Have you heard of the latte factor recently? The concept has been around for years and recently a book was released called The Latte Factor by David Bach, that has become pretty popular. If you google "finance latte" you'll get tons of different articles related to this idea. So, what's all this buzz about?
Latte’s have become the icon for saving money lately because it’s a common indulgence. Many of us are willing to the pay extra money to buy it in a coffee shop for either convenience or the simple pleasure of the routine.
What's Your “Latte”?
As I said above, your daily cup of coffee isn’t under attack, a latte is simply an icon right now. The bigger message is to be mindful with your money during the week - and realize that small costs can add up to a lot of money if bought often.
Are you into the minimalist or mindfulness movements? Every time I look at new books there are so many on these topics it’s overwhelming. However, mindfulness is what the base of the Latte Factor is all about!
- Take a good hard look at your spending. Do you like online shopping for clothes? Maybe you use Uber Eats multiple times a week? Identify what you are spending your hard-earned money on and determine if it's really worth the cost.
Enjoyment versus Price
If that cup of Starbucks every morning is what makes you look forward to work and keeps you sane, then go for it! But first, try some cheaper options like making it at home with some fun ingredients. If it's not for you after a couple tries, then maybe consider only buying coffee twice a week as a special treat. Whatever works best for you and keeps you and your wallet happy.
Change Your Mindset
By being mindful about what you’re spending, you can evaluate what’s most important to you. A common phrase I hear is that people want to contribute money into the retirement plans offered by their workplace; but retirement seems so far away and they don't have extra money to put in.
- By looking at your spending, maybe you can find an extra $50 a month that you would have spent on eating out to put into your 401(k) plan. It's great to get into the habit while you are young of putting money away every month for retirement even if it's a small amount at first.
So figure out what your latte is today and see what that money could add up to over a year, two years, or even more!