Ausan Al-Eryani, Broadside Correspondent

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always got to have that cup (or multiple cups) of coffee every morning. But have you ever taken a look at your bank statements or examined your spending habits and realized that coffee is probably at the top of the list for what you spend? I don’t want to disclose any numbers, but I’m pretty confident that my coffee-spending habits aren’t exactly wise.

With that said, I love coffee and I love getting coffee from a lot of different places. I’m not about to give that up. So here’s the question: How is it possible to save money when it comes to something we love?

Well, for one, invest in a coffee mug! It’s incredibly efficient, convenient and will pay for itself in due time. A lot of places even fill your coffee order in your mug and save you money too. Plus, you can fill up more in your coffee mug than you would get if you bought a cup of coffee.

Second, and I know this is going to break many of your hearts to hear this, cut down on buying coffee from places like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. What I’m saying is, think twice before you walk into one of those places. You could just make your own cup instead of wasting another $2, $3 or maybe even $4. If that doesn’t work, think about only going on the weekends or a few times a week. If it helps, start slow – you’ll get better eventually.

Trust me – you’re killing your budget if you don’t. An alternative would be to get a coffee machine and brew coffee you bought from places like Starbucks. It’s the same thing, so why not? If you’re not feeling the whole coffee machine idea, buy some instant coffee (which I think is pretty awesome). Just add hot water, sugar, milk or whatever you want and you’re done!

If all else fails, consider getting a rewards card, especially from a place like Starbucks. With a Starbucks rewards card in particular you can get free refills on brewed coffee and flavor shots for your drink, among other things. An example would be to pick yourself up a Starbucks Gold Card.

This is an especially smart decision for those of you who consistently get the $4 or $5+ drinks. It saves you 10 percent on every single purchase, whether it is coffee or food. For only $25, for some of us it can pay for itself in no time. One more thing about Starbucks. If you want flavor and a pick-me- up, consider getting a Café Misto (brewed coffee and milk). You can add vanilla, caramel or whatever flavored syrup they have that you like. The best part is a venti cup is that a lot cheaper than you would assume it to be.

So if you don’t plan on listening to anything I’ve just said, please listen to this: think twice. The days of constant excess and luxury are just not practical anymore. We’ve all got to cut back, rethink and reevaluate our attitudes, particularly with something so many people want and need.

You don’t have to give it all up, just make sure you’re not giving everything away to purchase something that’ll last you about 10 to 15 minutes (or less!) Good luck, I know I’ll need it!