It's easy to fritter away money on daily expenses. If you fall into these money traps, learn to avoid them and pocket the savings.
|2.||Cigarettes||7.||Weekday lunches out|
|3.||Alcohol||8.||Vending machines snacks|
|4.||Bottled water||9.||Interest charges on credit cards|
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1. Coffee -- According to the National Coffee Association, the average price for 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 $1,660 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 work days. If you buy rather than pack a lunch five days a week for one year, you shell out about $2,350 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 2007, the median amount of credit card debt carried by Americans is $6,600. Rate tables on Bankrate.com indicate that fixed interest rates on a standard card average 13.44 percent. 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 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.