Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Coffee Machine Ownership On The Rise - Does This Mean We're More Frugal Than We Used To Be?

Did you catch this article yesterday?

Aussies are getting more cup for their buck, saving up to $800 a year on cafe-quality coffees with the rise in popularity of affordable at-home machines.

I find the increase in ownership of coffee machines (especially pod based machines, like the Nespresso system) fascinating.

I'd love to believe it represents a growing awareness of how all those little luxury purchases affect the bottom line. I wish I could say it shows that Australians are finally learning to live within our means.

But honestly? I think that it's just one of the new, exciting toys that everyone wants to own right now. To me, a coffee machine in the kitchen represents lifestyle inflation. Five years ago it was ipods, this year it's Nespresso machines. If I don't see an article about increasing ownership of e-readers, and whether it represents a new frugal and / or minimalist zeitgeist, within the next two years I'll be very disappointed.

I'm not telling you that you shouldn't buy a coffee machine. Perfect Boyfriend bought one (for 60% of its retail price!!) a few months back and I love it.

But what I hope the folks running into Nespresso shops with their credit cards understand is: your coffee machine is only saving you money if you're actually saving more money. Has your savings figure gone up since you bought one? Has it changed your spending habits?

It could be true that Australians are becoming more frugal. However I tend to think that there will always be a section of the community who will live within their means, another section who will buy the new exciting toy no matter how much debt they have, and a whole other section who spends big bucks when times are good, and cuts back when that paycheck isn't looking so great anymore. I suspect that those people are currently cutting costs at about the same rate the big miners are cutting jobs in Perth.

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