Okay so I am dedicating myself to focusing more on money and building wealth with this website because honestly, that’s what people want to know. But even though people want to know that, they still have to grasp the basics which are budgeting, setting goals and understanding their own spending habits.
I’m not here to talk about that though. Here are some rather eye-opening facts about money though:
According to the National Resources Defense Council, Americans waste $165 billion annually by tossing away unwanted snacks and meals. The math works out to approximately $529 per person each year.
Solution: Plan meals. Freeze leftovers and share with those less fortunate. Waste is something we don’t have the luxury of in a country where so many people go to bed hungry on a daily basis.
It turns out, that by one estimate, $41 billion worth of gift cards went unredeemed from 2005 to 2011. In 2012, TowerGroup, a research organization, cited that approximately $2 billion worth of gift cards would go unredeemed that year as well.
Solution: Create a universal wish list of items that you need so that once you receive a gift card you can IMMEDIATELY put it to use. Also remember that even though many gift cards go unused every years, some gift cards (depending on the retailer) decrease the amount little by little when they aren’t used immediately. You want to make sure that you get your FULL money’s worth.
Every year, the average American spends $1,200 on fast food. A OnePoll 2014 survey of 1,000 adults revealed that Americans eat fast food on average twice a week, spending $12.50 on each meal. Equally revealing is that burgers, fried chicken and pizza are ordered the most, and about half of Americans consume soda every day.
Solution: If you MUST eat fast food, limit it to once or maybe twice a month. Create a budget and allot a certain amount for fast food consumption. Many people opt for fast food to avoid the preparation of meals. Start pre-prepping meals to save time and pay yourself what you’d pay the fast food chains.
Candy Crush Saga players still spent over $1.3 billion on the game in 2014 alone, according to The Guardian, with dollars being used towards in-app purchases such as extra lives, extra moves, color bombs, lollipop hammers and gold bars.
Solution: Uninstall anything that makes you go off your budget or stands in the way of you reaching your dreams and goals. At $1.3 billion dollar a year only a few people are reaping the rewards–the app manufacturers. Start a DREAM FUND with the money you’re saving.
While some ATMs charge as little as 45 cents, others hit non-customers with fees as high as $5. The percentage of financial institutions charging these fees has also increased over the past five years — from 87% to 96% — as banks look to offset the higher costs of operating the machines and declining ATM fee revenue, the GAO found.
Solution: Use your bank’s ATM or an ATM that doesn’t charge you a fee. Plan ahead for time, distance and location. $2.00 may not seem like a lot for the convenience, however, if you only have $8.00 in your account and you need to withdraw $10.00 you’ll wish you had that extra $2.00!
Currently, the average credit card debt per U.S. household is $15,270, and in total, Americans owe $856.9 billion in credit card debt, based on American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics as of January 2014.
Solution: The goal is to live within your means, if you MUST use a credit card, pay it ALL off and don’t carry a balance from month to month. If you can’t pay it all off, pay MUCH MORE than the minimum balance to lessen the amount of time you’ll be paying the inflated interest.
The moral of the story: Know what your money is doing, create a plan and execute.