Skip The $4 Latte! And 9 More Personal Finance Tips, by Adam Bertocci

latte
We know how it is. You’re a hip young college graduate making big bucks at your first job, so you’re probably more concerned with your personal life than personal finance. Heck, you might even think that responsible budgeting isn’t really “a thing” for Millennials (or is it Generation Z?!), but think again! Did you know that you can totally turn your financial future around just by making small sacrifices, like passing up your favorite fancy coffee every once in a while? Read on for some simple steps you can take to be a smart saver every day!

1) Skip the $4 latte! Small savings add up! If you’re buying a $4 cup of joe every morning before work, that’s $20 a week, or about $1000 a year… and that’s assuming a couple of off-days. (And don’t get me started on the cost of a Danish on the side!) Why not save that money and build your emergency fund instead?

2) Ditch the $5 latte! If you’re in your early twenties, every $5 you’re spending on coffee instead of investing in an aggressive portfolio of stocks is over $200 you won’t have in retirement. Can you see yourself spending $200 a day on coffee in your golden years? Because that’s what you’re doing!

3) Forget the $7.50 latte! That quick trip to Starbucks will sure seem like Far-bucks when you realize how far away it’s taking you from your financial goals! Brew your own coffee at home and save that cash for the good times ahead—because $7.50 five times a week today could be a down payment on your first home when you’re 70. Now that’s a comforting aroma in the morning!

4) Avoid the $13.75 latte! Ever notice how your parents’ generation was able to buy a home and support a family on one salary at a job available to a high school graduate? Well, that’s because they tightened their belts, even if it meant going without a little luxury every now and then. Real talk: Is your morning java a want or a need? ‘Cause if you think you need it to wake up, you really do need to “wake up”…to more responsible spending choices!

5) Refrain from your customary purchase of the $27.90 latte! Sure, you’re young and fabulous today, but it pays to take the long view. If you invest just $27.90 today, assuming a 10% rate of return, you’ll be a millionaire in just over a 110 short years. Let’s see the baristas brew you up something sweeter than that!

6) When at all possible, pass up the $38 latte! Which would you rather have—a cup of coffee today, or a great retirement 40 years from now? If you said the second one, pat yourself on the back! Whether you’re looking to travel around the world or just spend more time playing with your grandkids, you’ll be glad you made the right choice early instead of late… or should I say “latte”?!

7) Eschew the $263 latte! We’ve all read those scaremongering sob stories about entry-level employees getting treated badly and paid even worse—but how many kids who claim they can’t get ahead seem to find the money for $263 worth of coffee every day?! Think there’s nothing more valuable than your morning caffeine? Assuming a 375% rate of return, every one of these babies you’re guzzling down now means over a billion and a half dollars you’re missing out on just a decade from now! Latte? More like a “lot-te”…of money!

8) Forswear the $6,695 latte! Oh, $6,695 might not seem like much to you right now. But have you ever thought of what that latte’s really costing you? Cutting back on tiny treats now means big rewards down the road! So stop getting the daily cappuccino…and start getting the daily cappucci-“no, thanks—I’m going to make prudent financial decisions!”

9) Make reasonable efforts to decline the $84,500 latte! Are young people today throwing away the entire cost of a college education on a trendy blend? There can be no other explanation for their misfortunes! Of course, all your good choices won’t come to much if the money’s not at the very least parked in a high-interest savings account for short-term savings. Sure, today’s interest rates are low, but the $84,500 you splurge on coffee every morning could be earning as much as $900 every year! Now that’s one expensive espresso!

10) Under no circumstances consume the $450,000 latte! Oh, and by the way, walk or take the subway to work instead of chartering a private jet. You’ll thank yourself later!

Adam Bertocci is a writer and filmmaker working in and around New York, best known for the critically acclaimed mashup Two Gentlemen of Lebowski. His website, Twitter, and favorite word are, respectively, www.adambertocci.com,@AdamBertocci, and discombobulated.

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