recent study found that nearly half of millennials spend more on coffee than they save towards their retirement every year. And that's not exactly good news. When you consider that socking away just $8 a day starting at age 28 can actually help you retire a millionaire, ignoring your savings — even in your 20s — is a huge mistake. While there are lots of ways to boost your savings now that don't require cutting back on a daily latte, the study got us thinking about ways you could boost savings from your coffee fund. If you use our hacks, and put the $5 you were dropping at Starbucks in the bank, you could boost your savings by as much as $1,000 a year, easily. Click through to see our five favorite tips for saving while getting your caffeine fix. (Don't worry, we're not going to tell you to give up coffee completely — we're not monsters!)
Invest In Coffee-Making Supplies While "just make the coffee yourself!" is officially the oldest trick in the book, hear us out: It is undoubtedly the easiest way to save big. A one pound bag of coffee could last you a month, depending on how you use it (ie, don't brew more than you'll really drink). Even if you splurge on good beans, you could be getting coffee for as little as a quarter a cup. That said, running out and buying a coffee machine isn't going to inspire you to skip the coffee shop. First, take some time to figure out why you like buying coffee out. Is it because you never have time to do it yourself before you run out the door? Invest in a timed coffeemaker so your brew is ready when you wake up. It's a tad pricier than a basic drip machine, but if you actually use it, the initial investment will pay for itself in a few months. Do you like the speciality drinks? Stovetop espresso makers cost around $20, and you can buy a milk frother or flavored creamers for even less than that. You can still easily save $1,500 in a year by becoming your own barista.
Hack Your Starbucks Card If you absolutely can't give up on your daily Starbucks run, take steps to spend less for the exact same things. Buying a Starbucks gift card on Gift Card Granny can save you as much as 13%. Then, if you redeem the gift card through the app, you'll also earn a free drink for every $62.50 you spend after qualifying for gold level rewards. That's easily a free drink a month for heavy users. A gold-level rewards member using gift cards purchased at a discount would save around $20 extra a month with minimal effort. It's not as lucrative as skipping the store-bought brew altogether, but it's a start.
Bring Your Own Mug Certain coffee shops offer discounts for bringing your own reusable mug. The discount probably won't be huge — most range from 10¢ to 25¢ — but if you calculate the amount you're saving on average, you can set up a small monthly contribution to your savings account. Saving just 25¢ a day adds up to nearly $100 over the course of a year.
Keep Cold Brew At The Office For many caffeine aficionados, making the first cup of coffee at home is easy — it's the mid-morning slump at the office when it becomes tempting to dip out for a second cup. If you can't bear your office's brew (or there just isn't any to be had), consider keeping a bottle of cold brew concentrate on hand. You can add cold or hot water to make the drink of your choice, and save big. One of our favorite cold brew brands, Chameleon, retails for around $10 and makes eight servings, which would translate to nearly two weeks of workday coffee runs. Again, assuming a cost of $5 a drink, you'd save around $900 a year by switching to a concentrate.
Download A Coffee App Several coffee apps offer loyalty programs similar to Starbucks' that can be used at multiple stores. We especially like CUPS, which offers savings starting at 15% when you pay with the app. Saving 15% on your $5 daily cup could save you an additional $273.75 a year.