Coffee And Lunch Adds Up

January 23, 2012 Updated Jan 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by Teresa Novellino ,


Coffee And Lunch Adds Up

January 23, 2012 Updated Jan 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( Business First ) It's good news for coffee and lunch shops, and a wake-up call for young professionals on a budget. A new survey finds that U.S. workers spend nearly $3,000 a year on coffee and lunch.

The newly released Workonomix Survey from Accounting Principals found that employees don't realize the extent to which coffee and lunch, often slurped down desk-side, add up over a year's time.

While the majority of those surveyed, 42 percent, believed that commuting was the work expense they would most want reimbursed by their employer, those costs only amount to $1,500 per year.

Meanwhile, half of the American workforce buys coffee regularly at work, spending more than $20 a week on it, an average of approximately $1,000 a year. And two thirds of American workers buy their lunch instead of packing it, spending an average of $37 per week. This means that, on average, American workers are shelling out nearly $2,000 a year on lunch alone.

There's also an age difference on who is and isn't buying. No word on whether hangovers or late nights are to blame, but younger professionals ages 18 to 34 spend almost twice as much on coffee during the week than those ages 45 and up-$24.74 versus $14.15, respectively. They also shell out more for lunch, spending an average of $44.78 per week on lunch compared with their older colleagues who spend $31.80 per week.

The survey also found that paying down personal debt, selected by 43 percent of those surveyed, is the most common financial change American workers plan to focus on in 2012. Long-term savings goals, such as contributing to their company's 401(k), were chosen by 23 percent, while setting up an emergency savings fund, chosen by 27 percent, are not as much a priority in the year ahead.

One change they plan to make: A third of all those surveyed, and 45 percent of younger workers, plan to bring in lunch in 2012.

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