Woah: We Calculated How Much We’d Save If We Kicked Our Starbucks Habit

College is hard. I’ll put it out there. Classes are hard. Dealing with roommates can be hard. Missing home is hard. Managing to find the energy to study all week and play all weekend is even harder. But there is one faithful, steamy, glorious concoction that helps us do all that we do… and ladies, we do a lot.

You know it well. Odds are you have some in your hand or stomach at this very moment. That grande, no foam double shot bastard who makes your life all that it is.


Starbucks is a lifeblood among college students. Starbucks gives us the willpower to get up an hour and a half before class to finish that paper that we just couldn’t fathom completing last night. Starbucks helps us find the strength to skip our beloved afternoon nap and study for that stupid quiz that’s in a few hours.

But imagine a world without Starbucks. Imagine your bank account if you cut out your mid-day macchiato or wake up frappuccino. I get queasy just thinking about it, but stick with me. I did some painful calculations… painful because math sucks and painful because of what I found.
If I cut Starbucks out of my diet, I would save an annual average of $1,044. I’m going to sit on the floor and cry for a few hours now because that is a lot of dough I’m dropping a year on my morning joe.

Let me break it down for you: I got that awful number by calculating how much money I would spend if I were to buy a  grande caramel macchiato every other day for a year. So this number doesn’t even factor money spent on those amazing bacon gouda breakfast sandwiches (yum) or cookies or cake pops or bagels.

And while the thought of a life without Starbucks does seem, well, pointless, there are a few things that I could do with the savings that might make it all worth it.

I could…

1. Fly from Los Angeles to Rome

ROME, ITALY. For $1,249 at this very moment I could use my coffee savings to book a flight from LA to Rome. And I would have money left over for wine and pizza and moped rides. Granted, I would not have enough coffee savings to fly myself back home but eh, who cares I COULD BE IN ITALY.

2. See 11 Concerts A Year

Let’s say that the average concert ticket at a major venue in a major city costs about $70. Then factor in those obnoxious and outrageous parking prices and a beer or three, or four. Budgeting  $100 per concert, with my coffee fund I could go to 11 concerts a year. Whether thats 11 times seeing Taylor Swift (HELL YA) or 11 different artists and 11 totally different musical experiences, this certainly makes a coffee-less existence seem like something worth considering.

3. Go to the movies 70 times

OK here’s a rant: if you’re like me you cringe whenever you think about going to the movies. Why is it so expensive? Why does it cost an average of $15 to just get in the door— not even having purchased cookie dough bites and popcorn? Can’t a girl just watch a movie in peace without having heart palpitations about the impact that one night at the movies will have on her bank account? Annnnnd rant over. Anyways, with the money you’d save by cutting out Starbucks, you could go to the movies about 70 times a year without even breaking a sweat, so that’s pretty cool.

4. Buy 26 Sports Bras

So this one might only seem exciting to me, but stay with me. What is the easiest way to start your day on a good note.. other than coffee? For me, it’s with a great outfit. And what makes a great outfit, even greater? If it’s comfortable! And what is the most comfortable undergarment ever invented? The sports bra. Sports bras (if you buy the right ones) can look just as good as a traditional/real bra but they are about ten thousand million times more comfy. Less fuss. Less pinching. Less under bra fat roll. So imagine essentially having a different sports bra to wear every day of the freaking month. Criss cross back, you’ll have it. Skinny T-strap between the shoulder blades? In your closet. Plain? Check. Colored? Check. Patterns, zig zags, tie-die and any other option that Lulu and Zella provide? You’ll have it. Think of the options ladies. Think.

5. Purchase Textbooks For Two Semesters

Who the hell decided that the ninth edition of an organic chemistry book should cost the same as a down payment on a car? Whoever you are, you’re crazy and kinda mean. The only downside to this coffee-alternative is that in order to stay awake reading said massive and boring textbooks you would probably need to hook yourself directly up to a caffeine IV, but you get my point. Textbooks are way too expensive but this idea could potentially ease the pain that so many of us endure at the start of each new semester.

I want to be clear, I am NOT suggesting that we all stop drinking coffee and become caffeine free zombies. No, I don’t think that our grades and jobs and friends and professors and roommates would like that. However, it is something to think about. Maybe the next time you’re deciding between that venti-double shot- extra hot- no foam beauty, think about how much you really need it. Or rather, think about something you might enjoy more than your daily blonde roast or Pike. I know I will certainly think a little more about my bank account before my next caramel macchiato.

Lauren Banis

Editorial Contributor, Gonzaga University Major: Journalism and Broadcast Media (double major!) Her heart belongs to: Big glasses of white wine, her 3 fluffball puppies, Dirty Dancing era Patrick Swayze, and California Take her away to: London, the beach, or Nordstrom

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