For starters, I can't make the same distinctive, high-quality drink at home, or get it for free from work, so I consider Starbucks a fixed cost. When I pay my rent, phone bill and other necessities, and apportion some money toward savings, I budget enough to stay caffeinated until at least the next payday.
That's a responsible first step. If you can cover your mandatory expenses and have a bit left over, experts say, you're free to spend your discretionary income on the things that make you happy.
Besides, "you can't cut your way to growth," says self-made millionaire Ramit Sethi.
He alludes to the much-maligned habit millennials supposedly have of overspending on avocado toast: "You may have seen an article telling you the only way to be a millionaire is to cut back on avocado toast. Now, suddenly, a million millennials in Manhattan started crying because they couldn't go out to brunch six days a week."
But the idea of getting rich by buying less, he says, is "horrible" advice.
After all, "do you know how many avocado toasts you'd have to forego to get just a 20 percent down payment" on a median-priced home? "Is it 100? Is it 1,000? No, it's over 2,500 avocado toasts."