Are You a Casual Consumer?

When developing your budget, it is important to monitor your daily purchases because you may discover that you have developed some expensive habits. Take for instance the daily ritual of stopping for a cup of coffee. Without realizing it, you may discover that you have been drinking away a small fortune.

All too often, individuals unconsciously make purchases that seem insignificant, but over time add up to be a significant amount of money. If you think hard enough, there are probably many casual purchases that you make on a daily basis.

The average cost to buy a cup of coffee and a muffin is $5.00. If you were to stop at the coffee shop everyday during a 7-day week you would spend $35.00. Over time this equates to $150.00 per month or $1,800.00 per year. However, if you were to forego this daily ritual and instead invest that money at a rate of 10% annual return you would have about $1million after 40 years ($948,611.00 to be exact).

As you can see, habits such as this will open your eyes and you may be inclined to think twice the next time that you have the urge to buy a coffee. ACCC encourages you to keep a notebook with all of your daily expenses. Track all of the little items; coffee, takeout for lunch, and afternoon snacks. With just a few adjustments, you can better control your finances and become a better spender.

To download a household budget worksheet go to

Brought to you by American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC). ACCC is a non-profit credit counseling and financial education agency committed to promoting financial literacy. It is our mission to financially empower consumers to regain control of their lives through education and financial management. More information can be found by logging on to

American Consumer Credit Counseling
Attn: Tom Palange
Education Programs Specialist
130 Rumford Ave.
Newton, MA 02466
1-800-769-3571 Ext. 708

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