A Finance-Shaming Article About ‘Nonessential’ American Spending Has People Fired Up

News & Culture Writer

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Every now and then an article surfaces that seems to lump the spending habits of Americans together in a broad stroke, and it never seems to end well. Such is the case with a “Motley Fool” piece published this week by USA Today, which claims that the average American spends almost $18,000 a year (or, $1,497 per month) on “nonessentials” — including dining out, entertainment, ride shares, and personal grooming, among others.

The article, which cites a research study conducted by OnePoll and was commissioned by Ladder life insurance — which is totally not biased, by the way — makes the argument that by being irresponsible with spending habits, Americans are letting other responsibilities fall the wayside, such as retirement saving and paying off credit cards:

The tendency to splurge consistently on nonessentials is causing Americans to skimp on other important items. Case in point: A good 38% of Americans claim they can’t afford to fund a retirement plan because they don’t have enough money. Meanwhile, 35% say they can’t afford a life insurance policy, 28% can’t afford to pay off credit card debt, and 26% can’t afford car repairs.

The piece was also accompanied by a helpful infographic on Twitter, to really drive the point home about how irresponsible wasteful Americans are with their spending.

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