Starbucks Is NOT The Reason You’re Still In $50,000 Of Debt

Starbucks is NOT the reason you’re $50,000 in debt

Fancy coffee gets a bad wrap from financial gurus. Starbucks always makes the list of “things you must cut right now to pay off massive amounts of debt.” But I want to share a counterargument to that popular opinion. So stick with me as I explain why Starbucks is NOT the reason you’re $50,000 in debt.

If you’re hitting the drive-thru daily instead of brewing at home, you can definitely shave some money off your food expenses by cutting Starbucks. (Just brew Starbucks at home for .20 cents a cup like I do!) But Starbucks is probably not why you went into debt and cutting Starbucks isn’t going to free up enough money to get you out of debt as fast as you want. Sorry!  

First, let me explain why this post was on my heart. I’ve been stopping at Starbucks every week on my way to dance class. So I drive up to my daughter’s dance studio in my minivan, with my mom bun, my big (Dollar Tree) sunglasses and a Grande Iced Coffee with skim milk.  

Last week I saw my reflection in the mirror and thought, “Oh, no! I’m that MOM that financial bloggers talk about! Everyone thinks I’m drinking away my family’s fortune – one grande Starbucks at a time.”

Starbucks is NOT the reason you’re $50,000 in debt

Like every good writer, I drafted a rebuttal in my mind.  “I only spend $2.65 every week on Starbucks. That’s $10.00 a month on coffee. That’s barely $100 a year. I don’t go to dance every week. Or if I’m running late, I don’t get a coffee. Plus, coffee is my one and only thing. It’s the only money I spend on myself. I haven’t paid to get my nails painted since I had my daughter. The only clothes I’ve bought for myself for the last year have been second-hand. And…”  

Then it hit me. Starbucks was not the reason I was in debt. And Starbucks was not the reason I got out of debt. The reason I got out of debt was because I made the hard deep cuts, like cutting cable, switching to a value cellphone service, staying at a demanding job when I wanted to be home with my babies, selling a car and selling a house.

Starbucks is NOT the reason you’re $50,000 in debt   

And I want to tell you, my indebted friend, a secret also.

Starbucks is  NOT the reason you’re still in debt.  

Fancy coffee gets blamed for being the reason why American’s are drowning in debt. The truth is, the lattes are not the problem. You may be spinning your wheels because you have too many high bills and you haven’t addressed the big ticket items that are draining your bank account.

Here are a few of the expenses we were able to cut and how many Starbucks it would have taken to save the same amount of money per month: (Calculated by my $2.65 grande iced coffee)

  • $80 saved in car insurance = 30 coffees
  • $100 saved by switching to a discount cell phone provider = 38 coffees
  • $102 for cable = 38 coffees
  • $122 for private mortgage insurance = 46  coffees
  • $365 for a car payment = 138 coffees

If you’re making the mistake right now of trying to cut out all the frivolous expenses like coffee and drive-thru lunches, but you haven’t sat down and attacked your recurring monthly bills, you are banging your head against the wall. And it’s not your fault because you’ve been told by a lot of people to stop drinking Starbucks to solve your problems.

So please stop feeling guilty for your cup of Starbucks, if you’ve canceled cable and taken on a side job to pull in extra cash. You’re allowed to occasionally and frugally reward yourself if that’s what it will take to get you to the finish line!

Also, don’t take this post as an excuse to buy venti frappuccinos every afternoon when you have a budget and you’re drowning in debt. All I’m saying is spend your time and effort on making the big cuts. Don’t stress about a few bucks on coffee, if that’s something that brings you joy. Saving money is a life-long marathon so you need to find a healthy balance!

And if you’re looking to overhaul your entire budget, I’ve got you covered. As someone who has paid off $81,400 worth of consumer debt in 2 years, I am going to share with you my actual plan that I used to get out of debt. Subscribe below!

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I paid off $81,400 in 2 years and I want to give you a FREE copy of the workbook I used to ditch debt!

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  1. Hi Jane,
    I love your fresh perspective on this topic, and I agree completely. It’s okay to treat ourselves to a little splurge now and then, as long as we keep our overall budget in line with our values.

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