From BankRate today:
It’s easy to fritter away money on little daily expenses. If you fall into these money traps, learn to avoid them and pocket the savings.
Coffee: According to the National Coffee Association, the average price for a cup of brewed coffee is $1.38. There are roughly 260 weekdays per year, so buying one coffee every weekday morning costs almost $360 per year.
Cigarettes: The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids reports that the average price for a pack of cigarettes in the United States is $4.54. Pack-a-day smokers fork out $1,650 a year. Weekend smoker? Buying a pack once a week adds up, too: $236.
Alcohol: Drink prices vary based on the location. But assuming an average of $5 per beer including tip, buying two beers per day adds up to $3,650 per year. Figure twice that for two mixed drinks a day at the local bar. That’s not chump change.
Bottled water from convenience stores: A 20-ounce bottle of Aquafina bottled water costs about $1. One bottle of water per day costs $365 per year. It costs the environment plenty, too.
Manicures: The Day Spa Magazine Price Survey of 2004 found that the average cost of a manicure is $20.53. A weekly manicure sets you back about $1,068 per year.
Car washes: The average cost for a basic auto detailing package is $58, according to Costhelper.com. The tab for getting your car detailed every two months: $348 per year.
Weekday lunches out: $9 will generally cover a decent lunch most workdays. If you buy, rather than pack, a lunch five days a week for one year, you shell out about $2,340 a year.
Vending-machines snacks: The average vending machine snack costs $1. Buy a pack of cookies every afternoon at work and pay $260 per year.
Interest charges on credit card bills: According to a survey released at the end of May, the median amount of credit card debt carried by Americans is $6,600. The average interest rate on a standard card is about 13%. Making the minimum payment each month, it will take 250 months (almost 21 years) to pay off the debt and cost $4,868 in interest. Ouch!
Unused gym memberships: Costhelper.com reports that the monthly service fee at gyms averages between $35 and $40. At $40 per month, an unused gym membership runs $480 per year.
Lists like this always make me feel good about how I’m doing…
The only coffee I drink is the free stuff at work, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink alcohol, I think the whole concept of bottled water is stupid, I’ve never had a manicure, I’ve washed my car once in the past year, I don’t each out for lunch, I never use vending machines, and I’ve never had a gym membership.
The interest charges, well, we know I’ve got some of those in my closet…
The only downside to lists like these is that they don’t give me any sneak peeks on areas that I can cut my own spending…