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

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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.

It didn’t take long for the tweet to go viral and get ratio’ed as heck, as people were quick to point out the flaws with the, uh, logic.

A lot of people also had the same observations about what a life insurance company deems “nonessential…”

Others just dunked on the thing with well deserved jokes:

Tl;dr, never entrust a life insurance company to advise on your personal spending habits.

(Via USA Today)