In 2019, Why Is Chase Still Coffee Shaming Us?

Dollar bill

In the latest big-name company social media snafu, Chase Bank posted what was supposed to be a “motivating” tweet focused on why a person’s bank account might be low. Among those reasons were buying coffee, dining out, and taking a cab.

The tweet has since been deleted, although maybe Chase also doesn’t understand the concept of a little thing known as screenshotting. Still, this tone-deaf message from the country’s largest bank begs the question: Do they not get the real-life money problems in society, or is this an attention-seeking publicity stunt?

After all, a company of this magnitude can’t possibly believe that the average person’s bank account is low only because of a Starbucks habit. I have yet to come in contact with anyone who spends thousands of dollars in one month on coffee—and while there may be a few people like that out in the world, they are certainly the exception to the rule.

On the other hand, I have come in contact with a countless number of folks who spend thousands of dollars a month on basic necessities like housing, transportation, and health insurance (myself included). It’s cute to live in a fantasy world where everyone would have fat bank accounts if they “jUsT sToPpeD bUyInG sO mUcH dAmN cOfFeE!” But…spoiler alert! That’s not the case.

I can count on one hand how many times I’ve gone to a coffee shop in the last six months, and that still doesn’t change the fact that my two biggest expenses are rent and student loans. And I won’t get into the statistics on student debt, increased cost of living, and stagnant wages because most of us are familiar with them by now.

Yet companies like Chase still choose to go with the bullshit rhetoric of guilt tripping anyone who dares to spend a dime outside of fixed expenses. Or who buys that cup of coffee because it offers a brief moment of sanity before starting their day. Or who works a full-time job and side hustle and is too exhausted to cook at home. Or who may have a disability and can’t walk the three blocks to that next destination.

This is why I have no doubt the #MondayMotivation tweet was intentional. Chase has billions of dollars available for marketing and tracking consumer behavior. They know the struggles and insecurities the average American faces, and in true corporate fashion, they prey on those insecurities with their generic and privilege-biased “advice.” It’s much easier (and more profitable) to shame the working class than to acknowledge the barriers in society that prevent them from getting ahead.

Well, nice try, Chase. Those of us who live in the real world have already scoped out why our bank accounts are low, and it isn’t because of the occasional coffee or Uber ride. We fork over the cash for astronomical rent costs and student loan payments because it’s the “responsible” thing to do, but we drink coffee, go out to eat, and take Ubers whenever we’re inclined to. We know that having a low account balance after paying the bills is nothing to be ashamed of.

So next time you feel the urge to craft a creepy, pretentious tweet about other people’s money, refocus that energy on preparing for your next billion-dollar bailout. Thanks.

Featured Image: NeONBRAND on Unsplash


  • Hi!! I liked your point about Chase knowing what they were doing when they Tweeted that. It had never occurred to me before. I just thought they let the intern Tweet something. I loved your take!

    • Hey there! Yeah, I don’t put anything past these major corporations. They have been in business way too long to still be “accidentally” posting these controversial tweets. Thanks for reading!

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