$1.4 cup of coffee remains luxury even on $1,600 monthly salary

April 23, 2024 | 03:34 pm PT
$1.4 cup of coffee remains luxury even on $1,600 monthly salary
Young people often hang out at coffee shops. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
My friend makes VND40 million (US$1,580) a month, but he consider spending VND35,000 ($1.4) for a cup of coffee a luxury.

Every evening, as I make my way home from extra courses at a training center in HCMC’s Thu Duc City, I usually notice numerous young people hanging out in groups of three or five at coffee shops. Sometimes these "shops" are nothing more than sidewalk stalls in front of buildings. Even past 9 p.m., these establishments would blare rap music with vulgar lyrics from loudspeakers.

Not far from there, another cafe is often filled with customers, who are mostly young people burying their faces in their phones and occasionally chatting with each other.

However, the cost of a cup of coffee at these places, ranging from VND35,000-50,000, is far from cheap. Thus, it represents both a squandering of time and money. I know a student who goes to these kinds of cafes every evening. When asked why, he said it was to "to relieve stress." How can young people nowadays get stressed so easily?

A fellow student from my extra course, who is in his 30s with a VND40 million monthly salary, remarked: "Young people have too much free time now, but they waste it fooling around with friends at cafes. By the time they realize the importance of acquiring more skills, they will already be busy with family and a full-time job."

He told me: "The extravagance here lies in the prices of the drinks, which are propped up by high rents. Furthermore, the idle time spent glued to phones in those coffee shops only adds more wastefulness to the activity. You have to understand that, in addition to the money spent, the time you spend there also make the cup of coffee more of a luxury."

"If I went to a cafe every night to ‘relieve stress,’ I would never have achieved my current VND40 million monthly income," he concluded.

His analysis got me pondering: how would young people ever get rich if they keep spending VND35,000 to sit at coffee shops?

Reader Binh Minh

*This opinion was translated into English by AI. Readers’ views are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress’ viewpoints.

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