Hi David, I am a recent college graduate and a very recent member of the American workforce. I am lucky to be hearing what you have to say so early in my life. Being reminded about the “Latte Factor” made me put your words in to action when going about my daily life in the real world (as opposed to the fantasy land most of us live in while in college.)
Luckily my office provides Starbucks coffee and other beverages so I am able to save money on that each morning. I also have cut back on the number of meals I eat out each month. Rather than going to eat 2-3 times a week I have cut back to a reasonable once a week. It is interesting, I have found that most of my co-workers would actually prefer to also save money and bring their lunches, but there was a preconceived notion that everyone wanted to go out to eat. So now that I have taken the initiative to eat in, others are happy to join me.
I also have begun leaving my credit cards at home when I feel like going shopping during the weekend. I realized that I like to shop and browse but not necessarily buy. I guess I like to shop for the joy of shopping. Having done this for the past couple of months, I found I don’t even miss the little knicknacks I’d usually buy. Let me add I have become keenly aware of how many marketing messages really do bombard us every day.
These cost cutting measures alone save me approximately $6,600 a year. And as you know, at 10% interest over 30 years that is ~1.3 million dollars. Thanks!