Coffee is a way of life for many, if not most, Americans. It is considered a dietary staple and is in ready supply in homes, offices and restaurants wherever you go. And according to a new survey, Millennials are spending more money on coffee than they're saving for retirement.
The survey, conducted by SurveyMonkey, suggests that nearly half of all Millennials have spent more money on their daily coffee than they've cumulatively saved for retirement. The survey was named "Money Matters," and was taken by over 1,900 people between 18 and 35.
The survey data was parsed by gender, and it turns out that Millennial women are more egregious coffee spenders than men.
According to Acorns, the company that sponsored the survey, "A staggering 44 percent of female Millennials aged 18-35 spent more on their morning fix than they did putting money aside this year. What's more is that this number is almost 10 percent higher than the number of Millennial males with the same habit in the same time frame. This evens out to about 41 percent of all users surveyed."
Coffee is cheap, so it's an easy purchase to rationalize making on a frequent basis. But the cost stacks up.
41% of survey respondents between 24 and 35 years old said that they won't be "financially secure enough to retire until they are older than 65."
Acorns is an investment company, so who can really say if their reporting of the survey data is objective or not. But regardless, coffee is an easy corner to cut if you're trying to save money.
The research on the health effects of drinking coffee are divided, but generally positive. There's some science that even suggests it may help defend us from heart disease. But it's by no means a dietary essential. Caffeine is notoriously addictive, and many people who quit it entirely report that they're actually more alert in general without the drug's influence.
It's hard to say no to that daily cup of coffee. Especially if you're tired, in a rush, or are just habituated to the taste. If you're brewing your own at home or drinking free coffee at work, that's probably a better option than forking over the $2-4 a cup from coffee shops, even if it tastes better. Extrapolate that expense out over the long haul and you're looking at a major drain on your finances.
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, tea is hard to beat. Green tea, especially, is dirt cheap and confers significantly greater and more scientifically validated health benefits than coffee.