Last week, I published an article on Simple Money called “Make Your Coffee at Home” And 50 Other Simple Habits to Save Money.
Most people had kind words to say about the list. But others offered criticism.
The critical and negative comments didn’t surprise me. I’ve been writing on the Internet long enough to know how people respond to certain phrases. And “make your own coffee to save money” is definitely one of them.
As is telling people to stop spending money on avocado toast by the way.
The advice to make your own coffee is often dismissed as trivial or simple or downright insulting. Here’s how one commenter put it over the weekend, “Oh wow, you can make coffee at home? Who knew!”
I know that deciding to make coffee at home, in the grand scheme of things, probably isn’t going to change your entire financial outlook. Because, let’s face it, how much does skipping that cup of coffee save?
Most estimates put the number somewhere less than $2/day—or maybe as high as $1,000/year if you’re buying something fancy every time at Starbuck’s.
That being said, despite the dollar amount savings, I will continue to offer the advice. And here’s why: Making your coffee at home is about more than the couple dollars you save each day.
Making your coffee at home is about recognizing and leaning into the mindset that is required to make the necessary positive financial changes in your life.
It’s about more than the dollars, it’s about embracing a new worldview concerning life and money. As an example, consider what the commitment to making coffee at home displays:
Willingness to Be Inconvenienced.
Brewing your coffee at home may seem less convenient than grabbing a cup on the go, but it shows you’re willing to put in the effort and work to save and get ahead financially.
Choosing Simplicity Over Luxury.
Home-brewed coffee may not always taste as amazing as the fancy latte from the local café. But it can still be enjoyed. And it signifies that you can keep your tastes simple—especially when you’re focused on financial wellness over fleeting pleasure.
Embracing Change in Your Routine.
Deciding to make your coffee at home requires an intentional shift in your daily routine. It demonstrates (and communicates every morning) your desire to make sacrifices and embrace changes to improve your financial situation—whatever it takes.
Faithfulness in the Small Things.
Brewing your own coffee is a small thing and might save you only a couple dollars/day. But in some ways, that’s the point.
Paying attention to even the smallest expenses shows you’re intentional with your money. And when we are faithful in little things, we cultivate the habit to be faithful in larger matters.
Rejection of Status Symbols.
Carrying your own coffee in a thermos to work may lack the prestige of walking in with a Starbucks’s cup, but it shows that you’re not driven by status symbols. You value financial health over appearances.
Breaking Auto-Pilot Spending Habits.
Buying coffee daily is often an automatic action. By choosing to make coffee at home, you’re intentionally disrupting auto-pilot spending, showing a commitment to control your money instead of letting it control you.
Not Needing to Buy Things to Enjoy Yourself.
Enjoying a cup of self-made coffee can bring a simple joy to your day that is not tied to a purchase. It underscores that experiences and contentment don’t have to be bought—they can be brewed at home.
Patience and Discipline.
Saving a few dollars a day might not seem significant, but over time, they add up.
This act reflects patience and discipline in your approach to personal finance, recognizing that the light at the end of the tunnel might be a long way off, but you’ll only get there if you keep moving forward.
Creating and Staying Within Boundaries.
Choosing to make coffee at home is an arbitrary decision that you make for yourself. No one but you knows about it—and you are the only one holding yourself accountable to that commitment. Essentially, you are setting a boundary against impulsive or convenience-based spending. Staying within it proves your self-discipline.
Brewing your coffee at home may seem trivial when looked at in isolation, but it’s a powerful symbol of a broader mindset change. Those who cast shade on the suggestion miss the picture.
It’s about more than just saving a couple of dollars—it’s about a shift in perspective that can move your financial journey towards success.
Of course, there are other small financial habits that we can adopt to bring about changes in our financial circumstances. I don’t mean to pick on only coffee-drinkers in this article. Apply the principle as you see fit.
To anyone who is striving to get out of debt, save more, give more, or improve your family’s financial situation, remember: it is almost always the small, intentional, and consistent steps that lead to significant change.
Might I suggest you start by brewing your coffee at home? Because “Making Your Coffee at Home” is about more than just saving a few dollars, it’s about embracing a mindset that can radically transform your financial future.