May 3, 2021
Let me preface this review of The Latte Factor by David Bach with a little background on what is going on right now in my life. We are 15 months into this pandemic. Life is nothing short of normal and hasn’t been for quite some time. Being at home with our kids, doing hybrid school for a year, spending every waking moment together during lockdown allowed me to take some time to think about the future.
I’d say we (my husband and I) are 50% knowledgeable about financial planning. We have a 401K, a stock portfolio, several 529 plans, own our home and vehicles, carry no credit card debt, use a health savings plan and have a fairly decent grasp on things. But there is still much for us to learn. We don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket and look forward to our golden years with a sizeable nest egg. While we may be ahead of the majority, there is still so much to do before we can call ourselves financially independent. This is where my love of books and learning come in handy.
Off I went to the library to load up on a bunch of financial books, which you will see a lot of in the next few reviews. I get stuck on one subject and read it to death. You can probably see that if you head over to my list of books I’ve read over the past couple years.
I’m a sucker for books that have the words millionaire and rich on them, at least in this topic. While this title is not necessarily something I strive for, the idea behind it catches me in its gravitational pull. Personally, I like financially wealthy. Plus, who wouldn’t like a book with a cup of coffee laced with a dollar sign? It got my attention, so it came home with me.
After reading the synopsis and seeing it was parable, I was sold. While I like facts and graphs in my financial books, if there isn’t a story or anecdotes sprinkled throughout, I’m going to lose interest fast. Kind of like stocks in a bear market. David Bach takes the reader on a ride following along his main character, Zoey Daniels, a millennial living in the prime of her life in the Big Apple. She has a great job as a travel editor, but is living paycheck to paycheck, if that.
A photograph in her local coffee shop catches her eye, but the price tag makes her cringe knowing that it’s way out of her league. She tells her boss about this photo and she suggests Zoey speak to the man who serves coffee at the shop because he sees things differently.
This quick and fun read goes on to give lessons about money and finances along the way. While there are no hard and fast facts about what to invest in, it does show you how compound interest works. My biggest takeaway from the book is investing in yourself. Sure, put money from each check into your 401K, but also save for things you want to do. If you are looking for adventure through traveling, have an automatic withdraw taken from your check and put into a travel fund. Cut back on non essentials, make coffee at home, pack your lunch, cook dinner to reallocate those funds for something that makes your life worth living.
All in all: I’d give this book a must read. While it doesn’t necessarily give straight advice, it makes you think about what is important with a few guidelines on what you can do daily to achieve your life’s dreams. As Henry, the man who serves the coffee, says, “Perhaps…you’re richer than you think.”
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