Do you know how much money you spend on coffee in the year? I just worked out how much I spend, and let me tell you, it’s a sickening amount. In August, we lost our way with money a little and found ourselves scrabbling at the end of the month. Scouring through online banking told some home truths, and in my own personal account, a guilty pleasure seemed to pop up day after day. I almost wished my vice could have been clothes or wild nights out, because at least then I’d have something to show for it – well, some clothes and a pounding headache. My vice was coffee, Costa to be exact, and with every single time ‘COSTA COF’ appeared on my bank statement my heart sank a little, and then it sank even further when I physically counted out exactly how much my vice had cost me. I’ll let you take your own guess, but if every month in the year was like August, here’s a few options as to what I could buy if I give up coffee…
44 Chunky Knits From Zara. It wouldn’t be an unofficial wishlist without a guilty pleasure in here, and the chunky knits from Zara are exactly that. I’m that infuriating shopper for the Zara sales team who comes in and feels the need to touch everything as she walks by it, I know fine well I won’t be buying it, but I’ll get a good handful of material to gauge the quality and silently lust over each and every A/W item. I’m not a fan of spring clothes, I’m definitely not a fan of summer clothes – I live for muted auburn and thick jumpers, roll necks and batwings, unfortunately for me though, my bank balance doesn’t feel the same. This toss up between a daily caffeine hit and 44 chunky knits is one that there is no question about, and yet, I mindlessly throw away my 44 jumpers for a cappuccino?
1 weekend in Copenhagen, 3 return flights to Rome and a Trunki for Harrison in every colour. I’ve spoke of my plans for travel next year, and whilst we’ve already paid off our week in Gran Canaria, our two weekend breaks are still outstanding. Having priced both, if I had given up buying coffee this year, I could have paid for four days in Copenhagen. Copenhagen is the first on my city-break list -a short flight, amazing food and beautiful buildings for Harrison to run between. (If you’ve never thought to look at Denmark, flights are £45 return from Edinburgh, even cheaper from down south) and an Air B’n’B should set us back another £300 tops. Even if we are liberal with spending money, it would be hard not to stretch the money to also cover a fair chunk of our Italy adventure too. And a Trunki, we can’t forget a Trunki. (If you’ve never heard or seen a Trunki it’s another one of these more hassle than it’s worth products that should make flights easier for parents, whether it makes anything easier or not, it’s a right of passage for Harrison’s first flight. I’m determined to travel – there is this misconception that travel is all but impossible with a baby. While not impossible, it is more difficult than it might have been previously, it involves more planning, more preparation and more research, but it is also more rewarding. My coffee fund could easily cover two city breaks comfortably if we travelled light and made use of budget Air B&Bs. It’s easy to say we cannot afford to live the travel life, but it’s all about sacrifice, and if giving up one guilty pleasure and give me an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life, then I’ll do just that.
Furnish our living room with more than a couch. Our house is furnished, but unfinished. With the exception of the kitchen, there is not one area in this home that I can say is complete. I know they say you’ll never be finished when your decorating a home, but I could at least be half way there with ours. It feels like we’ve moved in and I’ve very much taken a back seat, content in what we have and using the money excuse to stop me from finishing off. If I did have the money, our living room would be the first port of call. In our living room we have a very nice couch if I do say so myself, a £12 side table from Ikea and an overhanging shelf that is now slowly pulling out from the wall. And that’s it. It’s not minimal, it’s just not done. I’m looking for a side table to fill the massive void, I came across one from Oak Furniture King I loved when we were initially decorating, but it was definitely less IKEA standard and more high quality furniture, but couldn’t justify the price at the time. If I stopped going to Costa though, I could have three of the French Chateau Sideboards. Not one to buy two sideboards at once, I’d probably finally pick up the typical ‘grandad armchair’ I’ve been harping on about since we bought our house. We’d very nearly caved and bought the IKEA one, but after getting caught up scrolling through Lionshome for hours, I’m glad we never took the plunge as there are hundreds of armchair options on there that won’t necessarily break the bank but that may last more than a year.
A Few Months Of Nursery Fees We are fortunate in that we only have to put Harrison in nursery three mornings a week, and he’s passed between two grans and a great gran for the rest of the time. We are lucky, but that doesn’t mean the nursery fees don’t set us back a fair bit – nursery is expensive, quite rightly I suppose, but the thought of not having to think about it for a few months is a nice one. I can only dream of what full time nursery would cost, I would be working solely to pay for someone else to look after my child and probably wouldn’t go back to work at all. Three mornings is just fine for us right now, but if I could have that paid just by cutting out a cappuccino or two a day, then life would be a lot sweeter.
Three Weeks Unpaid Leave From The Day Job. We’re talking after tax, so maybe more like 2 weeks, but regardless of how long it’s a holiday, and that’s probably the scariest option of them all. I don’t particularly enjoy my day job, I do it for a steady income and to know I have a minimum coming in each month, so the fact that I’m throwing away 3 weeks of that income on a bloody beverage is sickening. I’m well aware that I can’t exactly ask my manager to trade my coffee for some holidays, but it’s at least put it in perspective. I could do a lot with 3 weeks off, whether it be making another months worth of income by focusing on my blog, or whether it be going on holiday, or sitting in the bath and doing absolutely nothing for a few hours, just because I can.
In case it wasn’t obvious, I’ve spent a lot on coffee. I’ll let you take your guesses, but it’s safe to say it was a silly amount. Lets face it, I’m not giving up caffeine any time soon – despite the obvious health benefits let alone bank balance benefits, I am not ready to say goodbye to the morning kick anytime soon. What I am ready to say goodbye to is the bill that comes alongside: I’ve invested in a new mug, a classy jar of Lidl’s own rich roast and I’ll be keeping it that way for the foreseeable future. If something as seemingly small as giving up the morning trip to Costa can give me an actual trip to Copenhagen, or Rome, or Zara for that matter – then it’s something I’m going to need to make a good go of. Please tell me I’m not the only one spending exorbitant amounts of money on coffee, how much coffee do you all buy in one week?
Disclaimer: ‘If I Gave Up Coffee’ was a sponsored post.