10 ways you’re wasting money right now
The future is always the future, until suddenly it isn’t, and then you realize that you’ve spent all the money you intended to retire with on Pumpkin Spice Lattes. With just a few changes to your daily spending habits, you can be rolling in the dough and pulling in money enough to retire and enjoy the undoubtedly more delicious Pumpkin Spice X-Treme Lattes of the future.
1. Paying ATM fees
The average American goes to the ATM about once a week, and about one time out of every three, the average American is screwed out of an average of $3.85 thanks to out-of-network fees. This is one time you should rage against the machine.
What you spend now, annually: $66.61
What you should spend: Nothing a’tall.
Over 30 years that’ll get you: $ 1,998.20, which is enough to buy your own ATM and turn the tables on those not as wise as yourself.
2. Buying bread
The average loaf in the states comes in at $2, which may not seem like much dough, but some estimates put bread consumption for the average American as high as 80 loaves a year. When you factor in the cost of elbow grease, a home-made loaf only runs sixty cents. The proof of savings is in the proof.
What you spend now, annually: $160
What you should spend: $48
Over 20 years that’ll get you: $2,240, which’ll help out your deluxe lunchmeat budget. Though, chances are, you're someone who's used to...
3. Not bringing lunch
John Doe goes out to lunch twice a week and blows $10 to enjoy the privilege of being invited to his coworker’s improv shows. John Doe doesn’t know that he’ll be shelling out, max, one to three dollars for a meal brought from home. This sort of short sightedness is why John didn’t get that big promotion. Sorry to break it to you like this, John.
What you spend now, annually: $1,040
What you should spend: $208
Over 20 years that’ll get you: $16,640, more than enough to cover a meal out eating Kobe strip steak. Go ahead, you’ve earned it.
4. Hitting a coffee shop instead of the coffee machine
The average American is a fiend for the bean, consuming, on average, three cups of coffee a day. And when each cup is priced at $1.38, those numbers become shocking enough to replace that cup of joe in the morning. Opting instead for free office coffee, or, at worst, coffee you make yourself, can mean big savings down the road.
What you spend now, daily: $4.14
What you should spend: Ideally, nothing – otherwise $.18 a cup, given an $8-per-pound ground.
Over 10 years that’ll get you: $14,454, or about 14oz of actual black gold.
5. Ordering bottle service
Point the first: bottle service is gauche and you are not Jordan Belfort and this is not the go-go nineties. Point the second: clubs mark up bottles over 1,000%. Point the third: less money spent means more fun to be had, especially when the average price for a 750ml bottle of 80-proof liquor is only $14.42.
What you spend now, weekly: $350
What you should spend: $28.42, because you can buy two. We didn’t say not to have fun.
Over 10 years that’ll get you: $167,221.60, though if you’re getting bottle service once a week, that’s probably loose change to you.
6. Purchasing bottled water
Maybe you’ve let that Doomsday Preppers marathon go to your head, but buying a ton of bottled water is like the end times for your budget. Having reached an all-time high just last year at $7.50 a gallon, it’s important to remember that, according to the NRDC, there’s no promise that it’s purer than what comes out of the tap (in one case, one brand of "spring water" whose label pictured a lake and mountains, actually came from a well in an industrial facility's parking lot, near a hazardous waste dump, and periodically was contaminated with industrial chemicals at levels above FDA standards).
What you spend now, annually: $231
What you should spend: $0
Over 20 years that’ll get you: $5,700, which is enough to build your own fresh-water well.
7. Not flossing (C’mon)
If the greatest pleasure of modern life is not getting yelled at (it is), then going to the dentist is the final gamut. Sure, flossing regularly means that your dentist won’t yell at you, but more importantly it is one of the most singularly effective preventative measures you can undertake, meaning the inter-dental action of a piece of floss can save you tens of thousand in the checkbook since dental emergencies can often be 10 times the cost of regular checkups. Also, you will not get yelled at.
What you spend now, annually: $220, which is the going rate for periodontal maintenance
What you should spend: $16, or four containers of floss.
Over 20 years that’ll get you: $4,080, or literally all of the cotton candy.
8. Using razors with an increasingly comical number of blades
Looking to shave a couple bucks off your expenses? Lose the cartridge. The industry standard for a pack of shaving cartridges is $15, which, if you're replacing them the recommended once a week, gets pretty hairy. Opt instead for a safety razor with $.50 blades (or get with the times and start growing a beard already).
What you spend now, annually: $230
What you should be spending: $26
Over 30 years that'll get you: $6,120, which means your beard-weave budget is underwritten forever.
9. Buying craft beer
Nobody, least of all us, is going to say that craft beer isn't tasty. But do you know what's the least tasty? Having to eat catfood because you cannot afford food as a retired person. The average american has four drinks per week, which, if you're crafty, comes to $5.25 a pop. The average cost of of a beer in the states is about $2.75, which means pouring a silver bullet might actually be a silver bullet for your budget problem.
What you spend now, weekly: $21
What you should be spending: $11
Over 20 years that’ll get you: $10,400, which is enough to build your own home bar system.
10. Not upgrading your bathroom situation
Buy a bidet WAIT KEEP READING. Americans use about 23.6 rolls of toilet paper a year, which, at around $.76 a roll on average, means annual expenditure of $17. But here are four facts which may sway you: a bidet can be as cheap as $35, as much as 80 percent of all infectious diseases are passed on by human contact, only about half of Americans actually wash their hands after using the facilities, and fecal matter can seep through 11 layers of toilet paper. Apologies for ruining your day.
What you spend now, annually: $17-30
What you should spend: $5 – you shouldn’t buy no toilet paper.
Over 10 year’s that’ll get you: A very happy butt and way less poop on your hands.