It’s striking that one in three Americans claim to keep a monthly budget, but most people don’t know how much they spend on a single day. Now, some of us use mobile apps for budgeting, but for those who don’t, how much do you think you spend? Let’s go through a day in an average person’s shoes.
Transportation takes a huge chunk out of our wallets. In a year, the second most expensive expenditure in our year is transportation (around $7600 for an average American). So you get off the train and out of the cab. Did you forget to turn the heater off in the empty apartment (Americans throw away $443 billion on wasted energy)? No? Yikes. Can’t worry about it now. What will you do next?
We knew where this was going. You get coffee. Maybe your little cafe is more affordable than Starbucks. Still, you accidentally use your blue credit card instead of your blue debit card (rookie mistake). The average credit card debt is a little more than $15,000. Sure, you can pay back that java as quickly as you can sip it, but that credit is just one more thing that can stress you out in the long run. If you carry an unpaid balance, it’s something to consider when you take the time to drink that new latte on the menu. Let’s hoof it to work now.
You’ve been slaving away for the past four hours. It’s time for a good lunch break. What are you thinking about eating? Oh, you’re so hungry. The average cost for lunch is around $11… Try to get something small, though! Americans waste $165 billion worth of food. Oh, and that Coke in your hand? You’re supporting a $76 billion American frenzy, and all you get in return is a little bubble in your tummy, and enough sugar to knock out a small animal. Your dollars just transformed into carbonation, sugar, and empty calories.
Two hours in, is it time for a smoke break? Let’s say for the sake of it that you’re among the seventeen percent in America that goes outside for that. Did you have to buy a pack today? Keep in mind that those who have been smoking for years can easily begin smoking a pack a week, or even a pack a day. It’s time to get back to work.
You’re done, and a long day is behind you. What’s next? Do you eat out? Okay, no, you’re going to meet your friends first. You go to an ATM and pay a fee. Those fees cost Americans $7 billion every year. How many bucks have they eaten away at you personally? You get to the restaurant, pay for an relatively expensive meal, and pull back a beer or two (like we said, it’s been a long day).
Then, you repeat transportation, maybe go to the gym, and watch Netflix. How much money did you spend?
Well, the average American consumer spends $94 a day. That’s right. We said it. We practically give our money to stores, restaurants, and gas stations. And for what? You still need to buy groceries tomorrow. It’s time to budget.