Corraling My Coffee Habit

Overthinking it? Maybe. But that should surprise no one!

February 23, 2017Filed under blog#coffee#financesMarkdown source

Because we buy good coffee and good coffee is expensive, and because we’re trying very hard to save for a house, I’ve been thinking about how to corral that particular budget line.

For a bit of context, we use YNAB, and we have two ways we spend money on coffee: going out to coffee shops, and as groceries. Perhaps surprisingly, it has been the latter of those two which has been giving us trouble: that second cup of coffee every day—you know, for the pick-me-up in the early afternoon—adds up in a hurry, especially when you’re buying Counter Culture or Blue Bottle or the like.

So I decided this week to make one small tweak to our budgeting flow which should help stem this tide of coffee a bit. Namely: we now have an allocated amount of coffee per day, and if we go past that, a corresponding amount of money moves from our coffee shop budget into our grocery budget.

Here’s how that works in practice. Our last bag of Counter Culture cost $17.61. I allot myself 8 ounces per day. On Tuesday, I drank an extra 6-ounce cup in the afternoon. The bag is 12 ounces of coffee beans, which is 340 grams. A 6-ounce cup, made the way I make it, uses 11 grams of beans. So then I did a little math: (11 / 340) * 17.61 ~= 0.57 – so I moved $0.57 from my coffee shop budget to my grocery budget. I did the same with the extra 4-ounce cup I had yesterday and the extra 2 ounces I had in my cup this morning.

Is this budgeting done in excruciatingly minute detail? Yes. Is it helpful to me? Also yes. Do I recommend it? Not unless you’re in the same ballpark of obsessiveness as I am!