#TBT: What Your Starbucks Drink Says About Your Money Management Skills


It's no shocker: I love me some Starbucks. If you live in a place where they exist, odds are you have visited one at least in the past year. At the same time, there are people who visit Starbucks, once sometimes more than once per day! Personally, I save up all my Starbucks visits for the last few months of the year when the holiday drinks are back on the menu through New Years. I've written plenty of articles on the connection between one's Starbucks (or regular coffee consumption) and how it equates to economics, but recently I came across a piece on Business Insider about how your regular Starbucks order may reveal some basic truths about how you manage and spend your money. In the spirit of the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, here is exactly what having hysteria over that drink says about you...

Coffee is such an important indicator in the world of personal finance. Many people (like me) will tell you that spending all that extra money on PSL's is a waste of money that could otherwise be used to invest in the stock market. However, it is a vital fix to many people's drab weeks and actually gives them something happy to look forward to. At the same time, WHAT you buy at Starbucks is actually more telling that how much or how often you buy those drinks. Here is what CFP Lauren Lyons Cole notes about your individual orders:

If you prefer a basic drink like a black coffee or green tea, or even a tall cappuccino, you're probably not a big spender in other areas. Good for you!

If your order is more elaborate, like a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or a grande iced skinny hazelnut Macchiato with sugar-free syrup and light ice, then you ought to have a meaningful conversation with your financial adviser about budgeting methods. Generally, these folks tend to spend a lot more money than they have available.

If your answer is how much you hate Starbucks and only drink premium espresso from a pricey independent cafe, then expect to have a frank discussion with your financial planner about maxing out your retirement accounts because your disposable income may be higher than it should be.

These are obviously not scientific in any way, but definitely give you a good sense of who is out there - there are really 3 kinds of people in the coffee (and personal financial planning) world(s).

(This piece was originally published on GradMoney on October 3, 2017)

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