American writer David Bach told a story about drinking latte, we might as well replace this story with a Chinese version——
There is a Chinese couple who, if they drink coffee every day (calculated at 33 yuan for a large cup of latte), will spend about 720,000 yuan in total for 30 years.
If they save their latte money every day, that’s enough to buy them a nice car.
This is the famous latte effect.
Recently, there has been a highly discussed topic on social platforms: Why can our parents save money, but we can’t?
Some people concluded that the reasons are as follows:
Just drink water and eat enough.
Skin care products – Dabao, Pechoin.
Entertainment – TV.
Save some money, don’t suffer for the children.
All kinds of milk tea coffee, hot pot, Japanese food, Korean food, Western food, Chinese food, light food.
Skin care products – lotion, essence, eye cream, face cream, air cushion, isolation, foundation, blush, eye shadow, false eyelashes, color contact lenses.
Entertainment – open video membership, online shopping, games krypton gold.
No matter what money you save , you can’t suffer yourself.
Some people say that in the era when parents were born, there were many brothers and sisters, but supplies were relatively scarce, and frugality became the imprint of a generation.
Today’s generation is mostly only children.
Material abundance, stress, anxiety, and the temptation of consumerism, the latte effect is waiting for you ahead.
At 7:59 in the morning, with a cup of raw coconut latte in hand, Cheng Anan’s day’s work began.
A cup of coffee in the morning became her life-saving water.
“If you don’t drink something, you will feel very boring. This is the motivation that supports me to sit at the desk on time at 8 o’clock.”
In March this year, Cheng Anan started his career as a hang drifter.
But the monthly salary of 5,000 yuan is a bit stretched in Hangzhou. The rent for utilities is 2,800 yuan, and the price of a cup of raw coconut latte is close to 15 yuan after receiving the discount, which is equivalent to one-tenth of the monthly salary for coffee.
Not only that, but she is also an online shopping enthusiast.
After working for three months, she often needs help from her family.
The latte effect is also profoundly reflected in her luggage.
When she first arrived in Hangzhou, she had only one suitcase. Now three months later, things have filled the rental house.
Now there are 10 packs, 5 lipsticks just brought from home, now there are 25 in total, and several boxes of masks, it seems to be shopping every day.
She seemed extremely distressed, knowing that she had enough things, but every night when she got off work and lay on the bed, turned on her mobile phone, she still couldn’t resist the temptations that flooded the live broadcast room.
In this era when all people bring goods, the latte effect will be even more fierce.
For example, to buy sun protection clothing, the price of a sun protection clothing is about 150 yuan. In different live broadcast rooms, she has bought 5 pieces one after another, including different colors of the same style.
A “Survey on New Trends in Online Consumption” by the “China Economic Times” also shows that 70% of the respondents believe that online consumption scenes have become the place where they spend the most money.
In life, proper “buying, buying and buying” can certainly bring happiness, but if the boundaries between necessary and non-essential consumption are blurred, it is easy to fall into the trap of the latte effect.
For example, many people think that coffee is a necessary consumption, and they feel that “10,000 yuan can buy me a lot of energy for hundreds of days, so why is it not worth it?”
But some people think, “There are so many ways to refresh yourself for free, and it’s not good to keep 10,000 yuan for something.”
Different ideas lead to different life choices.
Another, more important reason why the latte effect is so unnoticed is that each dollar spent is small enough that it is almost unnoticeable.
For example, Zhang Ze, 35, who works for an Internet company in Beijing.
He likes to follow dramas, but different platforms provide different dramas. So, while watching the video, he bought members from different platforms, Bilibili, Sohu, Youku, Tencent, iQiyi…
When I bought it, each platform cost only ten or twenty yuan a month, not much.
Even half a year ago, he used a projector to cast a screen at home, and even the projection software popped up a 30-second advertisement.
In the upper right corner of the screen, the five words “Member Free Advertisement” are tempting him. Next, scan the QR code and pay 15 yuan a month, and the advertisement disappears.
And this is the only screen projection he has used in half a year.
This is just a video, there are also music members, members who check information, fresh shopping members, Jingdong members, Taobao members, Mobile Global Gold members…
It wasn’t until one day that he realized that even if he didn’t do anything, the hundreds of dollars in his card would disappear out of thin air every month, and he realized the seriousness of the latte effect.
What’s more terrible is that Zhang Ze also likes to spend a small amount of money to buy some “useful” things.
For example, in the past six months:
In order to braid his daughter’s hair, he spent 39 yuan to buy a dummy head for practice, and used it once in the end. One night, he was frightened by the head;
Spend 66 yuan to buy a fishtail knife, which is specially used to disassemble the express delivery, in order to show respect for the express delivery;
I bought a melon seed machine for 88 yuan, and later found out that the melon seed machine could knock three melon seeds with my mouth, so I eliminated it;
Every time I can’t find a mobile phone holder, I will buy one. Anyway, it is 9.9 yuan, which is not expensive. In the end, I already have 15 mobile phone holders at home;
I bought 7 small electric fans one after another, including hand-held, USB, and neck-mounted fans, in order to adapt to different scenarios…
“The latte effect can be addictive,” Zhang Ze said.
A large part of the reason for falling into the latte effect has to do with everyone’s growth model.
For Cheng Anan in Hangzhou, she experienced an “overly satisfied” childhood.
When she was young, her family was doing business, and her father was able to make money, and he responded to her requests, and spent money lavishly.
So much so that once, when her husband mentioned that he didn’t watch TV or eat snacks when he was a child, she couldn’t even understand it.
For example, when she came back from school every day, her mother would take her and her younger brother to the supermarket, and each visit would cost two to three hundred yuan, “two hundred to three hundred yuan was quite a lot at that time.”
In winter, the family is too lazy to cook and will go out to eat out frequently.
When I grew up, a friend once bought clothes and thought it was a little expensive, so I asked her for advice: ” Which one of the two clothes looks better?”
Cheng An’an encouraged her: “Both are needed, as long as the salary is within the acceptable range, there is no need to worry too much.”
Now, after falling into the latte effect, it is her turn to earn money, and she feels how carelessly money is spent.
And Zhang Ze is just the opposite. He started “retaliatory consumption” because he was too poor in the past.
When he was a child, Zhang Ze’s pocket money was on “gross”, often only 50 cents, and was given out once a week.
Even in college, the living expenses are only 700 yuan a month. After falling in love, the two sometimes have to go out to eat, which is even more insufficient.
It wasn’t until after work that my money became a little more generous.
Now, he feels that he is using consumption to make up for his previous regrets.
Our life is actually relatively mediocre. If we use mediocre shopping to satisfy mediocre life, we will feel that we lack an attitude.
For example, when he opened a courier, he felt that it was an attitude to open it with a handmade fish-shaped knife. As he said, becoming a member and enjoying the right to skip advertisements is “also an attitude.”
And it was these attitudes that constituted the motivation to fall into the latte effect and eat up his money.
On social platforms, you can also find all kinds of people who are deeply involved in the latte effect in topics such as “non-essential expenses” and “money is gone for no reason”.
For example, Bai Wanwan, who just started working, did not realize that she was surrounded by the latte effect. The monthly salary disappeared inexplicably.
Every penny spent seems to be useful, and it seems to be useless.
This is a kind of “Schrödinger’s usefulness”.
Every month when her salary arrives, she is used to taking out 1,000 yuan and putting it into an unused bank card, trying to save it. She thought that even if she only saved 1,000 yuan a month, she would still have 10,000 yuan in savings at the end of the year.
But wishes are just wishes. 1,000 yuan is often taken out and spent at the end of the month.
To some extent, the latte effect also represents a way of life for her.
Because of the high pressure of work nowadays, it is expensive to fall into the latte effect, but to some extent, it can also provide some comfort.
For example, after making money, she became obsessed with blind boxes. Once when I went shopping, I saw a lot of people in front of the store, and found that a blind box seemed to cost only 69 yuan, “not as expensive as I thought before”, and the shape was cute, which healed people’s hearts.
A “Blind Box Economic Insight Report” also shows that blind boxes are one of the typical products that can form “impulse purchases”.
Since then, every time she goes shopping and passes by a store, she will check to see if there is a blind box she likes. Even if her boyfriend suggested buying a whole set at a time, she firmly disagreed and insisted on smoking one by one, insisting on using luck to make up a set.
At this point, smoking the blind box has become part of the latte effect and a part of Bai Wanwan’s life.
Everyone who is deeply involved in the latte effect may have a “self-blame moment”.
Cheng Anan’s “moment of self-blame” occurred in a settlement in June. She found that she had already spent 60,000 to 70,000 yuan in June this year when she went to Hangzhou in March this year.
She felt that the money was exaggerated. The sisters who came to Hangzhou at the same time as her only spent 10,000 to 20,000 yuan.
“How did I live my life like this?”
The friends who had a good time around her also dealt a critical blow to her. From Cheng Anan’s point of view, her friend doesn’t buy skin care products and doesn’t have a strong desire to eat. Her hobby is saving money. My friend has been in Hangzhou for seven years, earning four to five thousand a month, and has already saved more than a hundred thousand.
Cheng Anan envied her very much.
It’s not like she hasn’t had the opportunity to save money. When she first came out to work, she did a wechat business and made some money, but spent all of it.
At that time, she thought: Since I can make money like this, I will definitely be able to make money in the future.
But money is getting harder and harder to earn. The wechat business was no longer available, so she began to look for a job, and the salary of the employer was very low, and she often fell into the anxiety of having no money in her hands.
And Zhang Ze, who was deeply involved in the latte effect, also learned a lesson from buying things indiscriminately.
For example, there is a member of a fresh food supermarket who spends 9.9 yuan and gets a free cup of yogurt. Zhang Ze drinks it every day, but the result is that his blood sugar is too high;
Another time, I bought too many vegetables, and the winter melon I bought was kept in the refrigerator for too long. After eating, I got bacterial gastroenteritis and spent 2,000 yuan in the hospital for treatment;
Another time, his daughter-in-law originally had a trash can, and he insisted on giving her a smart trash can that could be packed automatically. As a result, the trash can made a lot of noise when packing, and even burned her hands.
He reflected afterwards that this was a typical example of “it is better not to buy than to buy”.
Fortunately, the latte effect is not inescapable. Many people have summed up the solution – bookkeeping .
For 23-year-old Mu Qing, getting rid of the latte effect was purely accidental.
This year, it was very difficult for Mu Qing to find a job. She graduated last year, and because she had been preparing for the exam at home for a year, the employer always suspected that she was not a fresh graduate. In the end, an employer finally hired him, but the monthly salary was only 5,000 yuan, making it difficult to live in Beijing.
But her habit of living is still the same as before, drinking milk tea or yogurt every day, and placing orders for beautiful clothes. Seeing it, the days are about to be unbearable.
At this time, a friend around her reminded her that she might as well try keeping accounts. This advice changed her life.
Transitioning from being extravagant to budgeting carefully, the first few days were fine. Before going to bed, she would edit the money she spent into the memo, which felt quite fresh. But after being fresh, the lack of freedom to spend money made her hate bookkeeping.
She gave up bookkeeping.
As a result, the first month’s salary was only 4,000 yuan, which was so small that she couldn’t believe it. She decided to go back to bookkeeping, to see if she would be able to spend herself if she didn’t buy anything. At 10 o’clock every night, her exclusive accounting alarm clock will sound.
As a result, she slowly persevered. When keeping accounts every day, it is also the time when she learns to control consumption every day.
Now, it is the fourth month of her bookkeeping, and it is also the time when she saves the most money.
For example, in the past, she would place an order to buy water on the App. Two barrels of 4.5L bottled water cost 13.8 yuan, which she thought was very cheap at the time.
But now, she goes downstairs to fetch water by herself. The same 4.5L bottled water only costs more than 1 yuan in the community.
“When I finished fetching water, I was very happy because I felt that I saved a lot of money.”
Now, relying on bookkeeping, she has not only got rid of the latte effect, but she is also confident that she can save money in Beijing.
The same is true for Cheng An’an now. After doing the math, she is slowly cutting back on unnecessary spending.
In a sense, controlling the desire to consume means controlling life at the same time.
While refraining from buying, she gradually realized the satisfaction of saving money. When the desire to consume is missing, a sense of responsibility grows:
“I’m about to turn 30, and my parents are getting older. If one day my parents need to spend money, what should I do?”
She finally decided to declare war on the latte effect.