In March, I got assigned to a temporary assignment at work. Instead of working at my office, which is only two and a half miles from my home, I was doing site assessments all over the Metro Detroit area. It was good work, it was on a high visibility project, and it let me see up front what we actually do, versus the back-end support we provide in the office, so it was a pretty positive experience.
One of the things I had to adjust was my morning coffee. My standard routine at the office was that I would drink from the ‘free coffee’ provided, but would add in my own half-and-half. When I started the assignment, I started making my own coffee at home to take with me every morning. Typically I would only make coffee at home on the weekends or on days when I’m off. I buy pre-ground Colombian Coffee from Costco. It’s $15 for a really big can. It would typically last about four months, meaning I would spend about $45 per year on coffee.
After finishing up my assignment, I went back to work and the first day, went back to my old routine, and realized something.
The coffee is horrible.
It’s not the worst I’ve ever had for free work coffee, but even so, it’s just not…good.
Six weeks away from the ‘free stuff’ turned me into a bit of a coffee snob. I realized I could have re-adjusted and probably gotten used to the free stuff, but I realized something.
I didn’t want to.
So, I have started bringing some coffee from home. When I pack my lunch, I scoop out enough for the next day, and I make some coffee from home once I get to work. I only make enough for me to drink my two mugs per day. Work has filters (or I have some left over from an old coffee machine) and they have the coffee maker, so all that’s different is that I’m providing the coffee. Since I get to work really early, I don’t have to worry about anybody stealing my coffee while it’s being made.
I estimate that this will require me to buy two additional cans per year. That’s $30, working out to an extra $2.50 per month.
Some people spend that every day on a cup of coffee from Starbucks, so adding that to my budget for the sake of having coffee I truly enjoy is worth it to me. I still think I’m being frugal in that I’m only making a partial pot per day to make only what I need, and I’m still using the company supplies and electricity.
Have you ever justified spending a little more on a small indulgence?