Eight years ago, I read my first and only finance book by author David Bach. The title, Smart Women Finish Rich. The take away from that book is one that I've carried with me, one we could all benefit from, "It's not how much you make, it's how much you save."
Bach trademarks The Latte Factor: a fundamental reality that if we cut back our spending on little amenities such as lattes, we'd be richer. If we consumed fewer lattes we'd be cutting back on the $2.70+ expense a day or $13.50 a week. That's roughly $675 a year or $6,750 over the course of 10 years.
We'd also slim down our daily and weekly caloric intake (190 calories in a grande cafe latte equals 950 calories per work week) and likely boost our health. Doesn't seem like too tall of an order and a darn good return, wouldn't you agree?
Following Bach's practice of looking at the little ways we spend money (ie: the morning coffee to-go ritual), let's parlay this into the little ways we consume calories. The Latte Factor, nutritionally speaking, results in the overconsumption of nutrient poor calories. Our morning latte, a packaged snack from the gas station, a bag of chips while we wait for lunch, and the chocolate goodie impulse buy while standing in the grocery store checkout line - these all add unnecessary calories to our days and to our waistlines.
Too many of us eat food just to eat. We stop short of really focusing on what we put in our bodies. We've become frivolous. Whether we're spending money or putting food in our bodies, we've become by definition, 'self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose.'
Think about how many calories you can save next time you're in line for your latte unwilling to give up the morning ritual. Consider the 12oz vs. the 20oz. It's more than just your money, it's how much health you can save.
For further reading, the Starbucks website has a dedicated page for their Drinks and Food Nutritional Information. I'd recommend familiarizing yourself with the information provided as it may help you be more conscious during your next order.