The Latte Factor by David Bach is an entry-level personal finance book. The book is written in a story format. This book is not about cutting off your morning coffee to save money. This book teaches you to build a rich life.
Another example of a great financial book that was written in a parable is “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho.
If you haven’t read The Latte Factor, I would suggest that you read it with an open mind, and don’t get bogged down by the concept of cutting off your morning coffee.
I personally enjoyed reading the book and I want to share four hidden lessons that you might not notice from the book.
Hidden Lesson 1: Share Financial Responsibility
David Bach, the author, shared shocking statistics that state “80% men died married, 80% women died widowed. And, 80% of those women live in poverty after the husband died.”
My jaw dropped. Fear swooped in.
I start imagining what would happen if my wife and children have to go through that terrible situation.
I don’t mean that my wife is not capable of working or managing money, but as of today, I (Donny, the husband) am the breadwinner, bills payer, and passwords hoarder.
As a parent, can you see the danger of not having financial goals as a family or shared responsibility in managing money?
Are you a Passwords Hoarder?
At one point, my wife asked me to write all the usernames and passwords for all bills and banks in her secret notebook. Unfortunately, I can’t keep the book in-sync with the actual password. There were many occasions where I need to change the password when I don’t have easy access to the “secret notebook”.
However, I am aware of the terror for my wife not able to access our money if something bad happens to me. So, I signed up for a password management software that we can access from multiple computers. Now, I just need to share 1 password with my wife and she should be able to access all the bills and bank accounts.
In the future, I would love to eventually have a date night with my wife where the two of us can spend time to talk about our family goals in faith, raising family, and finance without interruption from the children. But for now, I just want to make sure she is more involved in our financial management where she can access and find the information on her own.
After all, family finance should be a shared responsibility among all family members where everyone works towards the same goal. How can you save money when everyone else in the family is blowing off your budget?
Remember, share your family financial responsibility with the whole family.
Hidden Lesson 2: Have an open mind, and be curious
The main character in “The Latte Factor” is Zoey, a 27-year single female who lives in New York, and work for a travel magazine with a decent salary. Additionally, we have Henry, a charismatic middle-aged man who owns the coffee shop, and many other buildings in the neighborhood. Henry becomes a mentor to Zoey and teaches her the 3 secrets to financial freedoms:
- Pay yourself first
- Don’t budget – make it automatic
- Find your WHY factor.
However, you might miss that Zoey has another mentor. Her lady-boss (sorry, I can’t remember her name). They’ve known each other for a long time. Her boss is the first one who confronted Zoey about her limiting belief in personal finance. Furthermore, her boss told Zoey to talk to Henry at the coffee shop.
Zoey’s curiosity and open-mindedness help her gain new knowledge and skills that take her to a new life.
The skills and knowledge that got you here won’t be able to get you to the there. Keep learning.
Hidden Lesson 3: Chase your dreams
Zoe’s mom has sacrificed many of her personal dreams and living a mediocre life for stability and comfort. However, in her final moment, lying on her deathbed, she told Zoey to chase her own dreams and not having any regrets.
Even though the author describes the importance of chasing your dreams this lesson in the book, it is worth mentioning as a hidden lesson because this story is based on David Bach’s personal story. You can listen to David’s beautiful and touching story about his grandma during his interview with Marie Forleo.
Hidden Lesson 4: It could be a reflection of yourself
Many best-seller books are brought to life into a movie. Unfortunately, many people who have read the original book often said the movie is not as good as the book.
I think the most powerful thing that comes from a story or parable is your imagination. It’s not easy for anybody to replace your ideal imagination with their interpretation of a story.
When I was reading the book, I found myself nodding and relating myself to those different characters in the book. I really enjoyed the Latte Factor.
I was surprised to found out the top two reviews at goodreads.com gave a one-star rating. The overall rate is 4.14 out of 5 stars (at the time I write this article). Those top 2 reviewers believed the author made a strong judgment that woman is bad with money, and a middle-aged man has to come and rescue her. Just like the old classic Disney’s princess movies back in the 1980s.
Your interpretation of the story in the Latte Factor might be a reflection of yourself and your life experiences. It could be hard for you to grasp all the golden nuggets from this book if you feel angry. For example, you’ve heard enough people telling you to stop buying your luxury coffee. You’re unlikely to read this book because you’re not going to hear people telling you what to do with your coffee….. ever again !!
My advice to you is to replace the word “latte” with “kolaches” (or whatever word that does not offend you) when you read this book. 🙂 Pick something that does not make you angry. “The
Latte Kolaches Factor” is truly a good book for someone who wants to start making changes in their personal finance.
If you’ve read the Latte factor, what’s your biggest take away from the book? If you haven’t read the book, you should at least listen to his interview with Marie Forleo.