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What your coffee order says about your finances

What does your coffee order say about your finances? Source: Getty

It’s no secret, we Australians love our coffee.

According to McCrindle Research, three-quarters of us have at least one cup of coffee per day.

It’s an essential for many of us to help us get through our day. How else can we get through those tedious morning meetings or receive a pick-me-up in the afternoon?

Over the years that I have been a financial adviser, there have been some interesting discoveries when it comes to our coffee preferences.

Whilst by no means scientific, I thought it would be fun this International Coffee Day to look at what your morning coffee order says about your finances.

So, whether you’re a latte lover or a flat white aficionado, read on to discover what your coffee order potentially means for your finances.

Espresso

If you’re an espresso drinker, you’re most likely one of those people that is always busy and on the go. The short, sharp coffee drink is one for coffee aficionados who like things simple, efficient and quick. They treat their finances in the same way - keeping it simple and making sure each decision is cost-effective. They are likely to use apps rather than spreadsheets that help them make quick financial decisions.

Cappuccino

One of Australia’s favourite coffee orders, the cappuccino is a simple and solid order with a sprinkle of indulgence. It’s often enjoyed whilst reading the paper or a good book. Those who order the sensible cappuccino are likely to take a sensible approach to their finances, particularly as the cap is one of the cheaper variants of coffee. However, just like the sprinkle of chocolate on top, they are likely to indulge themselves and splash out on the good things in life every now and again.

Flat White

Another Australian favourite, the flat white is a no-frills, traditional coffee. The simple balance of coffee and milk makes this a favourite amongst those who want to keep everything straight forward, easy and relaxed. And, it’s much the same with their finances. Not big spenders, flat white drinkers take the same approach with their money as they do their coffee - keeping it simple and striking the right balance between money in and money out.

Latte

Who doesn’t love a latte? Not only does it come with so much milky goodness but, unlike other coffees, it usually also comes in a fancy glass. You’re likely to catch latte drinkers Instagramming their favourite brew to show-off to the world. For those who indulge in this fancy coffee, there are two options for your finances - you’re either well-off, have a significant amount in savings and are living your best life. Or, you just can’t get enough of the good stuff no matter the cost and could be seeing your credit card debt spiralling out of control.

Long Black

A drink for hardcore, no-nonsense coffee lovers. Without any of the frills of milk or sugar, long black drinkers will likely carry this trend into their personal lives. You might find they have a minimalist wardrobe or will often make only the necessary purchases, rather than splurging on impulse buys.

They aren’t big spenders and will be conscious of their outgoings. That might be why they choose to drink the cheapest coffee order in the country - at $3.89, almost 10% cheaper than the next cheapest.

Mochas

A decadent coffee that combines our favourite coffee flavour with chocolate. It’s a coffee for those who like the sweet things in life. However, it’s also for those who can’t decide whether they like coffee or want a hot chocolate, so they get both.

Mocha drinkers are ones that want it all and their indecision can often lead them to indulge. Whether it is a treat for themselves, saying yes to all social occasions or buying gifts for people, Mocha drinkers won’t think twice about the cost. That might be why they drink one of the most expensive coffee orders in Australia. But, like the sweet drink, it can erode your finances much like it does your teeth.

Instant Coffee or DIY Coffee

Last but not least is the instant coffee drinker or the ones who have gone out and bought a machine to do it themselves. Whilst the rest of us give them flak for avoiding the Australian tradition of the morning coffee run, these drinkers are the most financially savvy and will look at the most cost-effective purchases or ways to do things.

They are probably dab-hands at DIY and are more likely to be savers - but you probably know this already, as they are quite happy to tell their friends how much money they save by not buying them out.

The lesson?

Of course, the above are all just observations and not based on data or science. But, it’s important to consider our purchases and the impact they have on our finances.

So, is your morning coffee order a luxury you can afford? Is it time to downgrade your order to a cheaper option? Or should you take the DIY approach and only indulge in a barista coffee every now and again?

This same approach should be taken on any purchase you make. It will help you make better financial decisions and ensure things don’t spiral out of control. Taking it a step further, it’s recommended that you put aside a budget each month for your discretionary spending. This can help you decide whether it’s a luxury latte day or a no-nonsense long black savers day.

Darren James, of MBA Financial Strategists, is an Authorised Representative of of AMP Financial Planning.

Any advice given is general only and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, before acting on any advice, you should consult a financial planner to consider how appropriate the advice is to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

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