10 little expenses that add up fast

16 10 2007


10 little expenses that add up fast

Do you wonder where your money goes, especially if you’re not a big spender? It’s surprisingly easy to blow thousands, a few dollars at a time.

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Vending-machines snacks: The average vending machine snack costs $1. Buy a pack of cookies every afternoon at work and pay $260 per year.

9. 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!

10. 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.

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