"The Latte Factor"??? That is what economists and financial advisors are calling the habit of paying $5 for a cup of coffee when all you have to do is to put that $5 in the bank instead.
Econo-Girl is no stranger to frittering money away. But at some point she tallied money spent and realized that she wasn't getting the most bang for the buck, as in spending $100 a month on taxis. A little more planning and effort would save about $80 of that to be used for overpriced coffee.
The real point of this cheapskate trend is to savor what really gives you pleasure. Econo-Girl worships her morning coffee. It is made with an expensive coffee maker that makes the best coffee on Earth. Econo-Girl generally won't pay for coffee anywhere and will only drink her own.
A close second, and the old way Econo-Girl made her coffee was to use one of those manual things where you poured the grounds into a clear plastic cup, poured in water, let it sit, and then pressed down on a plunger to get all the coffee grounds to the bottom. Another great cup of coffee.
Coffee preferences aside, this is about enjoyment. Starving yourself and those around you from any joy is not the way to live. Paying attention to where your money is going, and making sure that you want the things you are buying, that is true thrift.