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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DePauw chapter.

I am writing to you as a fellow coffee-lover. There is nothing better than a cup of coffee to start your morning right. It is the famous “coffee that inspires” that powers you through the day. But at what cost? You might think that it is just a few bucks here and a few minutes there, but then that few turns into several, and that several turns into many, and the next thing you know you have spent unfathomable amounts of money and time on a monotonous part of your morning routine. 

In just three days, Americans spend on Starbucks coffee what the federal government spends all year on childhood cancer research. I recognize that you are just one person of the large group of American Starbucks consumers; you alone cannot embody this entire group. But what if you decided to drink coffee at home, and your neighbor did too, and so did your boss, and so did their friend, and the cycle continues. All of that money could do in three days what our government devotes in a year. It could go to a cause like childhood cancer research, or something else that matters to you. 

Not only could you better utilize your money, but also your time. The average wait time for a Starbucks coffee is 3-5 minutes. So, let’s say you spend time buying Starbucks coffee every morning for a year. That is 1,825 minutes spent waiting for coffee, which is over 30 hours waiting for coffee, which is more than a day JUST waiting for coffee. 

As someone who religiously drinks coffee, I understand your reluctance to change habits. I understand that exclusive feeling of carrying around a Starbucks cup with your name scribbled on it. But, I also understand that there are so many ways—economical ways—to drink coffee. Brew your own at home. Buy a pre-made blend from the store. Fill your kitchen with that luxurious smell of coffee. In doing so, you spend significantly less money and you save significantly more time.I’m not asking you to forgo coffee completely. I’m not asking you to stop going to Starbucks entirely. I’m not asking you to dedicate your time or money specifically for cancer research. But what I am asking you to do is to consider what you could do instead. What is often a thoughtless and infinite spending pattern could instead be something that changes someone’s life.Forgo one day of paying for a Starbucks coffee and use that money elsewhere. Do it for a week . . . a month . . . a year; whenever you can. Join me in this journey. Join me in donating to a cause. Join me today in an effort to create a better tomorrow. Imagine what we could do if we did this together.

Hey, I'm KP! I'm in the class of 2025 at DePauw pursuing my interests in business through the Management Fellows Program. I write for the Features section of DePauw's HerCampus.