As a student, life is expensive. I live and breathe on a budget, and when I go slightly over my budget the stress accentuates a little more every time. So the last thing I need is the added financial stress along with the pressure of study. This is why I have decided to write a blog about the price and cost of ethical coffee, through a basic guide to budgeting.
It is evident that most, or actually, I would say all universities in Australia have jumped on the fair-trade coffee label. At my local university at UNSW, Oxfam and the student club, ARC is working together, providing the fair-trade label on your take-away coffee. If you are a UNSW student you will know that the busiest coffee stall on upper campus is the best coffee at university and you will have probably seen the fair-trade label as well. The coffee there isn’t too expensive for a small, you can get away with a 3.20 small coffee, and 4.20 for a large with added flavor if you like. Now that’s fairly good when you buy take-away. However buy two or three over an 8-hour day and you’ll find yourself a little stressed out.
As a student I had to sacrifice a couple of things. After looking at my expenses I found that I had would usually spend around 50-70 for take-away in a week. On a bad day I would spend 9.60 on three take-away coffees. I would compensate stress with a coffee; (as a beer wouldn’t be the best option when I knew I had to drive to work after) add that for 5 days a week, give and take, as well as the weekend coffee with friends. This alone can cost over 70 dollars, and on a student budget, I think most people can agree that it is quite expensive.
As well as my take-away coffee, I would usually run out of instant coffee in the morning. So, I would buy the cheapest brand of instant coffee, of 400g for 10.00 or a just bit over (I’d also look for sales at the local). So as you can imagine at the end of a week, I would have spent all my money on coffee. However, it was not until I sat down and budgeted that I realized I had to make some sacrifices.
Sacrificing, take-away coffee for instant coffee was a poor decision but one I had to make. The benefit of buying coffee in bulk for home, outdid the benefits of buying take-away. For example,
– I could drink it any time
– I could measure my own amount of sugar
– Have as much or as little milk I wanted
– Take it away with me in my re-usable cup.
It was not a hard decision. I started buying the fair-trade label as well. $15.00 or under for 200-500 grams, was great. I saved and I drank, and I stressed less. Fellow students you can budget correctly on a fair-trade coffee.