Survey: Americans Waste as Much as $18,000 a Year
While many people wouldn't admit to being flush with cash, a new survey shows that the average American flushes as much as $18,000 a year, on everything from bottled water, to cable, to coffee they could just as well make themselves.
That's more than a million bucks in a lifetime.
According to the OnePoll survey commissioned by the life insurance company Ladder Life, the average person in this country wastes nearly $1,500 every month on non-essential items like streaming services, drinking with friends, and splurging on online shopping.
Breaking down the survey of 2,000 people further, Americans spend, on average, $20 a month on coffee drinks; $209 eating out; $105 on impulse items; $189 going out drinking with friends; more than $90 on cable, and $23 for streaming services like Hulu and Netflix.
The poll also noted the average person spends $22 on music streaming, and $23 a month on various other apps.
Given that, it's both easy -- and ironic -- to see why 38% of those same folks polled said they thought they couldn't afford to put money away in a retirement account; 28% said they couldn't ditch their credit card debt; 26% say they couldn't pay for necessary car repairs; and 24% say they couldn't afford a car.
Here's a breakdown of Americans' non-essential monthly spending habits
Dinner out at a restaurant - $209.38
Drinks out with friends or co-workers - $188.68
Takeout or delivery - $177.88
Purchasing lunch - $173.62
Impulse purchases - $108.97
Receive personal care - $94.25
Subscription boxes - $93.96
Cable - $90.57
Online shopping (for non-essentials) $84.11
Gym, fitness classes and/or a personal trainer - $72.53
Streaming services for movies/TV - $23.09
Streaming services for music - $22.41
Coffee - $20.25
Bottled water - $17.47