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We are well known as a nation for our love of tea but it would seem that the tide is slowly turning, with more and more Brits admitting to quite a hefty coffee-drinking habit.

Recent research* conducted on our behalf found that a third of Brits (equivalent to 17 million people) visit a coffee shop at least once a week. Of these, 1.6 million coffee drinkers say that they make more than 15 trips each month.

How much is your coffee habit costing you?

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, cast your mind back to how many times you’ve visited a coffee shop this last month. If you made between 5 and 10 monthly visits – like 1 in 10 of the people surveyed – then based on the average price of a cappuccino**, your hot beverage habit could cost you a minimum of £220 a year, if you keep drinking as much caffeine.

If your coffee drinking total is more like 15 times a month, you could end up spending as much as £515 a year if you don’t change your habits. As a nation, our research found that we’re spending collectively £4.5 billion on take-out coffee a year – an eye-watering amount!

Surprised by these figures? The simple fact is any small luxury that you give yourself can quickly add up if you let yourself indulge in it frequently enough. A little treat every now and again can give you a small boost, but you need to make sure this habit doesn’t spiral out of control.

Making cutbacks

If you find that you’re always short at the end of each month, looking at your budget (or creating one, if you haven’t already) and re-evaluating where your money is going will give you a good idea of the areas that you can make cutbacks in. The main area that you should focus your attention on is your non-essential purchases, like your daily coffee run, lunches out, or salon visits.

We’re not saying you have to get rid of these luxuries completely, but you should look at how you could cut back on them. For example, if you grab a coffee four times a week, try to limit this to just two. Alternatively you could cut out the trips to the coffee shop altogether and invest in a good cappuccino or espresso machine (you can pick one up for less than £200). This short-term expense could just save you more in the long term, especially if you’re a frequent coffee drinker.

Prioritising your non-essential spending will help you establish where you could make cutbacks. But you might not have to make that many little cutbacks if you get rid of a large spending habit entirely – it’s just about being sensible with what you can afford to spend!

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 19th December and 30th December 2014, of whom 635 were in Scotland.

** Based on £2.45 for a medium cappuccino / latte

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