How Many Cups of Designer Coffee Do I Have to Give Up to Afford My Own House?


I’m guilty of spending too much on designer coffee.

When you do freelance work, it is common to turn your neighborhood coffee shop into your “office”. Hence, if I stay there to work, I should buy at least a cup of coffee. In some days when I have to stay “overtime,” I order more than one.

This got me to thinking… how many cups of this designer coffee should I give up to afford my own house? Or hypothetically, have I already spent too much on designer coffee that I could have bought my own house?

Since I’m renting as of the moment, I thought if it might be worth it to skip the coffee from now on and put it into a “buy house” savings.

So, I did some research and computation, and this was what I found.

The price of coffee varies depending on several factors including the size (whether regular or the big one) and type (just brewed coffee or those fancy lattes and frappes). However, for this article, let’s just take the price of a cup of designer coffee at P150.

Unfortunately, I can’t find published information on average housing prices in the Philippines so I’ll just use the data available to show a rough estimate.

If I were to get a unit from those low-cost housing projects, the cheapest is usually a 1-bedroom unit from row houses. This measures around 35sqm to 45sqm. In rural areas like in Bulacan or Cavite, the price range for a house like this is between P750,000 to P1 million. This means I have to skip between 5,000 and 6,667 cups of designer coffee.

According to, the average housing index is at P7,903.87 per sqm. Let’s round it up to P8,000 per sqm. So, if I want a 100sqm house, the cost will be at P800,000. This means skipping 5,334 cups.

However, for “quality” build, a rough ballpark per sqm is between P20,000 and P35,000. So, if I want a 100sqm house of this caliber, I need somewhere between P2 million and P3.5 million. This means skipping 13,334 and 23,333 cups.

Translating the cups of coffee into years… let’s just say I buy a cup of coffee per day so let’s just assume 365 cups per year to simplify computation. To buy the low-cost house that costs P750,000, it will take 13.7 years, which is pretty reasonable since if you get from a government housing loan, the payment terms are usually between 25 and 30 years. Meanwhile, the P3.5 million house will take 64 years, which is quite long. For that house, I will need to skip the cake that comes with the coffee. LOL.

I’m not sure if the amount that I obtained includes the cost of the land. Let’s assume they don’t, so this just means additional cups to skip to buy a lot to build my house on.

So… is it worth skipping that designer coffee? Perhaps.