Author Topic: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?  (Read 8365 times)


cawiau

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 08:24:05 AM »
I think it depends on "the person"... Small amounts here and there do add up if you do not watch it.

I see it happen to my wife and I when we are extremely busy: grab a coffee, grab a snack, grab lunch, grab another coffee or Coke , ... And before you know it we spent $120/week on small little purchases ($5-10) that did not register at all.

My wife forgot her lunch twice this week, $23 in 2 days. No big deal in the short term... Make it a habit and it can break some budgets.

But I rather focus on the big ticket items and save money that way: home/mortgage, cars (we buy new but drive them till the end), vacations. I get more bang for my bucks ...


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Orvell

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 08:26:47 AM »
No.
\O_o/
I mean, you can argue the returns, you can argue the future market, you can argue whatever you want.
But even straight-ditching lattes saves the person in the story over $1,800 a year in real monies.
It's a fake person used to model what happens when we give into impulses that are ostensibly 'not that much' to illustrate the value of not giving in. Who cares if the value is 50K or 500K or 1M. It's still huge. No I don't know anyone who drinks a latte every damned day. But I do know people who "treat themselves" a LOT. That can me lattes, new nailpolish, a muffin at the gas station, and that skirt they want. The latte is just a nice, simple, way to illustrate all that consumerism in a bottle.
This ought to be posted in Antimustachian Shame and Comedy.

slugline

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 08:27:10 AM »
I've always viewed "latte factor" as not really being about lattes, but simply about mindless habitual spending in various forms.

Travis

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 08:36:06 AM »
Olen completely missed the point. You can substitute Starbucks for any other $4 a day habit and get the same result.  In many cases it becomes multiple $4 a day items.  Whether it is $1800 or $2000 a year it becomes real money when you realize you're spending half a month's pay each year on those little luxuries. 

And as always, read the article - stay for the comments.  "I don't understand how the market works, you're probably going to die young anyways, and live for today!"  Yeah dude, I'll see you in 40 years when you can't make ends meet and you're complaining its the government's fault. At least a couple folks there understand the "latte" is just the beginning (too much car, too much house).

pachnik

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 08:37:22 AM »
I had my own "latte factor" going before I found this website.  I used to fritter money away every day on stuff like:  coffee at the coffee shop, newspaper.  Plus lunch out at least or twice during the work week.   There were other things but I guess I've forgotten what they were.  I figure I had at least $100 - $150/month going out on useless stuff.  To me the latte factor is just the mindless frittering away of money because it was in my wallet.

shotgunwilly

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 08:42:21 AM »
Every time I read an article like this I scroll down and read the comments and am overcome with the desire to reach through my computer screen and slap the fuck out of most of the commenters.

dude

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 08:42:29 AM »
I had my own "latte factor" going before I found this website.  I used to fritter money away every day on stuff like:  coffee at the coffee shop, newspaper.  Plus lunch out at least or twice during the work week.   There were other things but I guess I've forgotten what they were.  I figure I had at least $100 - $150/month going out on useless stuff.  To me the latte factor is just the mindless frittering away of money because it was in my wallet.

Ditto, used to eat Subway (which I always considered the "healthier" fast food alternative, though really it's not so much) pretty damned regularly for lunch, because I was just being lazy.  That shit added up!  Haven't had Subway in better than 3 years now.  Still get lunch out with colleagues once in a while, but now eat leftovers for lunch 90% of the time.

Jesstache

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 08:48:52 AM »
I don't think the $2000 figure is wrong, yes $5 x 365 is $1825 but that's in AFTER TAX dollars, probably closer to $2000 in pre-tax 401k contributions and possibly more (depending on your marginal tax rate).  Let's be honest, most people don't max their tax advantaged retirement accounts.  plue the $100k+ figure they come up with is basically enough to pay for a kids' college.  Something I'm sure the masses would admit they'd like to be able to do some day but just "can't afford".

A lot of people think in terms of how much something costs them per month (like car payments) because they don't think long term.  That $5 latte (or whatever) is approximately $150/month without even factoring in how much it would compound from investing it.  That would pay for my water, gas and electric for the month on a 2400 sqft house! 

2lazy2retire

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 08:56:49 AM »
He misses the big point -  look after the pennies and the pounds ( dollars) will look after themselves.

Eric

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 09:41:29 AM »
No.
\O_o/
I mean, you can argue the returns, you can argue the future market, you can argue whatever you want.
But even straight-ditching lattes saves the person in the story over $1,800 a year in real monies.
It's a fake person used to model what happens when we give into impulses that are ostensibly 'not that much' to illustrate the value of not giving in. Who cares if the value is 50K or 500K or 1M. It's still huge. No I don't know anyone who drinks a latte every damned day. But I do know people who "treat themselves" a LOT. That can me lattes, new nailpolish, a muffin at the gas station, and that skirt they want. The latte is just a nice, simple, way to illustrate all that consumerism in a bottle.
This ought to be posted in Antimustachian Shame and Comedy.

Wait, a gas station muffin is a treat?  I think I just threw up a little.  Thanks for that!  :)

coppertop

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 09:42:29 AM »
I don't buy lattes, but I buy magazines. Love them.  Glossy, slick, colorful, and full of useless information and ads.  They beckon to me from the racks that line the grocery stores' checkout aisles.  "Coppertop, buy me ... buy me..."  I shudder to think what my magazine habit adds up to in a year.  I've got to get a grip.

Orvell

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 09:44:21 AM »
No.
\O_o/
I mean, you can argue the returns, you can argue the future market, you can argue whatever you want.
But even straight-ditching lattes saves the person in the story over $1,800 a year in real monies.
It's a fake person used to model what happens when we give into impulses that are ostensibly 'not that much' to illustrate the value of not giving in. Who cares if the value is 50K or 500K or 1M. It's still huge. No I don't know anyone who drinks a latte every damned day. But I do know people who "treat themselves" a LOT. That can me lattes, new nailpolish, a muffin at the gas station, and that skirt they want. The latte is just a nice, simple, way to illustrate all that consumerism in a bottle.
This ought to be posted in Antimustachian Shame and Comedy.

Wait, a gas station muffin is a treat?  I think I just threw up a little.  Thanks for that!  :)

Hey, I just call it like I see it. :P
You don't like plastic-y poppy seed muffins died yellow with more corn syrup than flour?

BlueMR2

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2015, 09:54:14 AM »
No.
\O_o/
I mean, you can argue the returns, you can argue the future market, you can argue whatever you want.
But even straight-ditching lattes saves the person in the story over $1,800 a year in real monies.
It's a fake person used to model what happens when we give into impulses that are ostensibly 'not that much' to illustrate the value of not giving in. Who cares if the value is 50K or 500K or 1M. It's still huge. No I don't know anyone who drinks a latte every damned day. But I do know people who "treat themselves" a LOT. That can me lattes, new nailpolish, a muffin at the gas station, and that skirt they want. The latte is just a nice, simple, way to illustrate all that consumerism in a bottle.
This ought to be posted in Antimustachian Shame and Comedy.

Hi, nice to meet you.  I'm that guy that did...  I would have at least 1 Mocha every morning, and sometimes a second one for lunch.  My estimated savings are $3000 a year simply from quitting coffee.

matchewed

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2015, 10:01:33 AM »
This really belongs in the Anti-Mustachian area. Crazy ass article.

Orvell

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2015, 10:02:59 AM »
Hi, nice to meet you.  I'm that guy that did...  I would have at least 1 Mocha every morning, and sometimes a second one for lunch.  My estimated savings are $3000 a year simply from quitting coffee.
Woh! I'm so glad that the latte factor is totally a thing that you broke free from.
Would you do that even on the weekends, though??

NoStacheOhio

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2015, 11:15:12 AM »
Hi, nice to meet you.  I'm that guy that did...  I would have at least 1 Mocha every morning, and sometimes a second one for lunch.  My estimated savings are $3000 a year simply from quitting coffee.

Not far behind you. I was a 1+ Mocha (weekdays) person until maybe six months ago--there's a Starbucks downstairs from my office. I haven't sworn it off completely, but now I pretty much only go when I get gift cards/free drinks. As a bonus, sometimes friends will send me star codes from their grocery store coffee packages. I started buying whole bean from the store and doing pourover on weekends (four or five cups of coffee is less than $3 in beans). We also have free coffee in the office, so I just started drinking that.

Zikoris

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2015, 11:46:57 AM »
An awful lot of people I work with seem to buy breakfast, lunch, and at least one coffee every day. I have no idea what that costs since I haven't bought any of those in the 3 1/2 years I've been here, but I bet it's more than my annual travel budget, which takes me all over the world.

steveo

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2015, 01:04:01 PM »
I think the latte factor is underdone. I think most people that buy coffee buy more than one per day and also consistently buy a lunch or a snack. That adds up - say $2.50 for 2 coffees, $10 for lunch twice per week and that is $45 per week. That is realistic and its a lot of money.

Kaspian

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2015, 01:12:40 PM »
Counterarguments like to focus on the daily coffee.  It's not about fucking lattés!  It's about people nickel and diming themselves into poverty--two coffees, one chocolate bar, one lottery ticket, one takeout sandwich for lunch, one pack of smokes, one pack of gum from a convenience store, one magazine, one beer after work...  Most people I know are spending around $30-50 a day in complete bullshit.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 01:14:57 PM by Kaspian »

mm1970

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2015, 01:16:02 PM »
I think this is going to depend a LOT on the person, where they live, and their habits.  But yes, it is a thing!

When I was 20-something, in DC, and in the Navy, I had the "latte habit".  Not really.  I didn't drink coffee.

Once I went from Ensign to LTJG (more money!) - I cooked less, and packed lunch less.  My friends went to lunch, and so did I!  I'd get a sandwich and a diet coke.  The guy at the deli in the Crystal City underground saw me coming - he knew it was either a tuna sandwich or a Reuben.  The guy at Moby Dick's knew I wanted a veggie wrap with no tomato. 

That grew...into dinner and and beers after volleyball games.  And a bagel on the way in, because I didn't feel like having cereal.  My god, when we bought our house, I found a credit card statement from my last year in DC.  $1000 a month, about $800 on that eating out.  In 1996.  Jeez.

And it still hasn't changed much.  While I've reigned in the spending, and pack lunches now (I calculated that packing lunches saves us about $17k in 5 years)... sometimes, the kids want a smoothie.  Or the husband wants a burger.  Or we are tired and want to order pizza.  Or I don't feel like packing my kid's lunch every day, only to have him not eat any of it.  And it's okay to order a pizza, or grab a burger, or get a smoothie on Saturday as a treat.  But the problem becomes that it turns into a "thing".

Then, next thing you know, Weds is burger night and Friday is sushi night.
Friday afternoon when school is out, let's go grab Fro-Yo!
Sunday morning, bright and sunny, how about brunch at that cute place on the beach!

It's easy to slide into these habits.  We don't tend to slide into them as easy as others, but it still happens.

At my office, I have a friend who's "frugal".  But he's an empty nester, buys lunch every day, and shops at Whole Foods.
I've got plenty of other coworkers who buy lunch 4-5 days a week.  They get more variety that way and don't have to think about packing a lunch.
Another friend who takes a daily "walk" and gets an iced tea and lunch at SBUX.
Two other coworkers who get coffee at SBUX every afternoon.

pachnik

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2015, 01:26:20 PM »
Counterarguments like to focus on the daily coffee.  It's not about fucking lattés!  It's about people nickel and diming themselves into poverty--two coffees, one chocolate bar, one lottery ticket, one takeout sandwich for lunch, one pack of smokes, one pack of gum from a convenience store, one magazine, one beer after work...  Most people I know are spending around $30-50 a day in complete bullshit.

+1   Very well said! 

2ndTimer

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2015, 01:37:09 PM »
Counterarguments like to focus on the daily coffee.  It's not about fucking lattés!  It's about people nickel and diming themselves into poverty--two coffees, one chocolate bar, one lottery ticket, one takeout sandwich for lunch, one pack of smokes, one pack of gum from a convenience store, one magazine, one beer after work...  Most people I know are spending around $30-50 a day in complete bullshit.

+1   Very well said!

I absolutely agree with this.  It's not really about coffee, obviously.   BUT I also get a big kick out sharing a thermos of coffee with the Hub and fantasizing about where we will drink all the other thermoses of coffee that we will brew with the coffee beans that we will buy with the money we are saving with this thermosful.

zephyr911

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2015, 02:36:05 PM »
The hell it is.

Yes, being pennywise and pound-foolish is stupid. But assuming that everyone who's pennywise is also pound-foolish is equally stupid.

You can be dumb about small AND large amounts, and that's the problem with today's batshit consumerist culture. Treat yourself to a latte, and while you're at it, treat yourself to a newer car, or even a truck. It's only 5mpg less, and you deserve comfort. Train wait got you down? Get a cab, you've worked hard. Repeat until broke, and then complain about the prices of things.

The latte example uses simple math to show that small choices repeated many times add up to large differences. Of course it's important to view those choices in context, but that doesn't invalidate the simple math. And your small choices aren't making enough difference because you're doing other stupid shit that cancels them out, the answer is not to ignore the small choices, it's to be fucking smart about ALL choices.

HappyMargo

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2015, 02:41:33 PM »

Ditto, used to eat Subway (which I always considered the "healthier" fast food alternative, though really it's not so much) pretty damned regularly for lunch, because I was just being lazy.  That shit added up!  Haven't had Subway in better than 3 years now.  Still get lunch out with colleagues once in a while, but now eat leftovers for lunch 90% of the time.

Again, ditto. 
I never had the coffee habit, but daily trip to work cafeteria for lunch added up.  With employee discount it was *just* $3- $7/ day.   

BUT then it was decided to get rid of employee discount for the hospital workers.  All of us quit the cafeteria that day, with good results:

1-- We all save $$ now.  One co-worker even mentioned that by skipping the cafeteria, she easily makes her monthly truck payment.

2-- Less food wastage at home.  Feels good using up all those leftovers!

3-- The extra savings at end of month just get swept into Vanguard.  Painless.

4-- Lost 4 pounds almost instantly with zero effort.  (Skin is looking healthy too!)

-

HappyMargo

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2015, 02:53:09 PM »
I think the latte factor is underdone. I think most people that buy coffee buy more than one per day and also consistently buy a lunch or a snack. That adds up - say $2.50 for 2 coffees, $10 for lunch twice per week and that is $45 per week. That is realistic and its a lot of money.

This is true!   

My SIL gets the giant (grande? venti? I don't go, so don't know the correct names) fancy mocha-choke-a bullshit every morning.  They cost over $5 + each.  And, yes, that's on Saturday & Sunday too.   Sometimes 2 per day.

Then the girls in her office take turns picking where to buy lunch from.  She says that's usually $8-$12/day to boot. 

I actually choked on the words I wanted to say, but realized it's not my business & didn't want to seem judge-y.  Reminded myself how I'd been a spendy pants not to long ago... but did mention to BIL what an interesting site MMM is.   
Here's hoping!


pbkmaine

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2015, 02:59:58 PM »

He misses the big point -  look after the pennies and the pounds ( dollars) will look after themselves.

This.


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KayakMom

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Spork

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2015, 03:38:22 PM »
Counterarguments like to focus on the daily coffee.  It's not about fucking lattés!  It's about people nickel and diming themselves into poverty--two coffees, one chocolate bar, one lottery ticket, one takeout sandwich for lunch, one pack of smokes, one pack of gum from a convenience store, one magazine, one beer after work...  Most people I know are spending around $30-50 a day in complete bullshit.

+1   Very well said!

Yes.  I'm convinced the downfall of the human race will stem from our failure to properly be able to generalize.

When I think of my "latte factor friends"... they DO go to Starbucks 5-10 times a week.  But they also go to the nail salon once a week.  They get a massage every month.  They buy dumb high dollar vodka (a rip off in it's own way) and then mix it with diet soda (which means even if you could tell a difference, NOW you can't.)  And the list goes on and on.  They could put $200 in their wallet on Sunday and have nothing but a pocket full of jingly stuff by Saturday.  (I say could... in reality they're sucking it out of their account with magic plastic cards.)

Nickyd£g

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2015, 06:01:15 AM »
My boss, buys breakfast, a large coffee, multiple cans of coke, another coffee, lunch and a "treat" such as chocolate from our obscenely expensive canteen pretty much every damn day. Unless she goes out... I guess she must spend about £10-15 a day.  Oh, and she was paying some plan to deliver calorie controlled dinners to her home, so she "could lose weight for her holiday" (she is going to Tenerife for a week next week).

The_path_less_taken

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2015, 07:14:40 AM »
A really, REALLY nice vacation could be had 2k. I wonder how many consider that in line at SBUX?

Or in my case, a year's worth of hay....well....ten months anyway.

Or a mortgage payment and monthly insurance payment.

So not chump change, to me.

jms493

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2015, 07:45:44 AM »
Counterarguments like to focus on the daily coffee.  It's not about fucking lattés!  It's about people nickel and diming themselves into poverty--two coffees, one chocolate bar, one lottery ticket, one takeout sandwich for lunch, one pack of smokes, one pack of gum from a convenience store, one magazine, one beer after work...  Most people I know are spending around $30-50 a day in complete bullshit.

Exactly...we budget every red cent each month therefore there is not way for me to do this.  I have fun money that I spend on coffee and what ever but I know I can never spend over my limit.  Budgeting 101.

druth

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2015, 10:08:59 AM »
I don't buy lattes, but I buy magazines. Love them.  Glossy, slick, colorful, and full of useless information and ads.  They beckon to me from the racks that line the grocery stores' checkout aisles.  "Coppertop, buy me ... buy me..."  I shudder to think what my magazine habit adds up to in a year.  I've got to get a grip.

You should see if your library has Zinio.  Free magazines, from many genres, with back issues included, straight to your tablet.

HazelStone

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2015, 12:49:34 PM »
Latte away! I have Starbucks shares in my Roth. :P

Travis

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Re: The Latte Factor : is it a fallacy?
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2015, 12:59:30 PM »
Wife and I are in the middle of a cross-country drive.  We pull into a McDonalds drive thru.

DW: I'd like a coffee with 6 creamers and sugars.
Me: Why so many?
DW: The coffee tastes like shit.
Me: So why get it here?
DW: It only costs $1.

I've run into so many people who seem to think a Keurig or Starbucks are the only places to get coffee.