Whoever said that the best things in life are free clearly never had a $5 soy vanilla latte. Because at 6 a.m. on a Monday morning, the carefully crafted cup of coffee goodness definitely feels like the only thing I could ever want (or need).
But according to financial expert Suze Orman, my daily double-shot is costing me more than just the 10 minutes I spend in the drive-thru lane—it's also "the equivalent of peeing $1 million down the drain."
Orman's claim that we could all save $1 million if we just gave up our coffee-buying habits is causing controversy on Twitter as people question her logic and her oversimplification of personal finance.
We investigate both—plus how to make your own delicious drinks at home—below.
How did she come up with $1 million?
In the original clip where Orman first attacked daily spending on coffee, she explains, "You spend $1 to $3 on a cup of coffee, which is approximately $100 a month … $100 a month in a Roth IRA over 40 years is $1 million." Of course, her math is all an estimate and, as some people point out online, she isn't taking into account the intrinsic value (happiness! energy! socializing!) that a cup of coffee can contain as well that may be worth more than the monetary value.
Do we think you could REALLY save $1 by making your own coffee at home?
According to the Twitterverse (and myself), yes. Like if you're in a rush or if you just prefer your drink the way your go-to coffee shop makes it or even if you simply enjoy the morning routine of chatting with your favorite barista. There's nothing inherently wrong with spending money every day on your morning beverage as long as you're aware that those daily charges add up in the long run. As one person commented, "There’s something to be said about spending money on things that give us pleasure and make life enjoyable." Aka if the cost is worth it to you, go for it.
Here's why we actually recommend making coffee at home
While we're skeptical that brewing your own coffee = becoming a millionaire, there's no question that cutting out—or at least cutting back—on your coffee shop stops can save you money. For instance, if you went once a week instead of every day for a $3 cup, you could save nearly $80 in a month (that's enough to buy our top-rated milk frother to make fancier drinks yourself!).
Take our E-commerce Managing Editor Samantha Gordon, who made the switch from expensive coffee shop brews to a daily homemade cup of joe last year. "I was spending $20-$30 a week on coffee, and while I rarely opted for the more expensive lattes or frappes, I would go for that venti," she says. So to break her costly habit, she explains that she spent about $50 (or two weeks of Starbucks trips) on some of the best coffee-brewing equipment, noting that the key to actually sticking to her new goal was "to not settle for a less-than-perfect cup of coffee, or cut corners on the devices and ingredients I use."
Our advice for making the BEST coffee at home
You don't have to be a professional barista (although if you are, please tell us your secrets!) to recreate your go-to Starbucks order on your own. Our Video Producer/Editor Melissa Rorech recommends starting with one of our favorite French press coffee makers, which she says make the best cold brew for iced coffee fans. "It's literally the easiest thing in the world," she explains, adding that after you pour your cup, "You can then do whatever you want to it. I normally add some almond milk and maybe a little caramel syrup if I’m feeling fancy, throw it over ice, and live my best life." Same drink, cheaper cost.
The best coffee maker for every type of coffee lover
The best cold brew coffee maker: Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The best drip coffee maker: Technivorm Moccamaster KB
The best pod coffee brewer: Keurig K575
The best pour-over coffee maker: Hario V60 Coffee Dripper 02 Ceramic
The best single-serve espresso maker: Nespresso Citiz