Posts Tagged ‘ transaction history ’

Study: Workers Spend $1,000 Yearly on Coffee

A recent headline caught my eye today, which led me to a report published by Accounting Principals (the new name of AccountTemps, if you’ve driven by a billboard lately).

The report summarizes employee coffee expenditures thusly:

Americans love their coffee.

  • Half (50%) of the American workforce buys coffee regularly at work, spending more than $20 a week on coffee, an average of about $1000 a year.
  • Better coffee in the office might help cut back this expense. Nearly one-quarter (22%) of American workers wish their company would invest in better coffee in the office.
  • Younger professionals (18-34) spend almost twice as much on coffee during the week than those aged 45+ ($24.74 vs. $14.15, respectively).

I agree with the first sentence. I love coffee. Adore it. Not sure what I would do without it I once gave it up for Lent (and it was the only successful 40 days I ever accomplished).

I thought about the headline and the 2nd bullet and my OCD kicked in: I have transaction history of my Starbucks Card reloads. So I plotted my expenditures in EXCEL to see what I would get.

Did I spend $1,000/ year like the article suggests? Let’s see what the data says (fig.1):

Cumulative spend at Starbucks vs. Coffee Satisfaction

Fig. 1) This is what happens when you cross auto-reload with OCD


  • I spend far less per year on coffee than the “average” persons cited in the study. I consider myself above average in many ways, but this time I think I’m correctly deficient this time for once. Woo Hoo!
  • I agree with the sentiment of the respondents: if office managers spent a little more on coffee the world would be a better place. In 2011 I worked at an office that enjoys good java (thanks, Kate!) and I curtailed my Starbucks visits altogether. The data displays a nice plateau when I was cheerfully pouring cup after cup of Peets into my mug.

Observations on “the $1,000-ers”

  • I drink drip coffee. No cream, no sugar. A “grande drip” is less than two bucks.
  • I’ve noticed the majority of people who share the queue with me order lattes or specialty drinks (easily >$3) and sometimes even a pastry or sandwich to go. Average tickets are probably well into the 4-5 dollar range at the Starbucks in my neighborhood. That’ll get you to $1,000/year pretty quickly.

How much do you spend on coffee a year?

Bonus: What data of your own could you obsessively plot on EXCEL if prompted?