You read it everywhere. It's a cliche, a platitude, an unoriginal idea. It goes like this:
Did you know if you cut out that cup of coffee every day, you will save six million dollars over fifty years on the average eighty trillion dollar mortgage?
(My figures, and not to scale.)
The banks have been parroting it for years in their puff pieces about how you could sack your mortgage in a puff of smoke if you follow their cost-cutting tips (and take out an expensive mortgage offset account or wealth package).
Now that there's a recession, the newspapers have discovered the idea.
Do you really need that cup of coffee? they challenge chirpily, as if we had been living under a rock. I read it again yesterday and I will read it again tomorrow and next week and the week after that, ad infinitum. Or at least until there are no newspapers any more, which is looking extremely likely, because advertising is drying up, fewer actual newspapers are being sold and no-one pays for online content. How could they not fail?
But I digress, as usual.
The answer to your question, Mr Lifestyle Reporter, is: Yes. I really need that cup of coffee.
And why would you give up your daily hit ahead of, for example, something of equivalent or greater value in your supermarket trolley?
After all, you get more than just a cup of coffee for $3 (or $2 in my case). You also get - depending on how long you spend at the cafe - valuable relaxing time and quite often, the day's endangered newspapers thrown in as well. Let's say you stay 45 minutes. For a $3 coffee that's an hourly rate of $4 for tranquility, the day's papers and a coffee thrown in. Unbeatable. There's no better value. Who would want to give that up?
There's also the issue of supporting small business. Newspapers are not the only endangered industry: restaurants and cafes are doomed as well thanks to the government's punitive awards legislation. Yes, that government - the one that is meanwhile bailing out overseas banks and car manufacturers.
Enjoy your coffee. I did.