Financial gurus frequently point out that buying a cup of coffee at a coffee shop every day ends up costing big bucks in the long run. While you can't argue with the math ($3.50 a day is $1,278 a year), the gurus are being penny-wise and pound-foolish, the small luxury of cup of coffee is worth every penny. Here's why:
1. Coffee makes you healthier.
Scientific consensus is overwhelming that drinking coffee each day reduces your risk of cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's and heart disease, helps keep your brain functioning more effectively, keeps you focused, enhances your physical and mental performance, and may even extend your life. Needless to say, if you're healthier, you avoid healthcare expenses, a substantial savings if you have high-deductible insurance or are self-insured. Of course, all of this remains true if you brew your own but the health benefits alone justifies some extra expense.
2. A coffee-shop calming calms your spirit.
Science has shown coffee shops have perfect white noise--enough to calm you down and help you relax, but unlikely to surface anything in the background that demands your attention. (This is why it's so much easier to focus in a coffee shop than in an open plan office.) The "coffee shop effect" is so pronounced and well-document that there are actually productivity apps that reproduce those same ambient sounds.
3. Coffee shops make you more creative.
Simply visiting a coffee shop can make you more creative, not because of the coffee but because fetching the coffee, customizing it, futzing with the cup, etc. all involve activities and behaviors that aren't directly related to work. As research from Department of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara recently revealed:
"Engaging in simple external tasks that allow the mind to wander may facilitate creative problem solving."
4. Seriously, though, don't you deserve it?
Finally, there's a psychological benefit to indulging yourself. Self-indulgence in moderation reinforces self-confidence. Furthermore, trite as it might seem, if you work hard (and you do, correct), you deserve to enjoy some present-day rewards. Having a good cup of coffee prepared for you is a small luxury that helps you enjoying the life you have.
So, all things considered, the money spent on the small luxury of a daily coffee is trivial when compared to the positive effect it can have on your life. So stop feeling guilty when you indulge yourself! Because, honestly, it's for your own good.