The Atlantic

The Rise of Coffee Shaming

Personal-finance gurus really hate coffee.
Source: Richard Drury / Getty

Suze Orman wants young people to stop “peeing” away millions of dollars on coffee. Last month, the personal-finance celebrity ignited a controversy on social media when a video she starred in for CNBC targeted a familiar villain: kids these days and their silly $5 lattes. Because brewing coffee at home is less expensive, Orman argued, purchasing it elsewhere is tantamount to flushing money away, which makes it a worthy symbol of Millennials’ squandered resources.

Orman’s not alone in this view. The old guard of personal finance has spent years turning the habit of buying coffee into a shorthand for Americans’ profligacy, especially that of young Americans. Dave Ramsey, a finance personality who hosts a popular radio show on getting out of debt, says that forgoing lattes is one of to saving thousands of dollars. Kevin O’Leary, one of the investors on the entrepreneurial reality show , , “I never buy a frape-latte-blah-blah-blah-woof-woof-woof.” Even the official Twitter account for Chase Bank has gotten in on the fun, that a failure to brew at home is why young people don’t have any money.

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