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The revenge of the latte factor

A photo of some coffee beans cascading, to illustrate how money falls away as per the latte factor.

You’ve heard of the latte factor, right? It’s the idea that trivial purchases add up over a lifetime to a massive wodge of could-have-been.

David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire coined the term 15 years ago. Never one to miss the chance to make himself a million, he even published a book last year centered on The Latte Factor.

Bach is very readable if you enjoy that can-do American style, so it might be worth reading if you’re new to not flushing your money down the toilet.

Seriously: US financial guru Suze Orman made headlines last year when she said drinking a regular coffee was like “peeing $1 million down the drain”.

As Orman sees it:

Let’s say you spend around $100 on coffee each month.

If you were to put that $100 into [tax-sheltered account] instead, after 40 years the money would have grown to around $1 million with a 12% rate of return.

Even with a 7% rate of return, you’d still have around $250,000.

Orman told CNBC:

“You need to think about it as: You are peeing $1 million down the drain as you are drinking that coffee. Do you really want to do that? No.”

Too graphic? It could be worse.

A few years ago the latte factor was recast for millennials as the avocado toast factor.

We really don’t want The Accumulator drawing one of his blackboard illustrations of that…

The latte factor: Semi-skimmed

I’m not against the latte factor as a concept. It’s a useful check against careless spending, and I’ve shared it with friends in the past.

The latte factor also puts a more respectable veneer on what my friends see as me simply being a tightwad!

However it’s always been easy to unpick the latte factor, even on its own terms.

Bach stated someone in her early 20s could save $2,000 a year by skipping a $5 daily coffee. This lucky and decaffeinated lady would then earn 10-11% a year to reach $1 million by retirement in her 60s.

Sounds good. But problems abound:

  • Even 15 years on from The Automatic Millionaire, lattes still don’t cost $5. (Nor £5, in the UK. Try £3.) A latte from Starbucks in the US is $3. So that’s more like $1,095 a year saved.
  • Bach’s 10-11% a year is a very punchy expected return. My co-blogger has long touted a 5% after-inflation1 expected return for equities. Maybe with inflation, a generous 8%. Does Bach think that foregoing a daily coffee will also turn you into a super-investor?
  • Most people won’t want to have all their money in the highest risk-return asset (shares). They’ll want to sleep better at night. This is especially true as they get older. Holding bonds and/or cash to dampen portfolio volatility will bring your return down. Let’s call it a still-heady 5% with inflation, to stay consistent with Bach’s numbers.
  • Compound $1,095 at 5% for 40 years and you get just $139,000. (Same in £s, of course).

$139,000 is a useful sum, sure, but you’re not even nominally2 a millionaire after giving up all those lattes.

Extra cream on top

I don’t want to bash Bach too badly. (Although it’s alliteratively appealing…)

The latte factor is meant to be a high-level concept and teaching tool, not a financial calculator. (Ahem – although Bach did create one of those, too. But his latte factor calculator enables you to tweak the variables to something more realistic).

The latte factor is one of those things that’s blindingly obvious when you get good with money – step forward all the regulars in the Monevator comments – but it can be mind-blowing if you’re not.

Try it out on a young friend or family member if you don’t believe me.

I’ve known people who will never spend £10 when they can spend £20. Showing them how small sums add up always produces a reaction – although sadly not so often a lifestyle revolution.

In fact, the world could probably be divided into those that understand the latte factor deep in their bones, and those that don’t.

I’ve been on dates where the other party over-orders wildly (and we were always going Dutch, so let’s have none of that) and I’ve died a little inside.

Years later I realized (or more likely was told) that they saw the careless abundance as a demonstration of how into making the date a great time they were.

Whereas what I saw was an unfinished bottle of wine and half a pudding – not just on the table, but also on the bill – which I then compounded over a long and never-to-be lifetime together.

My million pound coffee

With all that said, last Saturday I had a very visceral reaction to the latte factor.

Or maybe a moment of detente with the anti-latte factor.

I was meeting one of my best friends, for the first time since lockdown began. He was the first friend I’d seen away from my own home since mid-March.

We decided to get a takeaway coffee from the recently re-opened Gail’s Bakery3 near his flat.

I was early, so I queued for our coffees, six-feet from the nearest customer. The normally rammed shop contained just two staff and me. When our coffees were ready, they were brought outside and placed like two unstable hand grenades on a little table by a woman wearing a mask and blue gloves who immediately stepped back – smiling with her eyes, but very properly treating me like I was a leper.

The third place of a 1990s ad man’s dreams this was not. I’ve been to more welcoming GUM clinics.

But you know what? That coffee was magnificent. The whole shebang: Walking and sipping it from its environmentally dubious cup. Consuming the 10p of product and the £2.90 of taste, marketing, and nostalgia. Chatting – even at volume, at a distance – with my friend.

I knew I’d missed decent coffees on the go and obviously I’ve missed conversation. When lockdown began I noted how the streets seemed weird because nobody was walking with coffees.

Almost as if it was the 1980s. As if Friends had never happened!

Something bigger than a £2.95 coffee had vanished from my life.

Of course, I love coffee – and maybe you hate the stuff, or at least the mass-market escapism ritual that coffee has become.

But I bet you have your own ‘frivolous factor’, too.

Spontaneous sessions in the pub? Gym membership? Seeing films at the cinema alone on a weeknight? A serious National Trust and cream tea habit? City breaks via short-haul flights?

Did you only notice how much they mattered to you when they were gone?

Fool’s gold

It was always obvious you can take frugality and compound interest to extremes.

I once called it Buffett’s Folly, in honour of Warren Buffett’s house of the same name.

Even as he bought his property in 1957, Buffett calculated the $31,500 home cost him at least a million dollars.

That was on the back of what Buffy believed he would have generated with the money if he’d invested it in stocks instead, given his prodigious rates of return.

But Buffett still lives in exactly the same house, 63 years later. If the shingle still reads Buffett’s Folly, it’s with an ironic twist today.

By all means let’s save our pennies where we can (and avoid spending pennies, Orman-style, into the bargain. Boom boom!)

But we’ve just had a taste of what it’s like to be a monk in seclusion for the past eight weeks.

I rather enjoyed lockdown, truth be told.

But I wouldn’t trade it for meeting a friend for a decent coffee, on a whim, for the rest of my life.

Not for a million pounds. Not even for £139,000.

(Besides, coffee is really good for you!)

  1. i.e. A ‘real’ return. []
  2. i.e. ignoring inflation []
  3. A mostly London-located upmarket bakery chain. []

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{ 37 comments… add one }
  • 1 The Rhino May 21, 2020, 11:44 am

    It regularly blows (blew) my mind as to where I would see people carrying disposable coffee cups. One particularly awe-inspiring instance was the crib-goch route up Snowdon. Where did that cup come from? What travails had it endured to get there? What thought process deemed it a good idea? I will never know, but I was blown away nonetheless.

    Its all about value really, and that is a very difficult thing to put your finger on. Some times a coffee and a cake at the right place, the right time, with the right person is the most enjoyable 30 minutes of your month, other times it can pass in a haze of non-attention leaving you unsure if you consumed anything at all.

  • 2 Xailter May 21, 2020, 12:03 pm

    Not going to lie, while quarantine hasn’t been too stressful for me and my wife – we really do miss our 50p Pret coffee (if you bring your own flask). So cheap, yet so good.

    A counterpoint to your daily hot drink – if you aren’t drinking the basic stuff (coffee beans, water and maybe milk or a tea) like say a mocha or a hot chocolate with triple cream, marshmallows and two shots of syrup – add up those compounding calories over a year and how much more exercise you’ll have to do to work them off 🙂 Put me right off my mochas I used to have once a day…

  • 3 Victoria May 21, 2020, 12:20 pm

    Ah, but that first, special taste of non-isolated coffee while lovely, is also the first step toward lifestyle inflation (I speak for myself here). Where does it end?

  • 4 Slavo May 21, 2020, 12:35 pm

    Amen! This obsession with frugality to the point of ascetism is probably the biggest turn-off factor for me when reading all the FIRE blogs out there.

    The point of money is to use it for a better life. If you sacrifice the latter for the former, you’re missing the forest for the trees. Sadly, many people will learn this lesson too late.

  • 5 Xailter May 21, 2020, 1:15 pm

    > Amen! This obsession with frugality to the point of ascetism is probably the biggest turn-off factor for me when reading all the FIRE blogs out there.

    *Usual caveat of FIRE means different things to different people* I’ve always taken the FIRE movement to be more focused on pushing your boundaries a little and trying to go without where it seems reasonable. I *could* cut out all coffee forever and subsist on water and lentils, but I *choose* to buy the nicer foods and drinks in life and not feel bad about it. Making a conscious choice is different from ‘doing it just because’.

    Evaluate what you value in life and cut out the stuff you don’t enjoy so much. I could easily blow 4x what I spend in a month now on random crap but I know it wouldn’t make me much happier – I’d have a bunch of new toys I’d probably barely use 🙂

  • 6 Tony May 21, 2020, 2:16 pm

    Parallel to the point of the article but you’re in the right order of magnitude when jokingly referring to cost as 10p coffee in a £3 coffee. Extract from a Telegraph 2013 article (and note inflation!): “The priciest part of your takeaway coffee? It’s the cup, not the beans: “while the cost of the coffee served in a medium-sized £2.20 cappuccino is just 8p, the total cost of the cup, lid, stirrer, napkin and sugar amounts to 16p. The biggest cost covered in the price of the drink, however, is the wages paid to staff, which make up nearly a quarter of the price. Some 37p from each drink goes on VAT, meanwhile. They found the milk used in the chains cost 8p on average, while 15% of the total price covered the rent paid by the shop and other costs including business rates. Another 15% went towards administration and the coffee shop pocketed a profit of about 13% on each drink.”
    Interestingly, in Italy, far cheaper other than sitting in a tourist bar. Caffe espresso is about 1E and cappuccino up to E1.50. Although they don’t serve the huge quantities with whipped cream and syrup popular in the UK. Which given the obesity crisis and what we’re learning around Covid-19 implications, as well as health impacts generally, like Xailter, I think it should be seen as a treat, not a daily thing (the calorific versions, as opposed to normal coffee with or without milk).

  • 7 Max May 21, 2020, 2:58 pm

    Excellent article; really enjoyed the writing.

  • 8 ermine May 21, 2020, 4:00 pm

    > I had a very visceral reaction to the latte factor.

    I offer hedonic adaptation as the explanation 😉 Victoria #3 is right…

  • 9 James May 21, 2020, 5:01 pm

    Nice piece, thanks. Your blog posts are always interesting to read.

    I’m trying to stick away as much as I can (around 30% approx) to be financially independent by 50/55 (I’m 34, so a while off yet) but I feel you have to have a little fun along the way, be it coffee, nice beer, wine, camping trips (out of lockdowns!) etc, otherwise it would be too boring for me!!

    I love my coffee but found switching from buying coffee in store or cafe at £2.50/£3 a day to getting really good quality beans delivered at home from an independent supplier at £6 for a 250g bag, that does I would say 15 or so cups of coffee, supports the grower a bit more etc.

    It’s about balancing interests, fun, financial discipline, spending and value over time, I’d say.

  • 10 Rosario May 21, 2020, 5:25 pm

    Reading between the lines and perhaps applying a little of my own bias, the article reinforces the message of “the latte factor” rather than shooting it down.
    I read both as challenges to question the value in our spending habits. “The latte factor” more skewed to how small purchases can add up to big savings, “The revenge of the latte factor” more how small spends can bring outsize enjoyment.

    Both are in line with my take on FIRE – give each pound spent some thought as it could be better spent / invested elsewhere.

  • 11 Fatbritabroad May 21, 2020, 6:04 pm

    Your comment about pointing out the little things adding up not changing peoples attitude made me smile.

    We have a group that goes to the pub nearly every lunchtime for a pint. One lunch time I was sat in the canteen and one asked the other if he was going and he (also someone who said he could never afford to buy a house) said ‘no mot today I can’t afford it every day. God knows what a pint costs me.’i told him it was about £1500 a year and he thought I was including weekends. His face was a picture when I said that was 5 days. I smiled sweetly and said’ have I just ruined booze for you ‘

    It’s the cognitive dissonance that gets me. This person is now worried about redundancy but has just rebooked his cancelled holiday for next year. While I despair it does at least bode well that people will spend even when they can’t afford to.

  • 12 Amit May 21, 2020, 6:11 pm

    Frugality is often wrongly publicised as basically depriving yourself of the now, for a financially free future. No wonder, the concept sticks with people like marmite.

    On the contrary, the concept of lifestyle financial planning is more consistent with individualistic choices & values. You are free to define your spending per your values, both for now and for the future.

  • 13 NewInvestor May 21, 2020, 7:09 pm

    “I’ve been to more welcoming GUM clinics.”
    My first reaction on reading this post was to struggle with the idea that you had ever been to a GUM clinic. I think I’ve got past that shock now.
    Anyhow, sage advice. No, not that SAGE. Ho hum.

  • 14 Rob B May 21, 2020, 7:49 pm

    An easy and common way of introducing (and keeping) a little frugality is the NSD (No Spending Day). You still keep your lifestyle – you just lessen the frequency of niceties.

    It still amazes me when I hear people say they ‘can’t afford’ to invest….but they can afford many of life’s little luxuries. For me it simply comes down to education and priorities. Financial education that is.

    My financial education came late when I stumbled upon managing my own investments, driven by the sight of an annual 1.73% charge from my IFA in a fund equivalent to LS40. 1.73% didn’t sound much to a financial illiterate as I was back then until I spent an afternoon on the internet. Never looked back.

    Once armed with knowledge, priorities can easily follow suit.

  • 15 Matthew May 21, 2020, 10:29 pm

    If buying expensive coffee &meals gets you a relationship/ maintains it, it could be a very money saving “investment” overall to have 2 incomes into the one household, to be able to borrow more on a mortgage together and therefore snap up property sooner.

    That said my other half said she liked it when I complained about the price of coffee on our first date, as she knew that I would be her grumpy victor meldrew – ie someone she could count on.

    But for example I will spend money on making the house nice because if she’s happy in our rabbit hole I won’t be under such pressure to upsize. I save just by controlling lifestyle inflation and from having saved hard before I met her

  • 16 Mousecatcher007 May 21, 2020, 10:49 pm

    @Matthew

    Keeping your missus happy? Priceless.

  • 17 Brod May 21, 2020, 11:04 pm

    @TI – well, I avoid those fancy espresso based coffees like the plague. Not cos I’m, a, ahem, frugal* FIRE-warrior fighting the good fight, but because I make my coffee using a Hario V60 and a pot with a thermometer so I can get the temperature at 95c. Way better!

    @James – if you’re 250g bag only does 15 coffees or so, the V60 scoop is 10g for a “damn fine coffee” which is 25 coffees!!! Can’t tell the difference between 12g and 10g but 8g I think a little weak? Big savings 😉

    * mind you, when I discovered that each disposable V60 coffee filter was costing me 4.5p A CUP, I got my wife to make me a cloth one. That’s true bliss!

  • 18 HariSeldon May 21, 2020, 11:14 pm

    There’s a fine line between frugality and Scrooge.

    It’s worth keeping a balance, if you live of penny pinching and don’t live to enjoy it.

    A friend’s partner was beyond tight, she lived in fear of the electricity meter man calling, as he’d periodically bypass the meter.

    The relationship eventually ended, leaving the guy, very lonely in a big family home, without the kids and her, he had a lot of money, other properties etc.

    Just enjoy the journey along the way to FIRE, (surprised no one mentioned taking a flask !!)

    The sad end to the story, is that illness took the life of my friend far too early, the guy realised the error of his ways but couldn’t find a way back and walked along the railway line early in one morning…..

  • 19 MrOptimistic May 22, 2020, 9:10 am

    Perhaps the FIRE mentality feeds off the same instincts as Christianity. Forgo current pleasure and temptations for the promise of gaining a future paradise. Me, I’d rather drink the coffee. The present exists, the future is just concept!

  • 20 moggers May 22, 2020, 9:26 am

    You have to spend something on what you love, unless all that you love comes free, otherwise there is no life.

    I would never stop spending money on music equipment, cameras, motorbikes and computers and trips away. I would never waste money on beer and coffee. I would never stop spending money at a restaurant for good food with someone. I would never waste money on clothes.

    For some they would reverse those lists, and good for them.

    I’m lucky enough to be able to do that, and still save money first. I save until my remaining disposable income meets my expectations, and that’s it. Fortunately, that’s a ***kton of money saved.

    I’m not one of those who says your outgoings rise to match your income. I’ve never understood that.mindset. No, the equivalent of a gross UK salary of £25k is more than just fine for me.

    if I wasn’t that lucky though and earned a lower salary, I’d prioritise the spending first and trying to increase my income. If you can’t do that, enjoy life.

    Tl;Dr. You aren’t going to escape the rat race unless you earn good money to begin with. Probably not a fire/type comment that, but it’s true.

  • 21 Naeclue May 22, 2020, 9:54 am

    10-11% a year might be considered a very punchy expected return, but there are (unfortunately) loads of people for which this is not the case. A significant number of people live cradle to grave on low incomes and with zero savings. When the washing machine packs up, they have no option but to pay interest at 40%+ rates to purchase a replacement. For the people who live there lives this way, EACH £3 latte is worth £2,100,000 to their future self in 40 years time, assuming a 40% borrowing rate throughout the period.

  • 22 britinkiwi May 22, 2020, 11:52 am

    Just been to the pub with friends for the first time in weeks for a very expensive (compared to the UK) pint but a priceless experience for the first time after work for, well, weeks.

    The flipside is I have colleagues who spend as much every working day on barista coffee from the hospital cafe – which is good coffee, to be sure, but adds up over a week. They are the same people who buy the latest full suspension MTB rather than a second hand hardtail as well – and are then desperate for every extra paid shift, which seems a hard trade off to me.

    It’s probably a sense of awareness that’s important – that I know the future value of that indulgence to my future self and am happy to trade. Having just had a patient collapse and die in close proximity to me today (I work in a hospital) I’m also very aware (and slightly maudlin tonight) of the fragility of life. The spending choices I make have to be a good trade off between fulfillment now and in my future – or my families future.

    @HariSeldon – totally agree! Although quite what psychohistory is doing here on a pebble in the sky I’ve no idea….

  • 23 Berkshire Pat May 22, 2020, 1:04 pm

    I followed this until I got to ” …an unfinished bottle of wine”
    Such a mind-bendingly strange concept

    @The Rhino – Crib Goch? Crikey, you need all your limbs unimpaired for that route. I wouldn’t do it fully roped and full of beta blockers, let alone swigging coffee in a casual style

  • 24 Steve May 22, 2020, 4:41 pm

    You could get hit by a bus tomorrow…

    I mean it’s slightly less likely at the moment but the point still stands to a degree. it’d be a real kicker to deprive yourself now and never get to enjoy it . I daresay on the flip side that plenty use it as too much of an excuse for extravagant spending though…

    I generally fall into the make it at home coffee camp (v60 too, although 18g a cup and I’ll live with the extravagance of paper filters) but a good cappuccino is definitely worth the £3+ now and then.

  • 25 JohnG May 22, 2020, 5:03 pm

    @Naeclue – Really great point about the effective interest rate of money saved if it displaces high interest debt, and part of the reason I do believe a lot of these minor spending change tips do make sense in some circumstances.

    I have no time for the “millennials are whiners about property who should stop buying Avo on toast” crowd, but I’ve also spoken to plenty of people who see home ownership, or even pension contributions, as an impossible dream; but if they can find a way to save some money, then the return on that money either by avoiding debt or being able to buy other things more cost effectively is considerable. I honestly think that for a considerable part of the population the difference between being “in trouble” and being “alright” could be as little as £100 a month less in expenses and ~£2k in savings.

    – – –
    I actually had the reverse anti-latte moment about four years ago. We’re both spending averse, and although we’re not huge earners we do ok, two full time incomes with no kids means financially we were heading well into money for money’s sake territory. I made a conscious decision that I should consider an hour of either of our time as £10; that’s made me a lot more comfortable about spending money on things I’d have avoided previously if they save spending time on things we don’t like.

    The trick seems to be not spending less or spending more, but feeling happy with how you spend and hopefully aligning how you feel about spending with what you value. £300 a year on coffees you barely notice (bad), £300 on coffees that you love and have great conversations with friends over (bargain).

  • 26 Bsdb3 May 22, 2020, 5:19 pm

    I guess everything is good in moderation. If you’re not saving, and spending $2K a year on coffees then it’s obviously excessive. I can’t really say anything, I spent most of my 20’s working in offices with canteens and vending machines, buying lunch and tea/coffees through out the day, and must have wasted a silly amount of money. A lot of it is temptation and ease of access. I now work for a company based on an industrial estate, the nearest cafes and shops are some distance away and so I bring my own lunch and the tea/coffee is provided – temptation and spending gone.

    It is easy to take a scruge mentality to saving money, but I think you can have the same amount of fun and enjoyment (perhaps even more) but just make wiser choices. Going to a coffee shop and seeing a friend is great, personally I’d rather meet somewhere and go for a walk or picnic in the countryside, or visit a National Trust place. The same applies to other choices for example – monthly gym membership / personal trainer v going for a run regularly in the countryside on your own, with a friend, or with a group.

    Re Warren Buffett he also bought a holiday home in California for $150K in 1971 recently sold for $7.5 million dollars (sounds good, but probably cost an awful lot more in missed capital gains). https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-of-warren-buffetts-house-in-california-2017-2?r=US&IR=T I wonder if he’d rented it how much more he would have made?

  • 27 Matthew May 22, 2020, 6:06 pm

    I find I get very little satisfaction from expensive things, like restaurants, etc, I have a very blunt taste pallet, dont appreciate going to events, feel less confortable on holiday than I do at home, see new cars as pointless, but I find these things are more of a relationship tax, and it has to be said that to me it appears more capitalising products and services are geared towards women, more quality but also they are charged more – ie haircuts, weddings, “homeware”, and previously I’d say music but now we have streaming, even stingy men who never pay (when they could pirate) are now a source of revenue

  • 28 The Borderer May 22, 2020, 8:16 pm

    Being frugal, or careful, or however you want to phrase it, is not about buying cheap. After many years of doing exactly this, I found Terry Pratchett (of immortal memory) and his Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness. (Men at Arms – the play).
    Spend money on quality goods, and look after them.

  • 29 Gentlemans Family Finances May 23, 2020, 7:51 am

    As someone with two small kids, evening meals at fancy restaurants are a thing of the past.
    So we now suffer from what I call the money scone factor.
    Or we used to anyway.
    At the weekend we would go to a museum or attraction and go to a café for coffee and something to eat.
    Worth every penny for someone to take your order and bring you your food.
    If there are toys for the kids then even better.
    Total lifetime cost? I don’t care – it’s the value not the cost that I care about.

  • 30 Stu May 23, 2020, 10:06 am

    It always comes down the the nearly impossible problem of knowing yourself and what you want. It’s really really hard to decide how much a coffee or an investment is actually worth to you.

    It is far easier to pretend the options are black and white (go full fat fire, go yolo etc) and then optimise for that. Spending all the money you have? Strategy is easy. Save all the money possible and go extreme early retirement? A challenge, but at least you know how to approach each decision, and have a good optimisation function.

    It’s also very easy to make judgements from outside – this is often the latte factor. If you feel that someone isn’t investing enough, exactly how cheap would a latte have to be before you considered it a reasonable choice? How do I judge someone else’s pleasure accurately?

    But most of all, what is my own time worth? Am I optimising for more of it, or to spend it doing more, or more enjoyably? What is the trade off between those options? Probably that’s an unknowable, complex function, and not some simple ratio, but implying that we can rationally choose also implies that we can assess these equivalencies.

    Knowing that there are, kahneman style, blind spots and biases in how we judge these decisions is useful. Heck, knowing that we are making active choices at all is useful.

    But I don’t think it makes any sense to talk about actual outcomes. A latte is not just a latte. It is the outcome of a complex series of choices and priorities that will change and alter depending on mood, self awareness, employment prospects, the stock market, priorities, responsibilities.

    And it’s important to separate the sausage machine from the sausage. Once you’ve bought the latte, enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy whatever the alternative is. Don’t conflate the two.

  • 31 The Rhino May 23, 2020, 1:44 pm

    @Stu – I think you’ve nailed it there, TL;DR – its complicated..

    I had the first flat white since lockdown today, sat on a bench mid bike ride watching monster trout swim down Stockbridge high street. I was about to consider the value proposition of the scenario a la Monevator, but then remembered my mate bought it so I didn’t have to. Win-win!

  • 32 Steveark May 23, 2020, 5:42 pm

    My standard latte at Starbucks is over $5, and lots of people get what I get.
    When I get a grande Starbucks latte with an extra shot of expresso it does indeed cost over $5 after tax. It’s been that price for over 5 years.

  • 33 Juan May 23, 2020, 8:00 pm

    @The Rhino

    Was that at CoffeeLab by any chance. If so then that is good coffee! I detest the swill served at Costa and Starbucks but a decent coffee, taken as a treat so not to ruin the experience through familiarity, is well worth it.

  • 34 The Weasel May 23, 2020, 9:36 pm

    A coffe snob myself, whatever they sell you out there is usually muck.

    Sometimes I do drink muck, though. It’s about the company and the moment indeed. Not everything can be reduced to numbers on a spreadsheet.

  • 35 r May 24, 2020, 8:51 am

    Not all lattes are equal though. Drinking coffee with your friends is not the same as getting a to go cup at 10AM between 2 boring meetings that make you go up the wall.

    Drinking coffee with your friends means about 1-2 hours of enjoyable conversation and it’s quite cheap for the amount of joy you get out of it.
    The other one is just getting a caffeine fix to make a horrible work day a little bit less horrible. It’s almost like getting a Prozac for the reasonable mentally unwell.

    So yeah, it’s not about the cost, it’s about the fact that your using it as band-aid to make yourself feel better about the shitty situation you are in. And the shittier the situation, the more you use. Most of us could do with a little less take-out coffees and a little more control over our lives, but in order to have that control, we have to give up the take-out coffees that make life bearable. Catch 22.

  • 36 The Rhino May 24, 2020, 11:25 am

    @Juan – yes, thats the one. They’re taking orders from one hatch and serving out of another, like a pedestrianised drive-through with appropriate gaffer tape markers all over the floor.

    It was great! If I had the ability to tickle trout it would have been exceptional.

  • 37 TheFIJourney May 25, 2020, 7:14 pm

    Great post TI, I have written a lot about depriving yourself whilst on the journey so I really relate to this post. I used to lean a little bit too much towards the tight wad end and have since loosened up a lot. I however am still tight or maybe I’ll say frugal in other areas But I’ll gladly spend money in the areas that bring me joy. I aim for a high joy to stuff ratio as it were both with material purchases and experiential – Whether that’s having an expensive coffee, buying someone expensive flowers or having some over priced Stellas at your local pub whilst playing pool. Keep safe all.

    Chris – TheFIJourney

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