First avocado toast was feckless, now it’s coffee. Maybe they have a point? | Emma Brockes

The preaching of finance experts may be tiresome, but perhaps we should take another look at our constant consumption

I get notifications on my phone whenever I use my bank card and this week, while undertaking a mini-audit, I noted that I was doing something that apparently leads to financial ruin. The other morning, in a bakery on Broadway, I spent $8.70 on non-essential pastries. A few hours later, in spite of the loaf of bread in my house, I threw down $8.25 at Pick A Bagel. And scattered throughout the day, like small distress flares sent up from my current account, was a notification trail of $3.77 coffees.

Suze Orman, a personal finance expert with her own show on CNBC, said something in March that resurfaced this week and made everyone instantly furious. “You spend $1 to $3 on a cup of coffee,” she said, “which is approximately $100 a month … $100 a month in a Roth IRA [retirement account] over 40 years is $1m. So you need to think about it as you are peeing $1m down the drain as you are drinking that coffee.” It’s an escalation of the avocado toast debacle of 2017, but now they’re coming for your coffee.

Related: Can you really save for a deposit by ditching coffee and avocado toast? I tried to find out​

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