Why Buying A Daily Coffee Treat Is A Totally Okay Financial Decision

Is it coffee or systemic inequality that's holding us back from financial stability?

woman at coffee shop Ksenia Chernaya / Pexels 

As time continues its endless push forward and generations pass from Boomers to Gen X, and Millennials to Gen Z, it almost seems like a rite of passage to be told what your generation is doing wrong. 

Whether young adults are told they’re spending too much money on avocado toast or iced coffee, the underlying message is clear: Financial success requires sacrifice. Kids these days will never make it the way their parents did, especially if they keep spending their income on unnecessary things.


But despite being told otherwise, buying a daily coffee treat is a totally okay financial decision to make.  

The Instagram account thefemalequotient shared a post from Jess Boyer, complete with an important lesson about saving versus spending. In the post, which was captioned with the ever-uplifting phrase, “Treat yourself,” Boyer broke down the economics of going out for coffee every day.

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As Boyer proclaimed, “Annual reminder that one vanilla sweet cream cold brew from Starbucks a week costs $252 a year and over 10 years, $2520, which is not enough to get anywhere near a downpayment on a house, even as prices cool. So, if that ‘splurge’ keeps you going when work makes you want to scream, you do you.”

It’s not a stretch to say the current iteration we’re living through a wildly challenging era, where instability is the only stable aspect of life. The world is continually shifting, yet it feels harder than ever to stay grounded, in every sense of the world — socially, politically, and economically. 

The increased cost of living, combined with an unstable economy means it’s harder than ever for people to support themselves on a day-to-day basis, let alone save up money for something like a house. Rising prices on basic items, like groceries and gasoline, make the act of saving feel insurmountable.

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Boyer’s reminder received over 57,000 likes on Instagram, highlighting how deeply the message that it’s okay to buy yourself that special treat resonated with people.

The comments ran along both sides of the spectrum, coming from those standing firmly in the camp of buying the coffee treat, and those who believe saving money is more valuable than how delicious that coffee treat tastes.

Buying a coffee treat and affording daily survival shouldn't be mutually exclusive.

As one person stated, "I actually don't think it's unreasonable to expect to be able to afford a coffee and still have enough to live.” Someone else took a similar stance, declaring, “It's not coffee's fault. Permanent housing should be a right, not a privilege.”

why it's okay to spend money on a daily coffee treat for yourselfPhoto: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels 


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Another person explained why the issue is about systemic inequality, rather than personal financial decisions.

They noted that “everyone shaming struggling people for buying stuff like Starbucks and avocados is deflecting from the enormous systemic problems of a deliberately engineered wealth gap and blaming the victims of a system that was designed to serve the richest people and keep the rest of us where we are.”

“If you’re only making 30k/year, you can’t support a family and somehow magically save your way to a million dollars,” they concluded.


Yet one person voiced the opposite opinion, leaning in hard to the idea that buying the coffee treat is what’s holding everyone back from financial stability. As they see it, “Starbucks is a luxury, that’s not necessary to survive.”

“I have saved rather than [going] to Starbucks every day, as I’ve saved from not eating out all the time, not always buying what I wanted when I wanted it,” they continued. “Together, all of that adds up to be enough for something. The only way I have savings is because I saved.”

why it's okay to spend money on a daily coffee treat for yourselfPhoto: Joslyn Pickens / Pexels 


One response summed up why buying the treat is always better than not buying the treat, as a commenter claimed, “If you buy the supplies to make your coffee drinks at home, then you’ll save roughly 67 cents a year and lose your last remaining sliver of joy.”

Jokes aside, their comment captures an essential truth about our modern human existence: Nothing is ever entirely certain, not our work or stream of income, not our health or the relationships we cultivate. 

So, the next time you feel guilty about buying the coffee treat, close your eyes and savor that first sip. Remind yourself that life is for the living. If that means spending some of your hard-earned money on something that makes you happy, more power to you.


Cheers. Salud. L’Chaim. Drink up in good health and don’t take anything for granted.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.