Ask the Readers: What Is Your "Latte Factor"?

By Ashley Jacobs on 12 February 2013 (Updated 19 February 2013) 116 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Kate, Sherry, and Monica for winning this week's contest!

In the world of savings, every little bit counts! Small, regular expenditures — like daily mid-afternoon lattes — will add up and can put a dent on your finances over time. Many people have chosen to cut their "latte factors" in exchange for the savings, but others don't mind the cost to enjoy these small luxuries.

What is your latte factor? Would you give it up for the savings? If you've already given something up, how much have you saved so far?

Tell us about your latte factor and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For extra entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

    If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

    Giveaway Rules:

    • Contest ends Monday, February 18th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after February 18th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
    • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
    • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
    • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
NeuroJo

For the last couple of years I bought at least one latte a day during the work week, which adds up to ~$1,318 per year. Looking at the numbers made me realize that I don't need fancy coffee that much. So far this year I have bought 4 lattes. A vast improvement for my wallet.

Guest's picture
Amanda

Mine is eating out - I'm pregnant and it's all too easy to ask my husband to just pick up some takeout. We usually use a coupon, but it still adds up and I'd like to cut back. Hmm...stock up on more frozen pizzas at $3 each? Or just suck it up and cook every day....I think there is something in between.

Guest's picture
Mel

When I started my business, I gave up my fancy coffees and started brewing a thermos at home. It was easily the hardest luxury to give up (harder even, then stopping smoking) but it was worth it at the time. Now that I am growing, I am able to reward myself with those afternoon espressos by mixing them with business meetings and incorporating them into networking opportunities. It's hard to say no now that it's a business expense!

Guest's picture
Liisa

My latte factor was definitely lattes... 10 years ago I got coffee nearly every day! My schedule was so crazy that it was my only moment of sanity. But still a total waste of money. Then I got it to once a week, and then once a month. It is still a treat, but I went from $100 per month to about $4 per month. That definitely adds up over time!

Guest's picture
Susan D

Books. Definitely books. Amazon wish lists are VERY dangerous!

Guest's picture
Varun Narula

I gave up 'unlimited' mobile data packages and use wi-fi where ever possible.

Guest's picture
Guest

We are just now giving it up, and anticipating saving $500/year

Guest's picture
kristina

my latte factor is going out for coffee and amaretti cookies at our favorite italian cafe every saturday

Guest's picture
Guest

I've never ordered a latte, and have been a plain black coffee fan for many decades, so the saving on latte's right there must be astronomical. Regular coffee has no calories, so I'm ahead of the game there, too.

Guest's picture
Guest

I gave up Facebook. It was hard. But it saved my soul.

Guest's picture
David

What is your latte factor? Food. Would you give it up for the savings? I'd cut back, but not entirely. If you've already given something up, how much have you saved so far? Travel (until I meet my savings goals and pay off my debt.) It's been a few years and I've saved a few thousand annually.

Guest's picture
Nicholas

I avoid coffee products!

Guest's picture
BRB

I never developed habits that cost a little, but I do them a lot. Couldn't ever justify spending the money!

Guest's picture
lynn

My latte factor is craft items. I am cutting back in purchases and have opened an etsy store to sell what I have already made.

Guest's picture
Lisa B.

Mine is going to Goodwill to look for vinyl records. We do that way too much. It's a fun hobby but I'd like to cut back on that a little, because when we go we also stop by the Mexican market next door for fancy cakes. Yep, gotta cut back on that.

Guest's picture
Tess

My latte factor was eating out instead of taking lunch to work. I only went out probably twice a week, but that adds up to $80-100 a month. I've been trying to do a better job of planning my grocery shopping (to include lunch foods) as well as making a larger dinner so I have leftovers to take the next day.