7 guilty pleasures that drain your bank account

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How many times have you assumed you had money in the bank, only to find that most of it has gone, thanks to monthly subscriptions, expensive indulgences, and foolish spending on guilty pleasures?

If you’re like many people, it’s easy to lose sight of your daily and monthly expenses. But paying attention to expenses and fees that drain your bank account can help you save money for emergency savings, retirement, vacations, major purchases, and milestones like buying a home. or starting a family.

Curious to know where all your money goes each month? Check out these guilty pleasures that could be the culprits behind your bank account shrinking.

1. Convenience store purchases

Woman shopping in a convenience store
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The average profit margin for most grocery stores is only about 2.2%, according to retail software provider POS Nation. Meanwhile, for convenience stores, a good profit margin is 25% or more, according to the same source.

So if you regularly stop at convenience stores for snacks, drinks, and other foods, that indulgence drains your bank account daily. The same goes for pet food, cosmetics, and other items you could buy at the grocery store for much less.

To fix that daily drain, stock up on snacks, drinks, toiletries, and other items at the grocery store instead.

2. Baths

Woman filling a bathtub
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You might like to soak in a hot bath and let your problems melt away. But did you know that taking luxury baths regularly increases the water bill?

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), a government scientific research agency, a “full bath” (which varies by bather preference) uses an average of 36 gallons of water. A shower only uses about 5 gallons per minute, and a low-flow showerhead uses about 2 gallons per minute.

If you like baths, however, you don’t have to deprive yourself completely. Take a hot bath once in a while or soak in the hot tub at your gym for a dose of bath time.

3. Impulse purchases online

Man opening holiday gift on video call
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Shopping online out of boredom, curiosity, or because that’s how you deal with your emotions can cost your bank account dearly when it comes to paying debit or credit card fees, especially when you add credit card interest charges if you have a balance.

The next time you feel like buying an item online on impulse, wait a day before hitting checkout. Chances are the mood will pass and you’ll keep that money in your bank account instead of spending it on items you don’t need.

4. Food or grocery delivery

Delivery man.
New Africa / Shutterstock.com

Have you continued the food or grocery delivery habit you picked up during the pandemic? If so, you’re probably spending a lot of money on groceries, Door Dash, Uber Eats, and other delivery charges and tips.

Food delivery fees in popular services range from $2 to $10, plus additional fees and a tip, according to Food Delivery Guru. Some restaurants also mark up food prices for delivery, increasing the total cost by up to 91%, according to The New York Times.

To save on delivery costs, shop at the grocery store or pick up your groceries with curbside service. Go old school and drive your car to pick up takeaway food from a nearby restaurant.

5. Phone App Subscriptions

Man receiving unwanted call
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Nobody wants to listen to the veggies chatting in an Aldi ad while they’re having fun with a music streaming app. So paying $10 a month for an ad-free subscription might just be worth the cost.

However, add multiple phone app subscription services and you could end up spending between $20 and $40 in subscription fees each month. It may not seem like much, but the annual cost of $240 to $480 adds up.

6. Lottery tickets

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If you’re hoping to quit your job and/or fund your retirement with lottery winnings, your chances of getting rich are virtually non-existent. For example, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 303 million. The odds for the $1 million Mega Millions prize are 1 in 13 million.

Still, lottery ticket buyers shell out an average of about $70 a month, with people ages 65 to 74 spending an average of more than $130 a month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It’s money you could spend on groceries, gas, vacations and more. So kick the lottery ticket habit and put that money into savings or invest it in a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement account instead.

7. Run spontaneous errands

Senior driver
poet of light / Shutterstock.com

With national gas prices averaging around $3.80 a gallon at the start of October according to Gas Buddy, jumping in the car to do each errand separately can add to monthly gas expenses quickly. To save money on this energy-intensive expense, plan multiple errands in one trip instead.

About Ren Valdez

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