Many people rely on something to get them going in the morning, whether it’s hitting the snooze button, a hot shower, or…coffee. On those rushed mornings, you don’t have much of a choice…right?

Before we answer that, let’s consider the actual price of this “convenience.” Say you grab a fast food coffee 2-3 times a week, and say this coffee costs about $1 or $2, averaging anywhere from $2-$6/week. Not too bad for your budget, right? Probably less than the cost of an average fast food value meal. Sure, that $2-$6 a week quickly adds up to a conservative $108-$324 a year, but coffee devotees maintain that a couple hundred bucks for their morning sanity isn’t such a high price to pay.

However, once you begin to think about what that couple hundred dollars could become, you begin to see the real price of that convenience. Since the “rule of 72″ states that money doubles roughly every 7 years at 10% interest, your $200 would be worth $25,600 in a little less than 50 years. Now remember, this is assuming that you just spent one year getting coffee 2-3 times a week; NOT that you got coffee 2-3 times a week for the rest of your working life!

The lesson here? If you’ve been a regular of fast food coffees, you’ve already lost thousands of future dollars. Is it outrageous to spend money on fast food? Of course not! You can spend your money on whatever you choose. Hopefully you will choose to spend it wisely, but if fast food coffee is what you truly enjoy and want, then it’s been well spent. However, for most of us, this is a purchase of pure desperation, or at least lack of planning. Coffee made at home can be much better than the liquid mud froma drive-thru. It simply takes a little planning, maybe waking up 5 minutes earlier, or maybe investing in a coffee maker with a timer so you can be greeted with the smell of coffee upon your waking up.