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Frugalistas Frugalistas

Budget Breaking Discretionary Spending

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Hair cut

Spending habit: $32 bi-monthly trim Annual spending: $192 Career spending: $7,680 Potential Career Return if you let it grow and invested into a Roth IRA: $31,497

Music Downloads

Spending habit: 2 albums per month at $9.99 Annual spending: $239.76 Career spending: $9,590 Potential Career Return if you opened a Pandora account and invested into a Roth IRA: $39,207

Daily paper

Spending habit: $.75 daily Annual spending: $273 Career spending: $10,920 Potential Career Return if you got your news online and invested into a Roth IRA: $44,785

Morning coffee

Spending habit: $1.38 daily on weekdays Annual spending: $358 Career spending: $14,351 Potential Career Return if you brewed your own and invested into a Roth IRA: $58,729

Hair color

Spending habit: $75 bi-monthly touch up Annual spending: $450 Career spending: $18,000 Potential Career Return if you went au naturale and invested into a Roth IRA: $73,821

Manicure

Spending habit: $10 weekly Annual spending: $520 Career spending: $20,800 Potential Career Return if invested into a Roth IRA: $85,304

Starbucks (OMG - I am guilty of this almost daily, my drink costs just over $4)

Spending habit: $3.10 daily on weekdays Annual spending: $806 Career spending: $32,240 Potential Career Return if you made your own and invested into a Roth IRA: $132,222

Gym membership

Spending habit:$80 monthly membership Annual spending: $960 Career spending: $38,400 Potential Career Return if you took up running and invested into a Roth IRA: $157,485

Lunch

Spending habit: $7 daily on weekdays Annual spending: $1,820 Career spending: $72,800 Potential Career Return if invested into a Roth IRA: $298,568

When it comes to spending, what’s your morning M.O.?

If you’re like most Americans, you’re stopping on the way to work to grab a cup of coffee.

And all that coffee adds up.

At a national average cost of $1.38 per cup, that’s an annual spending of $358. Spin that out over the course of your career and you might find you’ve dropped over $14,000 on morning joe.

Pick your jaw up off the floor.

“The money we spend every day is so easy to overlook,” says Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest. “What’s important is to help people really frame the little spending and how it adds up.”

In the interest of scaring you straight, we’ve broken up how all of those little discretionary purchases add up over the course of an average 40-year career of living—and looking–good.

“Most women get their hair cut and/or colored six times a year,” says Steph Goldwin, a NYC-based stylist. While costs for these services vary widely from city to city and surely from salon to salon, American Salon, a publication for beauty industry professionals, reported the numbers as $21 for a cut in a salon with fewer than 6 chairs, and $44 for a salon with more than 13 chairs for an average of $32. Annual spend? $192. But Goldwin, whose cuts run upwards of $80 a session, warns that adding a color treatment can add close to $100 to each visit. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll call a cut and color $125. Annually? $750. After 40 years that’s a salon bill of $30,000—how’s that for keeping your roots from going gray?

Are you a woman who falls prey to the weekly manicure trap? At $10 a week you’ll drop $520 each year. After a 40-year career of perfectly manicured fingertips, you’ll have shelled out nearly $21,000.

Buy a daily paper? $11,000.

Go out to lunch during the workweek? $72,000.

Prefer a Starbucks latte to your average cup of coffee? $32,000.


by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Replies (11-20):
caseyloo
by Casey on Jan. 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

 I don't do these either.  I just won't waste the money when it could go to more important things.  Although I do miss getting my hair professionally cut more often.

JakeandEmmasMom
by Silver Member on Jan. 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM

 I don't do any of those things.  I can't remember the last time I downloaded music.  The last time I got my haircut, I went to a beauty school and it only cost $4.  I do get my nails done every once in a while, but it is a treat.

a_and_j_momma
by on Jan. 23, 2013 at 10:11 AM
I must be the odd ball lol. My hair is $200 when I do it and I buy Starbucks close to daily. The Starbucks number was an eye opener
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princess_1983
by Bronze Member on Jan. 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM

I get a manicure once every couple of months. I get my hair cut maybe twice a year. I do download music from itunes but not that often.

nmaxwell816
by on Jan. 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM
I buy a newspaper every Sunday.
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KenzieQsMommy
by Heather on Jan. 23, 2013 at 1:08 PM
I only get my hair done if my aunt does it for free and I buy coffee to make at home because I need the jolt. I dont do anything else on the list
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Mommy4-27-08
by Member on Jan. 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM
I get my hair cut usually twice a year and occasionally get it highlighted or permed but I use groupon and do it like once every two years. I also got a keurig so no more coffee from Starbucks unless I have a gift card. And I don't buy a paper unless it's thanksgiving.
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choaspartyof4
by Bronze Member on Jan. 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Uhoh I do a couple things on this list... I get my hair highlighted and trimmed every 6 weeks and its $120 each time. We also have a gym membership that is only 200 a year for our family. We use it 4 times a week so its worth it to us.

my4boys2002
by on Jan. 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM
I'm trying to break habits, I get coffee out all the time, weekly manicures and have a gym membership.
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bertie4
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:48 AM

I don't do any of these. I fix coffee at home, and bring lunch except one day. I splurge one day just because I deserve it. I don't do any of the other things. I color my own hair.

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