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19th Jul 2022

Cost of living crisis: When did €4 for a coffee become normal?

Ellen Fitzpatrick

DIY iced coffee

What a time to be alive, right?

It was about six weeks ago now I was going to an appointment, and naturally, as any millennial-gen Z hybrid like myself, I can’t leave the house without stopping for coffee.

I walked in to order my usual, a plain iced latte. No syrup, no alternative milk, nothing that will cost an add on at all. As the card machine was handed to me, I saw the price – €4.

I understand the cost of everything has risen, especially in Dublin. I had to move home from the city centre because of rent prices, the cost of petrol is astronomical and I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll never own my own home – but a coffee for €4?

In that moment, I understood what older generations meant when they say that we can’t afford anything because all we do is buy coffee and avocados, I genuinely thought it could be true after that coffee.

Also, while this was in Dublin, it wasn’t in the city centre or a massive chain coffee shop, there was no reason for any coffee to be this price, especially considering the size.

Ireland is pushing young people out with the cost of living crisis. We can barely afford to buy groceries let alone something we once enjoyed. I moved home to save on rent, and I still find myself struggling at the end of each month to pay, or I’m worried about money constantly.

People in their 20s are the first generation to constantly fear what the future holds in their own country when it comes to money, we don’t know what is ahead of us and we don’t have a government that’s making a change about it.

There is a TikTok sound going around that says “I love my city, but my city doesn’t love me back.”

I adore Ireland, I love being Irish. I love the people, the culture, the nights out, the morning coffees with friends, the sea swimming, the long country walks, I love everything about this place and I’m so happy to call it my home.

But Ireland does not love any of us back, it’s pushing us away and it’s getting immensely difficult to cope and function here. When it comes to actually living, we simply can’t and it’s not sustainable.