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Save $10 in 10 Mins: Buy Coffee, But Stay in the Black

Some finance blogs will tell you to totally cut coffee out of your budget and reap the financial rewards. But when morning comes, and you were out with friends or up with kids, you might still need that shot of espresso to keep you going. We’re going to stay realistic, but thrifty.

As we’ve said before, if you plan for it, you can actually save money – with almost anything. For this example, we want you to spend a little money to save some money.

Head to your favorite coffee shop and buy yourself a gift card. (Some independent shops will let you prepay for a few cups and record the credit – ask if they’ll do it!).

Why it Works For Me

I can’t help it – I drink coffee every morning and sometimes I don’t have the time to brew a pot at home before work. To combat extra expenses, I went straight to the source: Starbucks.

I normally get a standard cup of coffee, costing about $1.87 – less than $10/week – but I found I was spending more than that overall. As soon as I switched to the prepaid method, that stopped.

How it Saves You Money

If I had a coffee budget of $10/week and put a $10 bill in my pocket, I would probably find a way to spend it on other things, lose the change I received or forget it at home over the course of the week.

With the prepaid card, I have no choice but to use it for my morning coffee, and only that. If I go overboard and get more expensive coffees and my budget runs out, that’s it. And if I have extra on the card, it stays on there (as I put extra cash on) for next week.

By spending a little cash beforehand, you can regulate your coffee budget in about the time it takes to order one cup of joe.

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