24/7 Wall St. reviewed how Americans spend money. One of the conclusions of this analysis is that consumer spending is relatively alive and well, despite the recession. This may mean that Americans continue to be over-leveraged. US citizens have, in general, brought down their indebtedness. However, holiday spending rose substantially from last year, and the extent to which Americans feel poor has declined now that the recession has ended. Americans spend about 15% of their household incomes on things that they do not need to satisfy their vices or to keep themselves amused. ...
[% of Total Annual Expenses:]
- Apparel Products and Services: 0.5%
- Tobacco: 0.8%
- Entertainment Equipment, Nonessential Services: 0.8%
- Fees and Admissions: 1.3%
- Lodging, Vacation Homes and Hotels: 1.4%
- Pets, Toys, Hobbies, and Playground Equipment: 1.4%
- Television, Radio, and Sound Equipment: 2%
- Gifts: 2.2%
- Food Away From Home: 5.3%
via Ten Things Americans Waste the Most Money On - 24/7 Wall St..
Aren't you glad to know the recession has ended? I recently found a good free app for my iPhone (CalcNoteLE) to do a quick budget. This made me realize I need to shuffle some things around, pay off my one remaining debt (my car loan) asap, and that my biggest expense after rent is eating out. I'm still working out how to spend the least on the healthiest and most tasty foods. I'm definitely ahead of the game since I don't have pets, don't smoke and don't drink.
There are times when some debt can't be helped, such as when you are in school or if you lose your job, but the trick is, for most of your life, to spend less than you make, save and invest wisely. The items above are only "wasting" money, in my view, when the people spending money on them can't afford them. If you work hard and live within your means, you should be able to spend on things that make you happy. Life is short. Enjoy it.
So do the economy a favor: pay an admission fee to get yourself non-essentially serviced, then buy some new clothes and eat away from home while giving a gift of a TV to your pet who is staying in a hotel smoking and drinking.