#StarbucksDrakeHands = The Latte Factor

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The SALT Blog mashes up famous YouTube videos with money vocab to help you make sense of (and remember) financial terminology. Today, we’re pairing an Internet phenomenon with a financial one.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled video of the week to usher in the return of its long-lost cousin: vidcabularly.

Yes, our money vocab lesson is back—mostly, because there’s just way too much poetic justice in pairing a Starbucks barista with the financial phenomenon known as “The Latte Factor.”


If you’re unfamiliar with the hot-coffee heartthrob from this video, here’s the quick story. On October 1, Piper Kennedy got a little more than she ordered at a Starbucks (unless she asked for “extra steam”) after giving her phone number to a barista.

That barista, Brody Ryan, texted her the selfie above, in which he silently (?) and seductively (??) stroked his face to Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” (“Doing It Wrong” seems like the more appropriate song choice, at least by name. Then again, “Brodys” often do strange things for love.) Eventually, the girl’s friend Instagrammed the video, and voila, Internet fame ensues.

It’s clear that Brody is into skin-deep connections, but we think this Starbucks worker actually pairs nicely with The Latte Factor.

Understanding The Latte Factor

Coined by financial author David Bach, The Latte Factor is the idea that repeated small purchases cost you big money over time. For instance, those $5 lattes people get every morning, though your “latte” could be something entirely different—takeout, online shopping, whatever.

By realizing what your fix is, you can skip it and save that money if you want (hey, SALT™ even have an app that can help you do that!). Doing so turns those little purchases into huge savings. And seeing those numbers add up is a true aha moment (more like this than this). Odds are, it’ll be almost as eye opening as Piper’s realization that she should start giving out a fake phone number.

But Back To Brody

Let’s take this home ourselves, and come back to how this video is going to help you remember The Latte Factor.

First, this clip illustrates how small things can become big things over time. Granted, that describes almost any other Internet meme. Still, this video is only 16 seconds long, yet it’s become a phenomenon—even celebrities are getting into it! (If you found the original disturbing, wait until you see Larry King’s version. It involves suspenders!)

Second, the next time you’re at a Starbucks, picture Brody … and slowly back out of the line. You’ll save yourself some money and a potential stalker. (And you thought the scariest thing that could happen at a coffee shop was this.) If lattes aren’t your factor, figure out what is. Then, when buying it, picture Brody’s hand shielding his eyes instead of stroking his face. After all, that’s what you’ll want to do when you see those charges add up on your credit card bill.

(And then choose your Drake song accordingly.)

Have you overcome your Latte Factor? Let us know your aha moment in the comments. 

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