13 Ways Americans Throw Away Money

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Lottery ticketBlame the government or blame the economy, but Americans should also blame themselves for their declining net worth.

We waste a whole lot of money. Seriously, over half a trillion dollars each year -- and that's just for areas with available data.

So what counts as a waste of money? We included fines, bad investments like lottery tickets, and unhealthy consumption items like cigarettes and alcohol. We're not telling you how to live your life -- but we are identifying costs that everyone should consider cutting.




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50 Comments

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Perry

Yes people are wastful, but it dose help people to keep working . Its all about balance, just have to use common cents.... :)

October 11 2012 at 7:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
edthez

My god, they missed the #1 way... vote for obutthead.

October 09 2012 at 8:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Phil Collins

I once went to an internet site to mingle and when this babe replied I got a tingle and then she swiped my money and left me single.

October 09 2012 at 7:15 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tomjet529

It kills me to waste food. I have worked in restaurants and the amount is staggering.I like to volunteer at foodbanks when I can and you would be AMAZED at what they have to throw out! A can with a dent on the seam, or lid. Its all about lawsuits now.

October 09 2012 at 12:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mily469

number 14 is voting republican. even with all the facts right there in front of them the crazies talk about socialism and communism but beleive fascism is gonna be great! it is very sad.

October 08 2012 at 10:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mily469's comment
edthez

No number 14 is voting for obutthead. How much deeper in the hole are we than when he started? $6TYril freakin dollars. Are you blind or just stupid?

October 09 2012 at 8:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
edthez

Are you blind or stupid? Number 14 is voting for obutthead. How much deeper in the hole are we than when he started? $6Tril freakin dollars! And you talk about the GOP?

October 09 2012 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to edthez's comment
malayangtao

Alot of that 6 trillion is for wars and Medicare part D that was passed but not paid for. Bush started with the trillion dollar deficits in 2008 when he wrote the 700 billion dollar check to the banks. Obama counted the wars costs and Medicare part D in his budgets and that is what ran and kept the deficits over a trillion dollars. Both parties are responsible for the mess we are in. Do not expect much to change under Romney if he is elected. Yes he will cut spending on things like Medicaid, education, pell grants and other things that benefit the everyday working family and poor people but those savings will be offset by trillions in tax cuts for the upper income people by eliminating the taxes on capital gains and that is where most rich people make their money. So go ahead and vote for Romney and in 2013 the screwing of the lower 95% will begin. First up Obamacare will be repealed and millions of people with preexisting conditions will lose their healthcare that were covered under Obamacare.

October 09 2012 at 9:49 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
Jay

We waste money when we give it to Obama for his re-election.

October 08 2012 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jay's comment
morsergey

Americans are the most wasteful society in the world.
But American fake economy is mostly dependent on people wasting their money on the **** they buy. So if everyone suddenly become smart and stop wasting money, it will be the end of the USA

October 08 2012 at 10:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
itacurubi

I never saw the point of gift cards. Just give cash: it's a gift card that works everywhere.

October 08 2012 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rhonda.conner

I always wondered why the government doen't regulate food stamps like WIC checks? This way the stamps could be used for necessary items like toiletries, fruit, vegetables,etc... instead of candy and junk food.

October 08 2012 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ilsapproach

Our entire economy is based on throwing money away. If people would live like I do the economy would collapse. I am in my 40s and have only had 2 cars my entire life with no car payment. I don't use credit cards, I don't buy boats, I don't change my wardrobe every year, I don't waste money on designer clothes, I don't need a big screen TV, I don't need to buy a new phone everytime it gets updated. I don't constantly buy new furnature and redecorate my house, I still enjoy my life. With all this money I save I get to enjoy free travel and see the world. Buying newer things just to buy them is straight up retarded. Most people don't know the difference between a want and a need. If people would learn the difference between wants and needs this country would collapse overnight.

Economists basically scold people when they do not spend enough money. Most people do not save enough for retirement and in fact are one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. 70% ish of our economy is based on consumer spending using money they do not always have but just throw it on credit card. It is absolutely pathetic what this country has become. We outsourced all our jobs, our salaries have not kept up with inflation. The govts solution is to keep printing money and tell people to go out and blow money on crap they do not need. When I retire it sure as heck won't be in this country.

October 08 2012 at 1:58 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Scottilla

$15 Billion on bottled water. If you turn on the faucet, it comes out practically free.

October 08 2012 at 11:28 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Scottilla's comment
lhamner

Exactly. I expected to find that on the list. Instead they list candy? Candy is a pleasure that people indulge in. They may as well include movies, TVs, music, etc. But bottled water, as you note, comes out of the faucet.

October 08 2012 at 1:36 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

it creates jobs

October 08 2012 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply