The 10 Biggest Money Wasters You Should Avoid
The spending habits of Americans seem to be thriving even the the economy continues to suffer. The combination of high unemployment numbers, a continuing housing crisis, and unsecured debt amounts that on average continue to climb has not stopped most Americans from spending roughly 15% of the household income on luxuries that are not true needs but instead indulgent wants.
Where is all this money wasted though? The 24/7 Wall Street publication reviewed the recent spending habits in the USA, and the changes in these habits over the last 20 years. There are 10 common categories where a majority of money is wasted, and a household with an annual income of $60,000 will spend $8,000 or more each year on expenses and items that are not actually needed. The recent credit crisis would not be such a big issue if consumers had placed this money into savings rather than spending it over the last 2 decades, but the fun and level of luxury during this time would also be much lower. The 10 biggest categories for wasteful spending are:
#1. Alcohol Products- Alcohol is a big seller and a common product found in many homes across the USA, and the average alcohol bill per consumer on a yearly basis is almost $450, and this amount includes mixed drinks, wine, hard liquor, and beer. This is much higher than the amount spent per consumer on average for beverages which were not alcoholic.
#2. Dining Out- Americans spend on average more than 5% of their annual income to dine out. This amount includes all forms of dining out, from fast food establishments to high end restaurants and everything in between. Between 1989 and 2009 the amount the average household spent to eat out jumped from $1,762 to $2,619, and this is a significant increase, especially in times of poor economic circumstances. In an ironic twist the economic group that spends the highest percentage on eating out is the lowest income group, individuals which make $5,000 a year or less spend more than 6% to dine away from.
#3. Tobacco Products- The use of tobacco products has declined over the last decade, but the average household still spends almost $400 a year on these products. This amount is more than what the average household budget includes for milk and fresh fruit together.
#4. Electronic Equipment And Services- Electronic equipment including television, stereos and other sound equipment, and radios account for roughly 2% of the money spent by the average home. This amount is more than double what the average home spent on these equipment and services in 1989. This includes cable television services, video game systems, DVD players, and other items and services. Households with lower incomes actually spend more, both per year and by income percentage, than homes with higher average annual incomes.
#5. Pets And Hobbies- Owning pets and taking up a hobby account for a significant portion of the average American household budget. The 24/7 Wall Street publication reports that “The average household spent nearly $700 on pets, toys, hobbies, and playground equipment. Nearly 80% of the expenses in this category come from pets, including food and veterinary bills. In contrast, households only spent $140 on toys and games.”
#6. Sports And Entertainment Equipment- Americans spend slightly less than 1% of the annual budget for sports and entertainment equipment on average, and this is generally around $400. This amount includes bikes, camping gear, boats, hunting gear, fishing equipment, and other items.
#7. Gift Giving- Americans are generous as well as being avid consumers, and approximately $1,067 is spent by the average US home each year in giving gifts. This constitutes roughly 2.2% of the typical annual American budget.
#8. Apparel Purchases And Maintenance- Roughly 0.005% of the average American budget is spent on purchasing and maintaining clothes and apparel. This is around $250 each year per person, and includes purchasing apparel, cleaning and dry cleaning costs, and any needed repairs or storage services. This is a decrease from 2 decades ago, when the average amount per person was $266 annually.
#9. Entertainment Fees And Admission Costs- Since 1989 American households have more than doubled the amount spent on admission costs and entertainment fees. Over $600 each year is spent on concerts, sports events, movies, and other forms of entertainment.
#10. Lodging For Vacations- Around $680 each year is spent on lodging for vacations, and this is for the average household in the USA. This cost includes owning a vacation home as well as paying for motels, inns, and other types of lodging accommodations. An interesting fact is that households in southern areas of the country usually spend less than those from the northeast USA.
If you are guilty of one or more of the top 10 money wasters an now have to deal with the consequences of your spending habits you need to know that there are options available to you. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing is no longer taboo, and is now considered an acceptable option in most cases that can affect millions of consumers. You can restructure your debts, or even eliminate them completely and get the fresh start that you deserve. The bankruptcy attorneys at West And Hurley can help provide a free debt consolidation consultation to help you find the right answer for your unique debt problems and circumstances. Visit https://www.debtfreeohio.com or call (513)771-8700 or (937)748-1749 to get the answers you want, and the financial relief you are looking for.