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June 18, 2005


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» Three dollars a day adds up. from larry borsato
A $3 latte at Starbucks every day adds up, especially when the money is coming from your school loans: [Washington Post free registration required]At a Starbucks across the street from Seattle University School of Law, Kirsten Daniels crams for the... [Read More]

» Students warned about spending too much money at Starbucks, other java joints from Let Me See You Get Low
Link: Starbucks Gossip: Students warned about spending too much money at Starbucks, other java joints. [Read More]

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The real joke is that the education itself is an even worse "bargain" than the lattes.

The Krow

I couldn't agree with you more swarthyroll! I've learnt more borrowing books from the local library and sipping my mochas at a table at starbucks then in a classroom in university.

mmmmmmm mocha :D


Amen!! Besides, how much of that borrowed money went for tacos and beer? Why pick on Starbucks?

Tipping Point

Tacos fill students bellies and beer in moderation calms us down. I don't believe in a functional use for Starbucks Coffee. If people eat right and drink a lot of water and cut out caffine they will feel much better than they did when they relied on the caffine for a boost.

A small cup of coffee a day won't hurt you but I'll tell all of you who get venti anything - you are gross. When you're doctor tells you that your stomach is ulcer city don't just blame it on the booze, blame it on the BUX.

Starbucks is a great place for students to come study and be with their friends but more so the latter. I don't see how anyone could study while Antigone Rising and Alanis Morisette are blaring out of the ceiling anyways. And the lighting in our stores is more conducive to laying your game on the hottie a couple of tables down rather than reading.

As soon as you are about to make your move on the young college student trying to read his/her book under the dim lighting, while holding his/her ulcer ridden stomach wincing in pain, all of the sudden this girl group comes blaring out of the speakers in the ceiling and suddenly the young hottie transforms into this old white man with horrifying dollar signs for eyes grabbing for your... wallet.

Subsequently you flee to the nearest independent coffee shop not just for your sanity but for your soul.

Fellow students, if we are going to waste money lets do it responsibly. Please support small business.


Well, obviously the Starbucks serves an ideal purpose in the process of higher learning. How do you expect all of us graduate students to put in the long hours studying at the library? We need the coffee. We wouldn't be able to pass our classes without it. Let alone make it to class on time.

Boston Starbucks Rebel

I must say that since I am a Starbucks partner I do alot of studying at Starbucks stores throughout the city. Many students simply come to Starbucks to study and hopefully receive a good cup of coffee. Most of the time, if a person comes to Starbucks to study I'll give them a free cup of coffee or for here doppio. Also the refill is a pretty good deal. If you're smart you can buy a venti and then a .53 refill. And if you're smart you can just ask them to double cup it so you can keep on refilling each day. Also buy a personal cup, thats an excellent way to save money and save a tree. You can get like cups of coffee for like .43 cents for the rest of the day. Just say you washed it out in the bathroom and then want a refill. Tell the barista you live near another Starbucks and had it filled earlier that day. Always thinking!!!

Austin K.

They had a small mention in the article comparing coffee buying to cigarettes. On the east coast, a pack of smokes will set you back about $5.75. It makes my $2 Americano/day addiction look pretty damn cheap.

Specialty coffee is expensive. I'm glad to see the girl in the article isn't a business or economics major.


I'm sorry, but the basic math of this is that girlfriend gas 115,000 dollars in student debt. I'm supposed to beleive that even a significant amount of that is for coffee? Even if the numbers for 4500 dollars paid back over 10 years are true, so what? She'll have to pay back 111,000 without it, and if it comforts her ass then go for it.


Right on Debtor.

Tuition at Seattle U Law School (where story subject goes):

"Tuition for the 2005-2006 academic year is $25,980 for 30 credits ($866 per credit). "


"Other non-tuition costs (books, room and board, transportation, and other living expenses) average about $15,050 per nine-month academic year."

So for three years of law school, the university gouged her to the tune of $78,000, then has the AUDACITY to complain she spends too much on coffee, which at $4 per day 365 days per year is only $1460.

I can't believe this story even got written.

(PS If she really wanted to save money she'd go to a public school like SUNY, where out of state tuition is $7,000/year less than at SU.)



Yeah, but if you went to SUNY Buffalo, you'd have to live in Buffalo.


OK fine, UC Berkeley is 19k or 21k out of state ;->


UC Berkeley law school is actually just under $30K out of state, and it's about to go up. And the thing that drives up law school loans isn't just the tuition, but the loans that one has to take for living expenses for those three years, like rent and food, etc, which is not insignificant.


Hey, I'm from Buffalo. I would be insulted if it did not suck so bad. No Starbucks there when I left, either.


Jasmine, next academic year even worse, $35k out of state, I stand corrected



This kind of story annoys me. They always calculate that spending $X a day for Y years, invested at an 8% rate of return, would yield a bazillion dollars for retirement. Nobody gets a guaranteed 8% rate of return. Besides, people are going to spend money on food, beverages and coffee anyway. It's not like if there were no Starbucks there would be nobody eating or drinking anything. Besides, a lawyer's salary at $X a year for Y years, which is likely to increase over time, invested at that 8% rate of return (which is a higher rate than that of a student loan), would yield an ample sum of money by retirement -- quite enough to pay for coffee.
As a financial precept, it's fine not to waste money, but who's to judge that patronizing Sbux is a bad or counterproductive or unwarranted use of money?
I also resent the idea that it's wrong or extravagant to have a yummy drink or coffee or treat when you're tired or thirsty or stressed-out. I suspect poor Kirsten's law-school career would be much less tolerable if she were not able to go to Sbux for her daily comfort latte. Comfort latte! That's her term.


more power and caffeine to kirsten...

In the Middle

From Kirsten's point of view, it is her money, in her responsibility, and if she hasn't defaulted on any of her loan payments, then her latte fix is just another financial burden she took on for herself. I'm not saying it's the smartest choice, but it's not my money,
so I don't have the final say on it.

In my opinion, the financial crisis so many of us face is solely our doing and responsibility. If Starbucks charges a little more for their coffee, it is not their fault customers choose to spend it.

Too often society looks for a scapegoat for our poor choices. It is not McDonald's making you fat, it's you eating there that is. Starbucks isn't taking your money, you're giving it to them. Spend your money where you will, as long as you're willing to live up to the consequences involved.


Oxblog fisks the Wapo:


A barista responds:



Your ad for your ice cream social was there to lure the already convinced customer, who spends regularly for a cup of coffee; however the ice cream was not. I felt it necessary to let you kmow,the location is Vons Market, Clairemont Square in San Diego.


Care to explain what you're talking about, Leslie? Seems a bit off-topic here.


I realize I am a little late on this topic, but I ran into the site while searching for the Post article to send to a fellow law student starbucks addict. This fall I will be entering my 3d year of law school and can honestly say I would not have made it through 1/2 the reading without going to coffee shops such as starbucks. I just wanted to point out that the purpose of studying at starbucks is two fold. First, the obvious caffine fix. However, more importantly it is the atmosphere. Although some starbucks take the dimmed lighting overboard, on the whole studying in a cafe with its backgound discussions, people, etc is a million times better than sitting in a library where the quiet is often more distracting. Upon graduating from law school I am sure I will have spent just as much, if not more, on coffee as Kristen. The point is I am willing to pay the price of a coffee a day in order to do well in law school. Basically I see it as part of my tuition costs.

Spammers suck


How to save money at Starbucks:

1. "Ghetto" Latte - This makeshift coffee drink lives up to its name. To make, order one or two shots of espresso in a large cup. Fill the rest with milk from the condiment station. If it's too cold, microwave at home or the office. For a ghetto macchiato, substitute the regular milk for a portion of half 'n' half equal to the amount of espresso.

2. Short Cap - Some Starbucks sell a "short" cappuccino that isn't listed on the menu, but is only available by request. It's smaller and cheaper than the "tall," which is the smallest on the menu.

3. Black Coffee - Learn to like regular coffee. The expensive drinks at Starbucks are those dressed up with cream and sugar. Acquiring a taste for black coffee won't just save you money, it'll save you fat and calories as well.

4. Free Power - Instead of charging your laptop at home, bring it into Starbucks and charge it up for free.

5. Free News - Discarded sections of the day's newspapers are a staple at Starbucks. Instead of subscribing to a paper that you throw away after reading anyway, share with the Starbucks community.

6. The Hook-up - Starbucks employees get a free pound of coffee every week, which is often up for barter if you have something good to offer. I know a girl who worked at a doctor's office that traded a bag of free drug pens for a pound of Sumatran.

7. Osmosis - Sometimes all you need is a whiff of the coffee scent and the sound of whirring machines to trigger you into waking up in the morning. So walk in, take a deep breath, and drink in the morning energy. Leave as soon as you feel more away and you've saved yourself the price of a coffee.

source: http://www.financialgreenlight.com/save_money_at_starbucks.html

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