Poll: Do you spend more on Starbucks than hi-fi?

Let's see, a $20-a-week habit works out to $1,000 a year. If you kicked the Starbucks habit for a few years, you'd have enough to buy a really nice stereo or home theater.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg


My hi-fi budget is still in flux, but I'd spend:

Nothing, my daily Starbucks dose is more important than music
A year's worth of coffee, $1,000
A couple of years' worth, $2,000
I'll drop even more on a sound system I'll use for many years

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It's no surprise we spend money on the things we value. So the question is, how much would you invest in a decent hi-fi or sound system? Bear in mind that a good quality system will last a long time, so amortizing the investment over a period of five or even 10 years should be factored into the expense. The coffee's gone in a matter of minutes.

Let's see, at $4 a day, a $20-a-week Starbucks expense works out to $1,000 a year. You're not going to stop anytime soon, so Starbucks, or any daily beverage, could easily suck $5,000 to $10,000 out of your wallet over the next decade. And you thought high-end audio was expensive!

Of course, any sort of decent hi-fi wouldn't be all that wise an investment if music isn't important to you. But if it is, how much would you spend on one?