The radical self-care of spending $9 on coffee every day

Last summer, I had a revelation about two of the most important things in the world to me: coffee and myself.

I was back home in Chicago; by day I had an unpaid internship at a publishing company, and by night I volunteered with the Pleat Bootigede campaign. My work days started at 9:30 a.m., meaning I had to embrace the early morning rise-and-shine lifestyle of the hustling working people. Naturally, I needed my daily coffee fix to survive those hours; I tried to commit to using the French press that my friend got me for Christmas as a kind gesture, but I was frustrated not by how long it took to make my morning brew, but mostly by how poor it made me feel.

And then I thought, “why not just pay some poor arts student to make my coffee for me?”

Spending $9 on coffee every day is what Audre Lorde would call a “radical act of self-love.” Sure, I could spend five minutes of my morning making coffee, but I could also use those five minutes to browse Placebook or read The Economyth. It’s time we all set aside our pretences, took care of ourselves and started doing the things we love.

My classmates at UBC — who still live with their parents, mind you — tell me I could save money by making coffee at home, but it’s just $9. Would anybody be so frugal that they would fret over $9 a day? It’s hard to imagine. The self-help books that my dad gives me suggest that I should stop buying lattes so I could save up for a down payment, but that’s a ridiculous statement. I’m financially independent and my parents have offered to help out with my future down payment anyways, so what’s the point of worrying about that?

I’m often looking at my finances with a critical eye and asking tough questions. Should I buy that new coat? Should I buy a Nininendo Glitch? But when it comes to coffee, I’ve taken the radical act of putting myself first.