Fuck You Personal Finance Guru. I Want My Latte.

B.J. Mendelson
2 min readJul 3, 2022


Aren’t you just a little tired of personal finance gurus telling you to stop buying lattes?

I am.

They’ll tell you something like, “If you stop buying those lattes, you can take that $7, save it, and retire wealthy.”

Every person who is trying to position themselves as an expert on money shares advice that says this.

But it’s not true.

Yes. Your Starbucks habit is expensive, probably not good for you, and Starbucks sucks as a company.

In the 21st Century, we cannot afford to support anti-union companies like Starbucks.

Unfortunately, that’s almost every company.

So, when you have a choice between Starbucks and your local coffee shop?

You know the one. It’s next to Starbucks and has slightly higher prices but happier employees who are being treated well and getting benefits?

You go with the local coffee shop.

And then you buy as many lattes there as you want.

Because while it is true that the more money you put into VTSAX, the better, it’s also true that there are so many out-of-control costs we’re all dealing with right now that the money you save isn’t going to matter much.

That’s because most people don’t have any savings.

So when a surprise bill comes, that money you’ve been putting aside from not buying lattes will go right out that window.

The truth is this: You should pick one or two things you like to spend money on and then cut back everywhere else.

If you want to get those lattes? Go and get them, but find a place to cut somewhere else if you can.

(Not everyone can cut back. Things are fucked right now economically and will probably get worse over the rest of this decade. Just try your best and do what you can.)

The money you save from cutting back is what goes into VTSAX.

Not your latte money.

The other stuff.

The stuff that doesn’t make you happy, but you find yourself impulsively buying or being tricked into buying.

And yes, we’re ALWAYS being tricked into spending our money.

But it’s not the latte’s fault.

It’s the fault of the world we live in.

And that won’t change any time soon.


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B.J. Mendelson

B.J. Mendelson is the author of “Social Media Is Bullshit” from St. Martin’s Press.