Where to focus your efforts in wasted spending

Where Americans spend their money

An average U.S. consumer family spends $63,091 in annual expenditures. After taxes, this amount translates into $49,638. With the recession having kicked in, many U.S. consumers are trying hard to reduce the amount of money that they spend so as to tide over these tough times. More and more people have suffered pay cuts or lost their jobs.

Save Where You Can

It is more important to reduce luxurious expenses now than ever before. This means that Americans have to learn to reduce the amount that they spend while still maintaining a fairly decent standard of living. The largest chunk of these expenses, about $16,920 is spent on housing expenses which include the basic shelter, utilities, and much more. While this amount can’t be reduced much, there are other large expenses that can be curbed by being a little prudent in your spending.

Travel Woes

Approximately 17.6% of expenditures is limited to travel and gasoline purchases. With gas prices climbing up the proverbial mountain, it might be prudent to consider using public transport as much as possible. Going on long drives for the pleasure of it will probably be more expensive that actually going out! Take a walk! You will also be doing your health a favor.

Food & Beverages

Precisely 12.4% of people’s expenditures are spent on food. Grocery shopping can lead to unnecessary spending if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want. The best thing to do is to make a list and stick with it. If ever there was a time to not fall for sales that coax you to buy stuff, it is now. When buying in bulk, make use of the various discount codes and coupons that are available online. This way, you can buy all the groceries that you need while saving almost 50% of your money.

A large percent of food expenses stem from the money that you spend on food outside of home. Instead of spending money on coffee and muffins at the local coffee shop on the way to work, make a cup of coffee at home and take this with you to work; this will cost you a mere $0.25. The latter price is much cheaper than $3.00 to $4.00 which is the common bill now for coffee at a coffee serving establishment. Sodas also come out cheaper when you buy them as a part of a 12 pack and not one for $.99 or so.

Healthcare Expenditures

Healthcare is another large area of expenditures accounting for 5.7% of a household’s budget. Dentist visits and medical checkups take their financial toll. Many health fairs are held throughout the year and dental schools offer dental services that will fulfill your needs at low to nil costs. Obesity is a factor that costs the country thousands of dollars per year in lost wages and healthcare needs. Living a healthy lifestyle can save a considerable amount. Eating healthy and exercising every day can reduce the amount that you spend on healthcare and be of great benefit in the long run.

The best tip to save money and reduce spending has always been to ask yourself, is this really important?

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