Your local cafe is an expensive habit!


Back in February an Australian consumer advocacy site published an article reporting that buying takeaway coffee was an expensive habit, and that you should make it at home. It was the latest in a series of articles in the same vain as smashed avo economics: any discretionary spending that brings you joy is reckless and irresponsible if you can do it at home.

I wrote at the time:

It’s also a false equivalence. You go to (good) cafes for the atmosphere, to say hello, and fresh air from your desk.


Which Australian journalist said we’d be able to save for house deposits if we drank less coffee and ate fewer smashed avo toasts? Curiously, being robbed of both has made a negligible impact on those goals: and Clara and I would know, given how we track every single expense!

For those not on Twitter:

I’ve cut down on my coffee spend since making it at home during lockdown. And I’d gladly spend all of it now for fresh air, a change of scenery, and a chat with nice baristas. Turns out mental health is worth paying for.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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