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Addictions and Money – Caffeine

We all know how the more extreme addictions can ruin lives. An addiction to gambling, hard drugs, alcohol, or anything similar can wipe out a person’s finances and ruin lives. Thankfully, most of us have an aversion to such extremes. However, that doesn’t mean that our less extreme choices can’t have their own bad effects.

Let’s start our look at the field of more innocent addictions with caffeine. When we go after the root of the demand for caffeine, it seems to be in the fact that we (as a society) frequently don’t get enough sleep. Caffeine is the solution to that. It helps us wake up and function in the morning, and provides what appears to be a solution to our tiredness.

This blind spot in our decision making is often supported by medical research coming out in support of caffeine offering some health benefits. However, we all demonstrate a very specific decision making bias when we look at these effects and not at the other impacts of caffeine.

First and foremost is the money factor. Many of us get our coffee from specialty coffee stores. At best you might get a coffee for $2-3, more likely it’s upwards of $5 for your coffee. For the sake of argument, let’s say a reasonable average dollar cost is $10/day. Multiply that by an average of 200 workdays per year (assuming you drink coffee only at work) and you get a minimum of about $2,000 spent on coffee in a single year, which is far from an insignificant sum!

However, as with any addiction, to free yourself from this, you need to look at the factors involved. First is the physical addiction. As mentioned before, we’re a society of people who are incredibly tired, so we turn to caffeine. However, as with any drug, caffeine drinkers build up a tolerance, requiring more and more to achieve the same results. As well, there are withdrawal symptoms. These can include headaches, irritability, difficulty concentrating and stomach aches (see more about this). The only real solution to this aspect is more sleep. Breaking caffeine addiction can be hard, but substituting it with a beverage such as water can result in some significant net health benefits. By getting more sleep, you reduce your need for caffeine and at the same time benefit in overall health.

 

Few people view caffeine addiction with the same horror that they view an addiction to hard drugs, but considering that it can cost you thousands of dollars a year and cause a variety of health problems, it’s far from innocent. Contemplate freeing yourself from your addiction to caffeine, your wallet will thank you.

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