Ways Americans Are Blowing Their Money - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Ways Americans Are Blowing Their Money

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WMDT 47 News - Financial-services company The Motley Fool has developed a list of 20 ways Americans are blowing their money.

As you can imagine, near the top of that list is your daily trip to Starbucks. According to a recent survey by Accounting Principals, Americans who regularly buy coffee spend on average, $1,092 annually.

"The top reasons that they blow away their money is on gambling and drinking," Elizabeth Long of Salisbury, Md. said.

That's right. The average American loses almost $400 a year gambling and spends about $1 of every $100 on booze, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Credit cards with high interest," Shirley Mills of Salisbury, Md. said.

The average credit card debt per U.S. household is just over $15,000, according to the American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics as of January 2014.

"Candy," Andy Glass of Salisbury, Md. said.

Americans spent $2.8 billion on candy last Halloween alone, and nearly half of Americans drink soda daily.

Also making the list -- ATM fees, lottery tickets, unused gym memberships and gift cards, premium cable packages, warranties that cost as much as the product and unclaimed property and tax refunds.

Financial Advisor Charlie Meenehan says making a plan is the key to more financial security.

"The first step really is to take a look at what you're spending and to determine your spending habits. And then the second, is to determine what is appropriate -- see what you can cut back on that type of spending," he said.

Use software like Quickbooks to help break down your spending, then cut back on that daily cup of joe. Spend less, save more and stash the extra cash into a retirement fund.

"The major factor is to find ways to save for retirement. What I have found is that if they consistently save money over the long haul, then they're always going to come out ahead," he said.

Even if you can only save $25 a month, every bit helps. Meenehan says because of the cyclical nature of investing and finance, you're always going to come out ahead at the end if you save consistently.

Also making The Motley Fool's list for wasteful spending habits -- speedy shipping, wasted food, speeding and traffic tickets, designer clothing for babies and tobacco.      

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