To revisit a theme from a couple of weeks ago (surely you remember), we’re going to look at more ways you’re wasting your money.
I recently saw a thing put out by USA Today that said your average American spends $18,000 a year on “non-essential” items. Now, you might have one of those awesome jobs where $18,000 is just a fourth or less of your income. I don’t. $18,000 is more than half of what I make (you can laugh, but DON’T point), so I took some of these with a grain of salt.
They made a little chart that showed what everybody is wasting their money on, and some I could see while others were foreign to me. They listed 10 things, so let’s take a look a them so I can crank out a column before Memorial Day messes up our print schedule.
These are monthly expenses, by the way.
10. $209 a month on restaurant meals. I’m guessing this is the sit down and be waited on style of restaurant. If you’re spending $209 a month on fast food, you need to check out the $1 menu most of them offer. Actually, never mind. If you’re spending this much a month on fast food, you’ll be dead soon and it won’t matter..
9. $189 on drinks. I’m guessing alcohol cause I’m a Diet Coke addict and I don’t spend anywhere near this much. I’m hoping alcohol drinks are expensive, otherwise you’ve got a problem.
8. $178 a month on takeouts/delivery. Pizza delivery cars come up our hill a lot, but they’re always going to the neighbor’s house. That comes out to about $20 a delivery. Seriously, spend $1 worth of gas and get the $7.99 deal.
7. $174 buying lunch. Let’s say you work 20 days a month and buy your lunch every day. That comes out to just under $9 a day. And let’s say most of that is fast food (some overlap here), so we’ll really say you’re spending $5,000 a day because of all health costs you’re going to rack up.
6. $109 on impulse purchases. I recently passed this buying a sound bar for the TV, but usually an impulse purchase, for me, is a shirt marked down to $4 on the clearance rack. Cause I want to look my best.
5. $96 for rider shares. I’m guessing this is Uber and Lyft and whatever else people in big cities use. I’m old and set in my ways. I don’t ride in anybody’s car but my own.
4. $94 a month on personal grooming. I’m assuming this is hair related. Once I bought a hair trimmer for $29 and I have the wife give me a haircut when I think about it. So, I proudly spend $0 a month on personal grooming. Wait, did that come out right?
3. $94 a month on subscription boxes. I have no idea. But if people are willing to spend this much, maybe we should sell newspapers subscriptions as boxes.
2. $91 a month for cable. I guess we really are dinosaurs, cause this is way less than we spend to watch TV every month. What are you $91 a month people getting? If it’s the same as what we’re getting, we need to talk.
1. $84 a month for online spending. Depends on the month. I assume this is buying things and doesn’t include paying your monthly bills online, because it’d be WAY low. Some months go way beyond this. Other months, it’s probably no more than $10.
How’d you do? Are you wasting your money at an alarming rate or are you a frugal spender who still makes a penny scream with your pinching? I’m probably below average. I’ll be honest. That’s undoubtedly because I can’t afford anymore than what I spend.
And yes, if you did the math, on a monthly basis, all those numbers don’t add up to $18,000. But if you divide by 52 weeks, we actually have 13 months a year. I know. You never thought of it that way and now your mind is blown.
So, there you go. Unlike the bank that recently made fun of poor people by ridiculing their spending habits (the bank had to be bailed out by the government back in 2008, so it wasn’t well received), I won’t pooh pooh how you spend your money.
It’s yours after all.
Unless you want to buy an Advocate & Democrat subscription box. Only half the cost of what you’re already spending on other boxes. Give us a call.