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American Spending Habits Part 3

  • 4 MIN READ|
  • 0 Comment |
  • 201 |
  • by Joseph Priebe|
  • May 11, 2016 |
  • Personal Finance

What are American spending habits?

Americans have a reputation for being wasteful. Perhaps some of it is justified, but maybe some of it isn’t. For instance, Americans are often criticized for throwing away a lot of garbage (what else are we going to do with the used K-Cups?), but we’ve also demonstrated that – when given the opportunity – we can and will be very resourceful. IN many cases, people aren’t even aware they’re being wasteful, and just need some information to help; them out with their habits. That’s kinda why we mentioned the K-Cups (in case you don’t know, hit is the newest fad in home brewed coffee; single use coffee servings in small plastic cups that get tossed in the garbage when their single use is accomplished), if you have one of those machines, you don’t have much of a choice in terms of preventing those little plastic cups from ending up in the local landfill. But again, it all comes down to having the necessary knowledge.

Are You Throwing Money Away?

And so we continue with our series on spending habits, and once again want to focus on the things Americans tend to waste money on. Some of these were just were not aware of until research turned up the facts. We hope you will find them helpful as well. This list is not in any particular order:

  • Stuff we don’t use
    OK, so you bought that stationary bike with every intent of using it every day and getting in shape, but now it serves as a temporary clothes hanger in the corner of your bedroom. Completely understandable, and it happens to everyone. Of course, this isn’t just limited to exercise equipment. How many times have you bought something only to use it once or twice and then get caught up in other activities? Confession time: the writer of this article has an elliptical machine sitting in the corner of his garage and he would rather you not know when the last time he used it actually was. Could be worse, right? Some folks buy a ski boat and then use it a couple of times in the summer while paying expensive storage fees for the rest of the year, or season tickets to a sports team and never really use them. The next time you go to purchase something and you have that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you won’t be using it much; go ahead and save yourself the money and skip the purchase. You know yourself well enough to know what you will and won’t use, and thus get your money’s worth. You’ll probably thank yourself later.
  • Tax Refunds
    Do you do your own taxes? Were you ever unsure of you had a refund coming or not? Right now, there is over a billion dollars of unclaimed tax refunds sitting in the IRS (OK, it’s not actual stacks of money, but you know what we’re talking about). Do an online search for H&R Block’s “Get Your Billion Back America” campaign and take the steps to find out if you have any unclaimed cash waiting for you.
  • College
    In this case, we’re talking about that expensive private university. Here’s the bottom line: that degree in business or engineering or whatever else will not make a bit of difference to a prospective employer whether it came from Amherst or Arizona State. We know you love your kids, and you want the best for them. And it would be great if we could all send our children to Yale. But again, it won’t make a difference once your child is out in the workforce and competing with other graduates for the job (yes, there are some exceptions. A law degree from Harvard will look just a tad more enticing than one from Ohio State. If your child is on track for law school, then by all means send them to Harvard. Just consider sending them to a more affordable undergraduate school for that pre-law degree).

Stop Throwing Away Money on These Items

These items are the most common ways to ways waste money. A little self-control and patience and you could save a few thousands a year.

  • Dining out
    Nope, we’re not at all suggesting that you stop going out to eat. For a lot of us, it’s a rare treat and a great way to get together with friends and family. But we bet you didn’t know how much money is wasted on these excursions. For instance: what exactly does that appetizer give you except less room for your actual meal when you finally get it? Were you unable to finish your regular dinner because you had some appetizer? Consider which part of your dinner you skipped in favor of eating only what your stomach could handle. Did you leave the salad sitting on your plate, or that baked potato? Would you have eaten those things if you hadn’t gotten the appetizer? You get the idea. Consider other things like that “all-you-can-eat” deal at your favorite sushi place. Do you just end up eating one or two rolls and then call it a meal? Chances are those two ten dollar sushi rolls might have been cheaper to order individually instead of getting the ‘unlimited’ portions deal. Also, consider not ‘upsizing’ that fast food meal and saving yourself a few bucks as well as calories. Something to think about.
  • TV
    How much television do you actually watch? And do you have one of those streaming services as well? Consider “cutting the chord” or at least reducing to the basic package. Most households don’t watch more than ten channels, and yet pay for over a hundred. Since most television either winds up on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, and the rest are actually original productions, maybe you don’t need that super expensive premium cable package.
  • Shipping
    For some reason, a lot of folks just need that book, or that new DVD, or whatever it is they ordered online to get to their house the next day. Consider the idea that standard shipping is not only cheaper, but the possibility that express shipping is just a plain old waste of money.

One thing we don’t like here at CASH 1 is the idea of wasting money. If you find yourself short of a needed financial infusion, come see us for a Title Loan, Personal Loan or Installment Loan. We have services in Arizona and Nevada.

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