OLD Media Moves

Don't drink lattes while reading the business section

June 16, 2006

TheDeal.com executive editor Yvette Kantrow notes in her most-recent “Media Maneuvers” column the recent spate of coverage in business sections about how kicking the daily latte habit can help people save money.

The latte habitKantrow wrote, “Admonishments to kick the latte habit have recently popped up in The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Oregonian. In Australia, a fund company trade association is sponsoring ‘The Latte Challenge,’ asking people to put the money they save by giving up their daily, high-end coffees into a low-fee retirement account. But the latte-bashing trend seemed to hit its nadir on June 10, when no less than The New York Times ran this headline across the bottom of its first business page: ‘Advice to All You Graduates: Let’s Start With That Daily Latte.’

“A financial version of the Chicago Tribune’s whimsical 1997 ‘wear sunscreen’ graduation column, to which it makes a jokey reference, the Times’ story tells graduates that by substituting office coffee for their daily workday latte, they would save more than $11,500 over 10 years.”

“‘Does coffee shop coffee taste better than the free stuff’? the Times asks. ‘Probably, but ask yourself, do you want to live in a roach-infested studio apartment with two roommates your entire life’?

“Well, no. But, really now, are those my only choices?”

Read more here. As for myself, I don’t drink coffee or lattes, but I still don’t have enough money in my retirement account.

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