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The Latte Factor

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The Latte Factor

Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich

Atria Books,

15 min read
5 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Pay yourself, make budgeting automatic and live richly to fuel financial freedom.

Editorial Rating



  • For Beginners
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


In this short fable, financial expert David Bach and co-author John David Mann reveal three secrets to managing your money that anyone can embrace. The story’s protagonist, 27-year-old Zoey, wants to buy a photograph but thinks she can’t afford it until a coffee shop owner named Henry and his friends show her how to change her approach to her finances. Wealth is more of a mind-set, the authors argue, and you must, therefore, adopt the correct attitude if you want financial freedom. Pay yourself first, they say, budget automatically and know what you value most. Follow the authors’ advice to live a rich, fulfilling life now.


You’re more well off than you think, because wealth is a mind-set.

Zoey Daniels is a 27-year-old associate editor working at a travel magazine in New York City. She commutes from Brooklyn to Manhattan, but can’t afford to travel. She doesn’t own a passport and has never been west of the Mississippi.

Zoey’s boss, Barbara, notices Zoey is acting distracted. Zoey explains she had fallen in love with a photograph at Helena’s Coffee in Williamsburg. The photograph is four feet wide by three feet high and depicts a seaside village at dawn with a fishing boat crew heading out to sea. Zoey wants the photo but can’t afford it. Like many millennials, Zoey has student loan debt and a high rent. The word “budget” isn’t in her vocabulary; she is still paying down credit card charges from Christmas.

Zoey figures the photograph costs $500, $800 or $1,000 – all above her means. Barbara urges Zoey to talk to Henry, the older barista at Helena’s. Zoey feels a little guilty lying to Barbara. A more lucrative job offer from her friend Jessica’s company is distracting Zoey even more than the photo. Jessica works for...

About the Authors

David Bach is a financial expert and New York Times-best-selling author of The Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish RichJohn David Mann is the co-author of The Go-Giver, which has been published in 26 languages and has sold nearly one million copies.

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