7.29.2011

Don't Throw Your Latte Away

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I have always been an avid saver and was also a frequent "latte" drinker. I wrote this post after watching a clip on TV about "The Latte Factor".

“Save now. Fewer trips to the café now can lead to more vacations later,” says Fidelity.

“Figure out your ‘latte factor’, be it your frequent lunches out, your fetish for new shoes, or your everyday coffee, and minimize it or cut it out entirely,” says the man on CNBC.

This seems to be a common theme with the retirement gurus. Skip the coffee, save a few extra dollars for later. It makes sense, right? 5 dollars a day for coffee can lead to an extra 1300 dollars a year in your savings account. To me it does make sense, and to one friend whose dad’s motto is “save today, spend tomorrow” but not everyone agrees with us.

I spoke with another friend who when I suggested she start saving money now, said, “Why worry about later all the time when you should be thinking about having fun right now?” At first I thought, “Wow, she is so naive! She is going to be screwed later!” Then I spoke to my dad, who was the one that first taught me how to save. He said, “Sure, cut out your latte now and then, but don’t deprive yourself of all fun now by always worrying about later.”

Dad saves the day again. Leave it to him to depart some words to the wise regarding finances. Save now, sure, but have fun in the meantime. What is the point of saving all your life if you are not going to get to enjoy it? I am not saying that I am going to die tomorrow, but…what if I did? Would I be happy with my life so far? Would I wish that I had blown a little more money on shoes instead of scrimping and saving for my non-existent retirement?

Why can't we have both? I am going to have fun now. AND save for later. It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

**Since the original airing of this post, I have saved approximately $5000 by not going to Starbucks 5 x a week.** You can also see my original follow up post for this one HERE.   

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This post is part of the Red Dress Club's writing meme: Find something that you're proud of, but something you haven't read for awhile. Do a complete overhaul. It is also  part of Flashback Friday with Karen at A Peek at Karen's World and Coffee Talk with FTLOB

What about you? Are you a saver or a spender? What do you spend your "latte" money on? 

10 comments:

  1. I get this feeling with McDonaldas and take away pizza. I'm a lazy cook and when having a stressful day at work I think what's the harm!! Lately I've been trying to cut dopwn because 1- it's not healthy and 2- I could save so much haha!! Godd luck saving.

    Just stopping by from coffee talk!
    Missy

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  2. good for you! Saving is difficult so being able to do so is a great accomplishment.

    visiting from RDC

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  3. I am a terrible saver, terrible and I like the shoes and stuff that I buy (does it count that I only shop at Payless for shoes and always with a coupon? NO??? Damn)

    but this was done so well and flowed so easily, I loved it.

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  4. I have such a hard time striking this balance in my life. I think it's lovely that you're saving and having fun, because that is possible!! Definitely. :) Great post!

    Visiting from TRDC.

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  5. I'm with Katie- that balance is HARD to find! I'm impressed that you found it and I adore that you held onto the focus of enjoying the moment. because really? Is there any reason not to?

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  6. In Jan of 2010 I really cut down my latte intake. I was drinking 1/day and that was adding up. Now it is my Friday treat and I make coffee at home. It helps.

    I am all about finding balance. Yes, I want to retire comfortably and have a nice nest egg just in case something happened, but at the same time, you never know what the future holds so I believe in 'work hard, play hard'.

    I have found that alot of the men I have met in the last couple of yars really disagree with me on this point. They work themselves like dogs so they can retire hyoung and be wealthy but then I think - what if you have a heart attack at 40? Or what if you get cancer at 50? Will you still be glad you took this approach to life or do you wish you had spent some time doing the things you love?

    I am so passionate about this topic and have meant to do a post on this for awhile, actually. hence the epically long comment!

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  7. That's some wise advice from your dad. I'm not so great about saving, but I do agree that there needs to be balance. I don't want to wake up down the road and regret all the things I didn't do because I was saving it for later.

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  8. I try to spend my money more and more on experiences....on the opportunities to travel or dine in wonderful places...that way, I feel like my money went towards things I will treasure. Another pair of black pumps? Not so much.

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  9. I'm definitely very bad with money management, however it always seems to break down that the bills get paid and that's all that matters to me. :D

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  10. HOLY MOLY!! $5,000!!! I can just imagine! I posted a couple days back about how much I would be saving by giving up my daily iced coffee and it was close to $2,000! So unreal! Think about all that you could buy with that kind of money! Thanks for this reminder xoxo

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!