5 On Your Side

Identifying budget busters

Posted November 20, 2008 6:15 p.m. EST
Updated November 21, 2008 11:40 a.m. EST

— A lot of people have a tough time budgeting. It’s easy to blow thousands – a few budget busting dollars at a time.

Here are some budget busters that many people could trim in their daily lives:

1. Coffee - The average cup of prepared coffee costs $1.38. If you buy one cup every weekday morning, that can add up to $360 per year.

2. Bottled water – Getting bottled water from a vending machine or convenience store will cost at least $1 each time. Drinking one each day adds up to $365 a year.

3. Weekday lunches – Spending $7.50 a day for 260 workdays will add up to $1,900 a year.

4. Vending machine snacks – These cost about $1 each. Buying one snack each workday for 260 days adds up to $260.

5. Manicures – The average manicure costs $20.53. Getting these weekly can add up to more than $1,000 a year.

6. Car washes – The average auto detailing package is $58. Wash your car six times a year and that’s $348.

7. Unused gym memberships – With monthly service fees at around $40, not using it wastes $480 a year.

8. Credit card interest charges – With the average credit card debt at $8,650 for low and middle income households and the average interest rate at 13 percent, paying the minimum payment would take 17-and-a-half years to pay off the debt and cost almost $4,800 in interest.

The total for these budget busters is more than $9,500 a year.