Save money and drink Starbucks too!

By Randell Tiongson on August 16th, 2010

Discussing about Personal Finance does not always have to be about internal rate of returns,peso-cost averaging, risk management, mutual funds, uitf, insurances and all those ‘boring’ stuff all the time. True, it is imperative that we are well aware of what I earlier mentioned but Personal Finance is also, well… Personal. Let me discuss something that is more close to home, especially to me.

I love coffee, brewed coffee to be more precise. I will not take anything butbrewed coffee. Don’t make me drink instant coffee, 3-in-1, I feel like throwing up whenever I am forced to drink those stuff, haha… I always hear so-called ‘personal finance experts’ tell their listeners to avoid buying brewed coffee from Starbucks and just take 3-in-1. I agree, buying coffee at Starbucks is so expensive and we should avoid it. If you are a certified Starbucks addict and buy their coffee regularly, consider this: Let’s assume that your average cost is P100 per day (some of their coffees are even much more expensive) or about P 3,000 per month. Let’s also assume that you can find an investment at about 8.0% p.a. (you can actually get better rates). If you invested your Starbucks expenses for the next 10 years consistently (monthly compounding), your savings will grow to P 470,543.30! If you are a risk taker and opted for riskier investments that will give you an average of 12.0%p,a. yield, your Starbucks expenditure can yield you P 593,626.24 in just 10 years!

Ok, point taken, forget buying Starbucks (well I still do from time to time). But drinking 3-in-1? Hmmm, I’m not sure if I’m prepared to do that. So what shouldcoffee addicts like me do? Brew my own! If you really can’t live without Starbucks Coffee, do the next best thing. Buy their coffee beans and brew it yourself. Buying coffee beans is a fraction of a cost. A 250g coffee beans at Starbucks costs you about P300… that can make you dozens of coffee already. If you are so fixated with Starbucks, you might even want to buy their Starbucks mug that they sell for about P400. One time purchase is all you need and you can experience the real thing, in a cost effective way.

Tips for serious coffee drinkers… the best way to brew coffee is through a coffee press, much better tasting than using automatic coffee makers and no electricity cost. Just dump your ground beans (coarse for press), add hot water, wait for about 2 minutes, and press… great tasting coffee! There are other great tasting coffee beans other than Starbucks — go to your local grocery and buy the cheaper local beans, they taste as good. But, my favorite beans are the mountain beans in Baguio. If you got a friend who is going to Baguio, ask him/her to go to the palengke and buy you a kilo of baguio coffee (mountain coffee is best) at about P200 per kilogram! That will brew you over a hundred cups, talk about cost savings and at the same time, great tasting coffee. Baguio mountain coffee is one the cheapest coffee I ever saw, and it is the best tasting coffee I ever had. Trust me, I know coffee! Batangas Coffee, Tagaytay Coffe… they’re all good as well.

More tips — avoid coffee makers that uses paper filters. It’s quite difficult to buy paper filters, costly and it actually reduces the flavor of your coffee beans. There are just a few people who still insists on using coffee paper filters — I don’t think they know how to drink proper coffee. The Coffee Press (also known as french press) is the best way to brew, but percolators, drip coffees are ok too. Starbucks sells coffee presses, pretty sturdy as mine is about 6 to 7 years old now. I also see coffee presses in department stores that can range for as low as P100.

I need my brewed coffee, once or twice a day. I will not take 3-in-1, ever — plus, instant coffee has a lot of harmful chemicals to make them soluble. I will argue that brewed coffee might even be cheaper anyway.

Take your coffee daily, and still save. No need to sacrifice quality for cost.  Okay, all this writing about coffee makes me want to go down and brew me a cup — I got baguio mountain coffee around, courtesy of a good friend who always knows how to make me happy. There are lots of practical savings tip at this site, you may want to check out this site and sift through the blogs. Before the readers think that Starbucks paid me to write this (I wish they did), I am not endorsing any coffee shop – I just want to make a point and write something close to home for many of us. Save money and drink your favorite Starbucks, its like having your cake and eating it too. Just drink it like I do. If that’s not Personal Finance for some ‘experts’ well, that’s Personal Finance to me! Happy savings, and have a caffeine blast!

“You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gainSave  understanding.” – Proverbs 8:5, NIV


2 thoughts on “Save money and drink Starbucks too!”

  • This is interesting for me..i work as advisor. I’m only particular in Mutual funds and not on UITFs. Since you used the term, I got interest in searching for the difference between the two investment instruments. Thanks for that.

    Another one that caught my interest is the use of coffee in personal financial management. That’s a good catch for coffee lovers as my self. I drink 1 to 2 cups black coffee daily, brew it at home or sometimes drink from Mr. Donut, and at fine coffee shops with clients. I do not know something about coffee press. I want to have my own too. Paper filters are too expensive.

    Love the way you use coffee in this article! Thanks!

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Save money and drink Starbucks too!