Survey: U.S. Workers Spend an Average of $3,000 a Year on Coffee and Lunch at Work

Jacksonville, Fla. — Jan. 30

American workers spend a high amount of their cash on average daily expenses, according to a new Workonomix survey by Accounting Principals, a finance and accounting staffing firm.

The survey found that 50 percent of the U.S. workforce spends roughly $1,000 a year on coffee, or a weekly coffee habit of more than $20. Two thirds (66 percent) of U.S. workers buy their lunch instead of packing it, costing them an average of $37 per week, which amounts to nearly $2,000 per year.

Despite these costs, the survey suggests workers are unclear about the biggest drain to their wallet. When asked which work expense they most want to be reimbursed for by their employer, 42 percent of employees chose commuting costs and only 11 percent chose lunch expenses. However, the average American’s commuting cost is $123 a month or roughly $1,500 a year, well below the average annual lunch tab of $2,000.

The survey also found that younger professionals (ages 18-34) spend almost twice as much on coffee during the week than those ages 45 and up ($24.74 vs. $14.15, respectively). They also shell out more for lunch, spending an average of $44.78 per week on lunch, compared to their older colleagues, who spend $31.80 per week.

According to the survey, one-third (35 percent) of employees have made it a financial goal to bring lunch instead of buying it in 2012.

Other survey findings include:

• One-quarter (25 percent) of Americans wish their company would invest in better vending machine snacks and 22 percent of American workers would like their company to invest in better coffee in the office.
• Employees most want to see their companies invest in better office equipment (46 percent) and more comfortable office chairs (32 percent) in 2012.
• A majority (82 percent) of employees say corporate discounts matter little or not at all when buying a new product or service.

Source: Accounting Principals