I broke just about every rule I have for wealth building taking my son to the park this weekend. It was a good reminder to stay vigilant about my money and how I spend it.
I had promised by son Jace I would take him to the park Sunday morning. The weather in Las Vegas has been in the high 60s/low 70s and a Sunday morning park trip sounded like a lot of fun. We packed the scooter, a remote control Hummer and the portable soccer net in the SUV and away we went.
As part of the trip I promised Jace we would go to Starbucks and get a pumpkin bread. He loves their pumpkin bread, and we seldom go so it’s a nice treat for him.
I have Starbucks coffee nearly every day. However, I almost never get it at Starbucks.
Years ago I read a story from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban about building wealth. He talked about how much cheaper it is to make Starbucks coffee at home compared to going to Starbucks.
After reading the story, I bought a Hamilton Beach Brew Station. It is now 10 years old and still works perfectly. I clean it every day with soap and water. Once a month, I run two cups of vinegar through it to keep the insides clean. It has never let me down.
Here is a breakdown of the costs:
Brand new coffee maker: $57. Had it 10 years ($5.70 per year!).
Bag of Starbucks coffee: $6.50. 1 1/2 scoops makes 6-10 cups of coffee PER DAY! One bag lasts me 2-3 weeks.
One Coffee Mate creamer: $4.99. Lasts me around seven days.
Now let’s break down the trip to Starbucks on Sunday: One Venti caramel macchiato and a pumpkin bread for me. One pumpkin bread for Jace. Once Venti vanilla latte and a pumpkin bread to drop off to my girlfriend at work: $21!
Luckily for me I was using a Starbucks gift card I received as a gift to pay for all this.
I know many people who go to Starbucks several times per week. I know a couple of people who need to go to Starbucks every day. Even if they were just purchasing a $3 tall latte daily, that is $21 per week. The total for all those lattes is $1,092 per year!
I would rather put a thousand bucks in an emergency fund for my family than give it to a billion dollar corporation.
There is nothing wrong with going to Starbucks once in awhile as a treat. Building wealth doesn’t mean denying yourself the occasional indulgence. However, building wealth does mean keeping your mind on your money and your money on your mind (thanks, Snoop and Dre!)