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Hopefully, everyone is doing well on their New Year’s resolution. Whether it’s exercising, eating better, or even learning something new, something more Americans should consider adding to their lists is tightening up their finances.
In a recent survey of 2,000 people across the United States, completed by Hloom.com, over 8 out of 10 Americans admit that they waste money. Doesn’t that number seem a bit low, though? I feel like I buy something dumb at least once a month, if not more often. If you are included in the 20% of the Americans who don’t waste cash, please let me know the secret to your success.
Over 70% of us Americans waste money on food. Included in this figure, 33% admit to throwing out uneaten food. Meanwhile, 25% of people say that they spend too much on groceries. Some would wonder if this is causation or correlation 🙂
Interestingly enough, every generation agreed that they spend too much money on eating out. In the survey, Millennials were the generation that wasted the most money eating out. I wonder– is this because Millennials haven’t learned to cook yet, or because Baby Boomers don’t think they waste money when they eat out?
Another eye-opening stat was that the second largest spending category for Baby Boomers is cable TV. If you notice, Millennials don’t even have cable TV as a category. The closest that they come to regret around entertainment is through streaming services, which ranks #6 on their list. If you weren’t aware of how prevalent cord-cutting is, now you know.
On top of that, Millennials were the only group in which cigarettes didn’t make it on the list. Hopefully that’s because less Millennials are addicted to them in comparison to previous generations.
Breakdown by States
Leading the pack when it comes to wasting money in this area are: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. In contrast, the New England states waste money eating out by almost 15% less, at 62%. California, Oregon, and Washington follow not too far behind.
It won’t surprise you to find out that those states that eat out the most are in the top 7 fattest states in America. The states in which people eat out the least are among the least likely to be obese. Interesting correlation, huh?
Changes In Spending Habits
At the top of the list, people are willing to cut back on eating out and alcohol. In the same breath though, they aren’t willing to cut back on their grocery bill and throwing out uneaten food. I would think if you cut back on your grocery shopping that you might throw out less uneaten and spoiled food.
On top of that, people were willing to reduce their electricity bills but weren’t willing to reduce the amount spent on cell phones and tech gadgets. I wonder what they are planning to plug their gadgets into.
How Each Gender Wastes Money
Both men and women tend to waste cash similarly. In fact, 8 out of the 10 categories overlap, with eating out at #1 by a landslide. The main differences include women’s regret of spending money on clothes and cell phones/bills, while men regret their tech gadgets and cable/digital TV.
On top of that, I thought it was interesting that more men find themselves wasteful compared to women, 19.8% vs. 14%.
Money Saving Tips
As you can see from this survey, we Americans waste too much money on unnecessary things. Whether it’s eating out too much, buying alcohol or watching too much TV, we can do better when it comes to spending our dollars wisely.
By making a few small changes with our expenses, we can save substantial amounts of money without affecting the quality of our lives.