The cost of living isn’t getting any cheaper, and if you’re like many Americans, your income might not be matching the growing cost of living. When it comes to saving money or even just making your regular payments, where can you find the extra you need to live a little more comfortably? As it turns out, Americans are wasting thousands of dollars each year by blowing money on these trivial expenditures.
For the first time ever, Americans spent more of their food money on eating out than they do on groceries. According to a USDA Economic Research Service Report, the average amount spend on food per household was just under $6000, meaning that about $3000 of that was spent on eating out, per household, per year.
But it doesn’t stop with eating out. Another survey by Accounting Principals found that coffee drinkers spend approximately $1,092 each on commercial coffee each year. So if you’re a regular coffee drinker AND enjoy eating out, that’s over 4 grand each year out of your budget. Imagine what you could do with that extra $4000 if you cut your eating out. Maybe pay off your car? Take a vacation? Pay for Christmas?
This habit takes its toll not only on your wallet, but on your and your family’s health as well, which are connected. The Campaign for Tobacco-free kids found that the average smoker spends about $1500 per year on tobacco. In states with more significant tobacco taxes, that cost is even higher.
This yearly amount doesn’t take into account the cost of healthcare for tobacco-related illnesses, which is also significant. Quitting isn’t easy, but if you consider the financial and health implications and how these will add up over time, many find it a worthwhile endeavor.
If you’re in the habit of making your regular purchases with a credit card, this could be costing you more than you realize. The average American household is $15,270 in credit card debt, according to the American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics. And that’s just credit cards! Car payments, mortgage payments, and other forms of debt make the amount that Americans pay in interest significant, approximately $6,658 on average, according to a report from NerdWallet.
To put that money back in your wallet, try to save for large purchases to avoid the thousands you’ll end up paying in interest. And when it comes to using credit cards, if you don’t have the money in your bank account at the time, don’t spend it.
Keeping Unused Gym Memberships
The road to the gym is filled with good intentions, but it also seems to be the road less traveled. In fact, the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association found that gyms only expect that 18 percent of people who buy their gym memberships will actually use them consistently.
So consider the cost of your gym membership, probably somewhere around the $40 average range according to Statistic Brain, which means a year goes by with $480 thrown away. If life is busy, try to get your exercise in the home or at work to save yourself time and money.