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Money Drains

Money Drains

Kimber over at No Limit Ladies posted recently about’s list of top 10 money drains. I read through the brief list and thought “Wow, coffee is number 1?” But based on some of the Starbuck’s habits I’ve seen, it didn’t seem too implausible. Then I read the more detailed list and realized that they appeared to be in random order. I thought it might be interesting to see them in order from the biggest drain to the smallest. I had to do a tiny bit of fussing with them to get them all on an annual basis, but here is the re-ordered listing:


1. Alcohol – (two beers out per day) = $3,650 per year.
2. Weekday lunches out (5 days per week) = $2,350 a year.
3. Cigarettes (a pack a day) = $1,660 per year.
4. Manicures (one manicure per week) = $1,068 per year.
5. Interest charges on credit card bills (at the median debt of $6,600 @ 13.44% interest) = $887 per year.
6. Unused gym memberships = $480 per year.
7. Bottled water (one bottle of water per day) = $365 per year.
8. Coffee (one coffee every weekday) = $360 per year.
9. Car detailing (six times per year) = $348 per year.
10. Vending machines snacks (one snack per weekday) = $260 per year.


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Total if you had all of these money drains = $11,428 per year per person (plus I imagine some massive health bills…)

It’s interesting that the majority of these money drains are “bad habits” (drinking, smoking, eating out too much, spending money we don’t have, avoiding exercise, drinking caffeine & eating junk food, etc). Apparently simply cleaning up your life can save money.

View Comments (3)
  • Not to mention all that extra environmental waste – plastic bottles filling up landfills, styrofoam cups and plastic wrappers…

    Of the list, I am possibly guilty of maybe #7 (when I’m out for a long walk and I forgot my water) or #8, but I don’t drink coffee, and I’ve switched to just drinking tea or tap water and keeping it in my pink Starbucks mug to make it feel more special :P

  • Wow, that’s a lot of beer. I reckon it to be twice the recommended amount for women. I think I’ll stick to my more occasional drink out.

  • I’ll take a bit of #1, a helping of #2 and oh, why not lets go for #3. Most of the items on the list are simply part of how many people live their lives. The latte a day factor (say 5$ for those overpriced coffees) really adds up. The $11K per year does not surprise me in any way. Its all the small pieces that we just don’t pay attention to and they all add up.

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