The Real Cost of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall is here, and I’m so excited!

I can’t wait for the cooler weather, college football games, changing leaves, and evening fires.

And pumpkin spice lattes.

Yes, everyone’s favorite! We all love us some pumpkin spice lattes—the line at the coffee shop gets a lot longer this time of year!

But let’s be reasonable. Those spectacular, swirling cups of spice can bust your budget. You can $5 yourself to death because of a single specialized coffee—and the brilliant marketing behind it.

Listen, I know it’s easy to get used to the morning latte ritual, especially when it’s so yummy! But before you drive to the nearest coffee shop to get your next one, I want you to stop and think: What is this $5 latte really costing me?

You can $5 yourself to death because of a single specialized coffee—and the brilliant marketing behind it.

Look at just one workweek of lattes. How else could you be spending that $25? I’m seeing a date night or a girls’ night in your future. And think about this: If you save a whole month’s worth of latte money, you’ll have $100. That’s some serious Target shopping!

Now, the pumpkin deliciousness is only available for a few months every year, so let’s see how three months’ worth of lattes add up. If you put $300 in an investment account every year for 10 years, your latte fund could grow into more than $5,000. That’s a vacation you’re drinking!

Imagine if you looked even more long term and invested $300 a year for 20 years. Your latte savings could grow to almost $19,000. That’s more than the majority of Americans have saved for retirement.(1) And if you invest your savings for 30 years? Your coffee money could grow to over $54,000. A latte a day or $54,000? You guys. That’s an easy choice.

I’m not asking you to give up lattes completely. You know I’m all for treating yourself as long as it doesn’t break the bank. I’m just encouraging you to think before you spend.

If lattes aren’t your thing, you probably have your own version of a splurge getting you into trouble. Maybe it’s a diet soda every day on the way to work or those snacks from the vending machine. The point is, if you want to win with money, you need to develop the money habits to get you there.

Imagine what your life (and bank account) could look like if you start to develop good money habits such as spending on purpose!

To discover all the money habits you need for a life and a bank account you love, check out my book Love Your Life, Not Theirs!