tolerance to it.  Very soon, all you are doing by drinking it is returning yourself to the baseline you would have been at were you not addicted to caffeine in the first place.  In other words, you aren't becoming MORE alert, you are just treating your own caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

"A 1995 study suggests that humans become tolerant to their daily dose of caffeine—whether a single soda or a serious espresso habit—somewhere between a week and 12 days. And that tolerance is pretty strong. One test of regular caffeine pill use had some participants getting an astronomical 900 milligrams per day, others placebos—found that the two groups were nearly identical in mood, energy, and alertness after 18 days. The folks taking the equivalent of nine stiff coffee pours every day weren't really feeling it anymore. They would feel it, though, when they stopped.

You start to feel caffeine withdrawal very quickly, anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after your last use. That's a big part of why that first cup or can in the morning is so important—it's staving off the early effects of withdrawal."
http://lifehacker.com/5585217/what-caffeine-actually-does-to-your-brain

"According to a recent study published in the June 2010 issue of "Neuropsychopharmacology," caffeine does not cause alertness. This study took 379 individuals; half were no or low coffee consumers and the other half were moderate or high coffee consumers. After 16 hours of abstaining from caffeine, individuals were given either coffee or a placebo, then rated their mood and physical feelings which were followed up by alertness and cognitive tests. There were no differences in alertness varying from those who drank coffee versus those who received the placebo.
Researchers involved in the study published in "Neuropsychopharmacology" in June 2010 state that those who drink coffee regularly may have a developed tolerance to its effects. The alertness regular coffee drinkers feel after having their regular amount, simply brings them back to their "normal" state."
http://www.livestrong.com/article/517164-does-caffeine-make-you-more-alert/

Daily coffee is worse than pointless.  The only reason you feel so slow in the morning without it is BECAUSE you drink coffee everyday.  Go without for 2 weeks, you reset your brain, and you'll be equally alert without it.  In fact, you will probably be better off, because your sleep quality is likely to improve, which in turn will make you wake up fresher.  Plus, then you have the full effects of caffeine available to you for the occasional  times you actually do need the boost.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8433
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2012, 09:00:35 AM »
Or, you know, because coffee is really tasty.  I'm sure you never imbibe anything simply because it is  tasty.

I do.  Sometimes I even imbibe coffee. 

But I tend to use coffee as the drug that it is, meaning I self-medicate when I have a pressing need.  An all nighter, or a late-night drive, or some other function for which I need my brain to be in overdrive.  When you only take it once every few months, even a single cup is very effective.

I'd even go so far as to say this is classically mustachian, akin to building fences in the sun to build your heat tolerance, or walking barefoot sometimes so that you can learn to appreciate the comfiness of good shoes.  Build a little stoicism, accept a little deliberate hardship, and give up your daily drug habit.  Like Bakari said, pretty soon you'll be back to normal AND you'll have the new added benefit of really appreciating that rare cup of coffee in way that you haven't experienced since you first started drinking the stuff.

Sunflower

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 245
  • Location: US
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2012, 11:41:52 AM »
I'd even go so far as to say this is classically mustachian, akin to building fences in the sun to build your heat tolerance, or walking barefoot sometimes so that you can learn to appreciate the comfiness of good shoes.  Build a little stoicism, accept a little deliberate hardship, and give up your daily drug habit.  Like Bakari said, pretty soon you'll be back to normal AND you'll have the new added benefit of really appreciating that rare cup of coffee in way that you haven't experienced since you first started drinking the stuff.

I'm not going to argue that caffeine is a drug; it surely has those properties but I still choose to enjoy a cup most mornings. :-)

There are so many things that could fall under the same category that we have to (get to?) pick and choose which things we recognize as comforts that we are going to indulge in (I understand your example of shoes but I don't think anyone would judge me if I weighed the benefits and decided to go ahead and wear shoes even though they were a comfort that I didn't NEED, I'm doing the same thing with coffee). If you're really worried about consuming food that is actually a 'drug', try cutting out sugar for a few months. Most people are way more addicted to sugar than coffee but don't even know it.

amyable

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2012, 03:13:46 PM »
There are so many things that could fall under the same category that we have to (get to?) pick and choose which things we recognize as comforts that we are going to indulge in (I understand your example of shoes but I don't think anyone would judge me if I weighed the benefits and decided to go ahead and wear shoes even though they were a comfort that I didn't NEED, I'm doing the same thing with coffee).

This is how I feel, but I agree with Sol that it's important not to become reliant on these daily comforts.  Also, I quit sugar almost entirely last month, and it was rough.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4038
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2012, 11:08:57 PM »
I'm not going to argue that caffeine is a drug; it surely has those properties but I still choose to enjoy a cup most mornings. :-)

I won't argue about that either, but I have absolutely no objection to drugs, in principle.  If I tend to avoid them in practice, it's because few of them live up to their billing.

woodpecker

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Location: Bavaria / Germany
    • Money, Freedom and the Art of Happy Living
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2012, 04:37:10 AM »
I see coffee as a vice.  It's a drug that people take because they like the way it makes them feel, and aside from being more socially accepted it is analogous to a whole host of other drugs.  I've never been a big fan of deceiving my brain with pharmaceuticals just because I'm not badass enough to deal with real life.

Or, you know, because coffee is really tasty.  I'm sure you never imbibe anything simply because it is  tasty.
I'd agree on that one.
I think one has to ask oneself quite honestly:
Am I addicted? Then it would be worth trying to stop coffee (or beer, or TV or what else) as it would be a waste of money (and health) to continue that habbit.
Or do I really get pleasure out of drinking this stuff - then the question boils down to budget allocation, e.g. is my budget allocated optimally if I spend some of it on coffee instead of higher saving amount, less working hours or another consumption? If the answer again is yes, then why not?

As I have a quite detailed spending breakdown available for my family, I did the check on the figeuse ;-) :
We have an automatic coffee machine using whole beans, that I buy at occasional sales (coffee is often in sale for some reason).
We drink about 150 self brewed Espresso per month at the average coffee bean cost of 10 EUR (=12 USD) per month. Plus about 8 EUR (10 USD) additionally for coffee at work or (very seldom) going out.
All in all 18 USD per month, thus less than 0,5% of available family income while consuming 5 drinks per day.

Must indeed be the crazily expensive Starbucks coffees (do they have the same stupid prices in the US?!) that drive the figure of 2%.

Cheers,
Woodpecker
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 05:19:11 AM by woodpecker »

grantmeaname

  • CM*MW 2023 Attendees
  • Walrus Stache
  • *
  • Posts: 6029
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Middle West
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2012, 08:32:16 AM »
Or, you know, because coffee is really tasty.  I'm sure you never imbibe anything simply because it is  tasty.
Ask yourself if you would just as happily drink decaf of an equivalent quality. I love coffee to death, but caffeine really doesn't do a ton for me besides make my stomach feel a little off. Unless I'm driving at night or trying to squeeze in one more hour of homework, I'll take decaf over caffeinated coffee every time. Lattes are just damn tasty beverages, plain and simple.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4038
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2012, 01:52:56 PM »
I think one has to ask oneself quite honestly:
Am I addicted? Then it would be worth trying to stop coffee (or beer, or TV or what else) as it would be a waste of money (and health) to continue that habbit.

I can answer that question.  No, I'm not addicted, because I do stop from time to time, as for instance when I go camping.  I may or may not bother on the weekends - though since I'm self-employed, weekend is a rather imprecise term.  Generally, though, if I don''t expect to be putting in several hours of work (or driving, etc), I don't bother.

smalllife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 978
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2012, 08:44:39 AM »
I'm not a coffee or soda person, I'm a tea person.  But I went without it this week just see what kinds of effects it would have.  This week was a lot of late nights and early mornings - aka lots of yawning.  I would "wake up" by around 11 without the cup of tea as opposed to 9 with the tea, but I got there eventually.   Things to ponder :-)  I know sol wanted to know if all of these threads had an effect: probably not the one he was hoping for but it is a direct result.

mm1970

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11006
Re: Americans Spending 2% Of Their Income on Coffee?
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2012, 07:11:53 PM »
Wow, coffee as a drug, I never really thought too much about it, like alcohol.  But I'm a relatively new coffee drinker.  I did have a 20 year addiction to diet coke though.

My habit doesn't cost me much though, because work provides coffee.  I pay for it now because I'm home on maternity leave, but then, I make it half decaf.

I'll have to go check out the other thread.  I see it all as shades of gray with the donating to charity/saving money thing.  I grew up pretty poor.  I like to save because it's a safety net.  I also donate to charity, but how much?  If we are paying tens of thousands in taxes a year, and I have my vices, what's the "right" number to donate to charity?  I guess it's up to us now isn't it?