I used to spend far too much of my time money at coffee shops.
I’m ashamed to admit that every morning, like clockwork, I would go to Tim Hortons to buy an XL coffee, and sometimes get 1 (or 2) breakfast sandwiches to go along with it. The combined total of my order could be as high as $10.25, and it didn’t just stop there! At least 1 or 2 times a week, I’d also buy specialty coffee, like a latte or flat white at an independent coffee shop (averaging about $4-$4.50 a pop). Talk about throwing my money down the drain on something I could just as easily (and way more inexpensively) have made at home.
EQ Bank Savings Challenge
Three weeks ago, EQ Bank challenged me to save a minimum of $100 to invest in their new high-interest rate GICs. The kicker was that I had to do this in less than a month by cutting back on my regular spending. Now, I love a good challenge (it’s the competitive nature in me), and I especially love a challenge that involves saving money! A savings challenge is precisely the type of kick in the butt that I often need to stop spending money on things I shouldn’t be and start working towards a financial goal (like when I was challenged to build a whole fall wardrobe with only $100 or when I saved $1,000 per month for my honeymoon). Given my spending habits on coffee, when I accepted EQ Bank’s challenge, it was the most obvious thing to cut out!
Apart from the overall savings, this challenge with EQ Bank was a no-brainer. The high-interest rate GIC can yield up to 3.50% on a 5-year term, with as little as a $100 investment. There is also the built-in flexibility of saving for short-term or long-term goals, with interest rates varying according to the term of the GIC (i.e. 1.6% for a 3-month term, 1.95% on a 6-month term, 2.76% on a 1-year term and so on). I could also easily sign-up from the comfort of my own home, without ever having to go into a branch, since all banking with EQ Bank is done online.
Alternatives to Buying Coffee at Coffee Shops
Since I clearly wasn’t going to stop drinking coffee altogether, I had to find a way to stay equally as caffeinated on a budget! The obvious choice was to make coffee at home, but I’d truthfully never done it on a regular basis before. I always assumed it was going to be a huge expense (like if I bought an espresso machine) and a huge hassle. But, when I polled my Instagram followers a few weeks ago, I was surprised to learn that the majority make their own coffee at home. I was also overwhelmed with the number of recommendations I got on exactly how to make coffee at home.
The most important factors for me were: time, convenience, taste, and money. I opted for a Moka Pot, which I picked up for around $35 on Amazon. And after seeing my Instagram stories, my friends at William Ashley were kind enough to send me a Bodum French Press and Pavina double wall glasses, which was such a thoughtful and timely gift!
So, going into this savings challenge, I had two solid alternatives to buying coffee at coffee shops, and I was well on my way to saving some money!
As I’m sure can be expected, I not only reached, but actually surpassed my savings goal of $100 to invest in an EQ Bank GIC (even after factoring in the cost of coffee beans and the Moka Pot). And, after three weeks of making coffee at home, I’ve experienced a bunch of other benefits too:
- I’m drinking better quality coffee. It’s like a whole new world has opened up for me and I question what I was doing with my life before!
- My coffee is much more flavourful. Having control over the temperature of my coffee and the ratio of water to grounds has improved the taste of my coffee drastically.
- My mornings are a whole lot better. I no longer rush out of the house to get my caffeine fix as soon as I wake up, and I can watch the news while making and drinking my cup of joe – not to mention the delightful smell of coffee that now permeates my loft every day!
- I now have a way to serve coffee to guests, when they come over (and am feelin’ a lot fancier with my new toys too!).
So, thanks to EQ Bank, I’m saying adios to squandering my hard-earned cash at coffee shops and am looking forward to seeing how much more money I can save in future!
*This post was done in partnership with EQ Bank, but as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
* Rates shown are in effect as at May 28, 2018 and are subject to change. For GIC terms of less than one year, simple interest is calculated on a per diem basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms equal to one year, simple interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid at maturity. For GIC terms of over one year, interest is calculated on a per annum basis and paid either annually (simple interest) or at maturity (compounded annually). Interest is accrued for the entire GIC term. EQ Bank GICs are non-redeemable.