Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Cost of a Good Cup of Coffee or How You Can Afford to Sponsor a Child

Tom loves a good cup of coffee. He asked me to pick up a little bit at the grocery story the other day, just enough to tide him over for a few days. The brand he wanted was $7.99 a pound, and I purchased 2.56 ounces. Total cost, $1.28, and it will make seven cups of coffee. That comes to 18 cents for a cup of French Roast, which satisfies his taste for full bodied, dark roast coffee.

Are you with me here? Good coffee can be had for a very reasonable price.

(It reminded him of the 1980s when someone would make coffee at work in a huge pot and charge 10 cents for a cup. Every few weeks they'd pass around free donuts -- dozens of them -- that had been purchased from the profits made by selling the coffee!)

Say you were to drink just one cup (8 ounces) of Tom's coffee every day for one year. At 18 cents a cup, you'd pay $66 a year for coffee. If you purchased that same cup of coffee at Starbucks every day -- nothing fancy, just plain coffee -- you'd pay $1.65 for each cup, for a total of $602.25.

Now I know that most people don't make it out of Starbucks for as little as $1.65, but we're just using this as a matter of illustration. If you regularly pay $3.50 each day for your drink, you will see by doing the math that you are spending $1,277.50 a year on coffee.

So what's your point, Ginger? Why this math lesson?

If you were to trade in your plain 8 oz Starbucks coffee for a cup of coffee brewed at home, you'd save $536.25, which is just pennies from being enough to sponsor a child through International Child Care Ministries for 18 months! Thirty dollars a month will provide food, clothing, and education for a child through ICCM. Just think how many children you could sponsor if you simply bought a couple of bottles of syrup and made your specialty drink at home instead of paying $3.50 a day. (I've already done the math so I'll tell you the answer: You could sponsor one child for 40 months or, better yet, you could sponsor three kids for a year and still have money left over to send them each a chicken at Christmas!)

This is not intended as an anti-Starbucks tirade. It is a simple visual to show you that we can make a difference in the world just by reconsidering our habits. Starbucks may not be your money pit; yours might be designer purses, or going to the movies, or grown-up toys (cars, game systems, whatever), or impulse shopping. It's not comfortable to be challenged about our money pits, but perhaps you have resources that are being used thoughtlessly that could be redirected to impact others.

Think about it. As we enter the season of Lent it seems like an especially good time to consider what the Lord might be calling you to do. Let's live our lives intentionally, using our money wisely while blessing others.


Unknown said...

So true, Ginger! Thanks for doing the math for us. It hits home more when our small daily acts get added up. Imagine over a lifetime!

Unknown said...

We couldn't agree more Ginger! Thanks for spread the word about ICCM.