American Spending Habits Part 2

American Spending Habits Part 2

We’re about to share with you a list of ways Americans are wasting their money. This isn’t one of those “top ten’ kinds of lists, but rather the intent is to be as comprehensive as possible in the hopes of helping you see where you might be able to cut back on spending. Let’s be perfectly clear; when we say “waste” we don’t mean it in terms of criticism, and we certainly are not implying you might be a bad person if you find you’ve actually experienced some of these situations. Fact is, we all have wasted money at one time or another, and while it might be easy to spot wasteful spending in obvious areas, a lot of us don’t realize we’re wasting money until we become better informed. So that’s basically the purpose of this follow-up to our first article about American spending habits. Knowledge is power (as the saying goes), and the more knowledge you have, especially in regards to spending your money more wisely, then the better off you’ll be financially. So let’s get started, and remember, these are in no particular order of importance:

  • Energy. USA Today reports that collectively, Americans throw away $433 billion (with a ‘b’) dollars’ worth of energy every year. Do you feel you’re paying too much in utilities, especially electricity? There are tons of ways you can cut down on utility costs each month without having to resort to candlelight for a portion of your day (though we do enjoy candlelight for the purposes of ambience). Do you have a second refrigerator or freezer sitting in your garage that’s always half full? Consider the idea of not stocking up so much on food and getting rid of the extra appliance. Could save you up to $400 a year. That’s just one of many possibilities. Check out more ways to save at the Energy Star website.
  • Interest. Simply put, Americans are spending far too much money on credit card interest payments every month. Take a look at whether or not you’re spending beyond your means and consider ways to avoid using a credit card altogether. For $10,000 worth of debt (the average U.S. household actually has around $15,000 in credit card debt), you’ll pay more than twice that amount over a five year period when interest is factored in.
  • Vices. Do you smoke? Are you a social drinker? Like to play the lottery or hit the slots at the local gaming establishment? Consider cutting back, or quitting altogether. In 2013, Americans lost $113 billion (with a ’b’) in collective gambling activities alone. The average smoker pays over $1,500 a year for a habit that will likely lead to increased ill health and a painful, unpleasant demise. And as for alcohol, Americans spent 1% of their incomes on drink. That may not sound like a lot to you, but if you make $20,000 a year, you’re spending $200 on spirits. Cutting your usage in half will save you a hundred bucks, and spare your liver any undue labor.
  • Health. Got a sweet tooth? That candy bar you paid a dollar for could eventually cost you much more than you wanted to pay. Bad eating habits lead to higher health costs that can generally be avoided just by eating healthier. One preventable dentist visit could cost you far more than what you paid for that ice cream cone. We’re not saying to cut out treats completely, just take a look at your habits and maybe cut back. You’ll save money, and your body will be grateful.
  • Deals. Are you using that coupon you bought online for half off a massage at your local spa? Probably not. Millions of dollars in coupon deals go unused every year. Same for gift cards. This is why you see more gift cards for more places and services than ever before. This is why there is an entire rack of gift cards for sale at your local grocery store. Gift cards are practically pure profit for those establishments who sell them. And speaking of pure profit, how’s that extended warranty working out for you? 9 out of 10 Consumers will never actually put their extended warranties to use, and we are talking about everything from electronics to automobiles. If an electronic device doesn’t break down within the first month of usage, the chances of it breaking down over the following five years drops by about 90%. Next time you purchase a big ticket item and the sales person offers you an extended warranty, chances are you’ll save money by not purchasing it. While you’re at it, take a look at anything else you might have shelled out a few bucks for but aren’t utilizing. Say, for instance, a gym membership.
  • Bank fees. We’re not talking about standard fees for things like checking accounts or the like, we’re talking about things like ATM fees and worse: overdraft fees. There’s no reason to rack up a four dollar charge on a twenty dollar ATM withdrawal. Use your debit card wherever you can, and in the case of overdraft fees, make sure you’re not spending beyond your means. We know it can be tough, but the average overdraft fee is $35. Just three overdraft fees in a year will take you over a hundred dollars of money that literally pays for nothing.
  • Traffic. Let’s be perfectly honest. Slowing down and driving within the speed limit will save fuel, lives and lots of potential headaches. Over a hundred thousand traffic tickets are issued in this country every year, and it’s all because people just want to get there faster, park closer and not bother with the registration. So you decided to save some money by not registering that car? What happens when you get pulled over for expired tags? Points on your license, increased insurance fees and money that – again – goes nowhere (of course it goes somewhere, but we mean it’s an unnecessary expenditure that can be easily avoided).

We’ll end this list here for the time being, but we’ve got quite a few more tips on not wasting money, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you find you are short of cash and need a stop gap on your way to better spending habits, come see us at CASH 1 Loans near you and find out if a personal loan, installment loan or title loan is right for you or you could get a payday loan in minutes. We’ve got services in Nevada and Arizona.  


We’re sharing a list of ways Americans are wasting money. This isn’t one of those “top 10

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