One of the most common cliches we hear in personal finance and FIRE is we can save money by skipping that morning coffee hit from your local coffee shop. I’m going to look at how much you can save and how to do it without depriving yourself of that invigorating caffeine hit by getting a Sage Bambino coffee machine.
I, for one, could not get through the morning without a good caffeine hit. Unfortunately, instant coffee is just not going to do the trick. I need real coffee, done right.
If you are meant to stop buying coffee everyday, then how are you supposed to get that hit?
What is your habit costing you?
Firstly, will stopping your coffee shop habit be worth it? Let’s look at the figures.
Coffee in London these days is about £2.50-£3.00. Let’s go for the £3.00 as I’m sure you, like me, enjoy good artisanal coffee from an independent coffee shop.
Let say you get a coffee five days per week. That’s 48 weeks a year (assuming you have four weeks annual leave) giving 240 days. Take away bank holidays, and you have 232 days of morning coffees.
Two hundred thirty-two coffees at £3.00 a pop works out at £696 a year.
To be honest, this doesn’t seem that bad. I’m not going to do the whole “if you invested that you could have X amount after 40 years” spiel (you can do that yourself), but it’s not going to seriously derail your FIRE journey if you don’t give it up. If you like your coffee shop and want to support them, then great. Go ahead and do it. I’m sure they will appreciate it after this COVID situation.
However, if you don’t want to spend that money and still want to have a decent coffee, I have discovered a coffee hack you might like.
The Sage Bambino
In March, I bought a Sage Bambino coffee machine. It cost me £229, and I couldn’t have timed it better with the start of lockdown.
I’ve had proper coffee, every day since lockdown began. The machine is truly excellent. The Bambino is a proper espresso machine but in mini form. It’s compact and can sit comfortably on your kitchen worktop. It only takes 3 seconds to warm up so no waiting around. The whole process takes about 3 minutes, which is quicker than waiting in the line in a shop.
The Bambino uses ground coffee, so that’s about £3 a bag. I’d say that will last about two weeks on 1 cup a day. Cheaper than Nespresso and also better for the environment.
The machine will also froth your milk automatically, which I love, as I’m lazy. Just set the temp and frothiness, and press a button, and hey presto. You have a perfect latte. I can’t recommend the Sage Bambino highly enough.
Couple this with a decent Wilfa grinder (bought after 4 month of my Sage), and you are really getting technical. The freshly ground coffee makes a big difference.
What have I saved?
Putting aside the point that I couldn’t have bought coffees for about three months because of lockdown, I did save some money.
Buying two coffees every weekday from our favourite coffee shop (one for me and one for Ms Playing with Fire), for five months would cost £600.
Costs of making those coffees at home with my Sage Bambino:
Machine: 1 x Sage Bambino = £229;
Coffee: 1 x bag per week for 20 weeks = £60
Milk: 2 pints / week for 20 weeks = £15.
Total cost = £304 (a saving of £300)
Even with the cost of the machine being £329 (which is the cheapest I can find right now, the total cost is £404, which is still a saving of £200.)
So it’s pretty clear that the machine is more than worth it. In fact, it only takes 2.5 months to pay for itself. Combine it with a keep cup, and you won’t need to drop by the coffee shop so often. Although, don’t stop completely, because they need the support right now!
Check it out the Sage Bambino on Amazon:
Also, check out getting a Keep Cup too: