12 Habits That Are Costing You Money

iStock
iStock

Ever wonder why your bank account is never as full as you’d like it to be? If you’re not splurging on big purchases, taking exotic vacations, or dining at fancy restaurants, it could be because you’ve picked up a few bad habits that are costing you money. Here are 12 behavior patterns you should avoid if you’re trying to conserve cash. 

1. BUYING COFFEE

Americans spend an average amount of $21.32 per week on beverages brewed at a coffee shop. By purchasing a to-go cup and a French press (or taking advantage of your office’s communal coffee pot), you could save $1108.64 over the course of one year. 

2. SKIPPING THE GYM 

Whether you belong to a discount chain gym or a pricey designer fitness boutique, you’re still squandering cash if you’re sitting at home instead of lifting weights or going to yoga class. The average monthly cost of a gym membership is $58, and studies indicate that about $39 of that goes to waste due to underutilization. 

3. HITTING THE ATM 

While it’s always good to have extra cash in your wallet, minor ATM fines add up over time. The average fee to withdraw funds from an ATM that’s not affiliated with your bank is $4.52 (seriously!). If that’s not enough to curb your trips to the ATM, know that Americans spent $7 billion on ATM fees in 2010. 

4. DRINKING 

According to national statistics, the average American devotes 1 percent of all their spending—that’s $1 of every $100—to alcohol. Restaurants or bars are expensive, but even by drinking a $15 bottle of wine at home every weekend you’re still spending more than $60 per month.

5. GOING OUT FOR LUNCH 

A few years ago, one major credit card company surveyed 1003 adults across America. On average, they went out to lunch twice a week and spent $10 each time. If they had brown-bagged it, they could have saved $20 a week. 

6. OVERDRAWING YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT 

While the amount varies from bank to bank, the median nationwide cost of an overdraft fee is $34. Monitor your checking account on a regular basis to make sure you’re not withdrawing too much money. If you’re a repeat offender, consider getting overdraft protection, which links your checking account to a savings account or a line of credit. If your balance is too low, the bank will automatically deposit money from the linked account to your checking. There’s typically a fee for these transfers, but it’s much lower than overdraft fees. 

7. PLAYING THE LOTTERY 

Even though tickets for the last big jackpot were only $2, your odds of winning were 1 in 292.2 million—the same as your odds of flipping a coin and getting heads 28 times in a row. If splurging on a ticket here and there doesn’t seem like it will break the bank, reflect on the fact that Americans spent $70 billion on lotto games in 2014. 

8. TOSSING LEFTOVER FOOD   

According to some estimates, the average American tosses 20 percent of the food he or she buys at the supermarket into the garbage. This wasteful habit ends up costing them $375 per year. 

9. AVOIDING THE AUTO SHOP   

Skimping on vehicle maintenance can cost you big time. Americans spend over $2 billion each year on major repairs or other related costs because they don’t change dirty or low-level fluids or replace filters, belts, and hoses. 

10. PAYING YOUR CREDIT CARD BILLS LATE 

Typically, credit card companies charge you a $25 to $35 fee per late payment—not to mention the havoc it’s wreaking on your credit. If you consistently forget to pay your card bills on time, think about setting up calendar alerts, or arrange for automatic payments.

11. AVOIDING YOUR STUDENT LOANS 

With interest rates ranging from 4 to 7 percent, federal student loans can quickly snowball out of control if you don’t make regular payments. (Interest rates for private loans can run even higher.) 

12. BUYING NAME-BRAND PRODUCTS 

While brand recognition is reassuring, many generic food products, medicines, and household products are just as good as their fancily packaged counterparts. They’re way cheaper, too. 

The 10 Best Memorial Day 2020 Sales

iRobot,GoWise,Funko via Wayfair, Entertainment Earth
iRobot,GoWise,Funko via Wayfair, Entertainment Earth

The Memorial Day sales have started early this year, and it's easy to find yourself drowning in offers for cheap mattresses, appliances, shoes, and grills. To help you cut through the noise and focus on the best deals around, we threw together some of our favorite Memorial Day sales going on right now. Take a look below.

1. Leesa

A Leesa Hybrid mattress.
A Leesa Hybrid mattress.
Leesa

Through May 31, you can save up to $400 on every mattress model Leesa has to offer, from the value-minded Studio by Leesa design to the premium Leesa Legend, which touts a combination of memory foam and micro-coil springs to keep you comfortable in any position you sleep in.

Find it: Leesa

2. Sur La Table

This one is labeled as simply a “summer sale,” but the deals are good only through Memorial Day, so you should get to it quickly. This sale takes up to 20 percent off outdoor grilling and dining essentials, like cast-iron shrimp pans ($32), a stainless steel burger-grilling basket ($16), and, of course, your choice of barbeque sauce to go along with it.

Find it: Sur la Table

3. Wayfair

KitchenAid Stand Mixer on Sale on Wayfair.
Wayfair/KitchenAid

Wayfair is cutting prices on all manner of appliances until May 28. Though you can pretty much find any home appliance imaginable at a low price, the sale is highlighted by $130 off a KitchenAid stand mixer and 62 percent off this eight-in-one GoWise air fryer.

And that’s only part of the brand’s multiple Memorial Day sales, which you can browse here. They’re also taking up to 40 percent off Samsung refrigerators and washing machines, up to 65 percent off living room furniture, and up to 60 percent off mattresses.

Find it: Wayfair

4. Blue Apron

If you sign up for a Blue Apron subscription before May 26, you’ll save $20 on each of your first three box deliveries, totaling $60 in savings. 

Find it: Blue Apron

5. The PBS Store

Score 20 percent off sitewide at Shop.PBS.org when you use the promo code TAKE20. This slashes prices on everything from documentaries like Ken Burns’s The Roosevelt: An Intimate History ($48) and The Civil War ($64) to a Pride & Prejudice tote bag ($27) and this precious heat-changing King Henry VIII mug ($11) that reveals the fates of his many wives when you pour your morning coffee.

Find it: The PBS Store

6. Amazon

eufy robot vacuum.
Amazon/eufy

While Amazon doesn’t have an official Memorial Day sale, the ecommerce giant still has plenty of ever-changing deals to pick from. Right now, you can take $100 off this outdoor grill from Weber, $70 off a eufy robot vacuum, and 22 percent off the ASUS gaming laptop. For more deals, just go to Amazon and have a look around.

7. Backcountry

You can save up to 50 percent on tents, hiking packs, outdoor wear, and more from brands like Patagonia, Marmot, and others during Backcountry's Memorial Day sale.

Find it: Backcountry

8. Entertainment Earth

Funko Pops on Sale on Entertainment Earth.
Entertainment Earth/Funko

From now until June 2, Entertainment Earth is having a buy one, get one half off sale on select Funko Pops. This includes stalwarts like the Star Wars and Batman lines, and more recent additions like the Schitt's Creek Funkos and the pre-orders for the upcoming X-Men movie line.

Find it: Entertainment Earth

9. Moosejaw

With the promo code SUNSCREEN, you can take 20 percent off one full-price item at Moosejaw, along with finding up to 30 percent off select items during the outdoor brand's summer sale. These deals include casual clothing, outdoor wear, trail sneakers, and more. 

Find it: Moosejaw

10. Osprey

Through May 25, you can save 25 percent on select summer items, and 40 percent off products from last season. This can include anything from hiking packs and luggage to outdoorsy socks and hats. So if you're planning on getting acquainted with the great outdoors this summer, now you can do it on the cheap.

Find it: Osprey

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

25 Classic TV Series Audiences Most Want to See Make a Comeback

Will the iconic cast of The Office reunite in the future? Fans hope so.
Will the iconic cast of The Office reunite in the future? Fans hope so.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

There’s definitely no shortage of new television shows to watch these days, but the recent slew of series revivals offers nostalgists the unique opportunity to catch up with their favorite fictional characters without streaming reruns on a loop.

So which TV shows are viewers most eager to see return to screens? To find out, UK-based digital retailer OnBuy analyzed Google search data for a variety of classic series—paired with terms like reunion, new series, and new season—and ranked them in order of average monthly search volume.

Reunion specials or spin-off series have already been announced for some of the shows on the list, so fans could be looking for the latest update on production status or premiere date. For the nearly 90,000 people googling for information about the highly anticipated Friends reunion, which tops the list, we have great news: Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, and the rest of the gang will reportedly film it this summer. Game of Thrones came in a not-so-close second, with an average monthly search volume of almost 34,000; there’s been quite a bit of talk surrounding HBO’s alleged four prequel shows for George R.R. Martin’s series, but it looks like the earliest we’ll get to see one is 2022.

Other series on the list have already made comebacks, but some of them left a few loose ends untied or open to interpretation—Gilmore Girls and Twin Peaks, for example—giving audiences a reason to hope there might be yet another season on the way.

And then, of course, there are plenty of perpetually popular shows that still haven’t been (and might never be) rebooted. Steve Carell has said in the past that a revival of The Office, fifth on the list, is a bad idea, and creator Greg Daniels thinks it’s highly unlikely.

See the top 25 list below, and pass the time while you’re waiting for your favorite show to return to TV with these 50 great series to binge-watch.

  1. Friends // 88,390
  1. Game of Thrones // 33,880
  1. Dallas // 24,760
  1. Criminal Minds // 13,620
  1. The Office // 5210
  1. Orange Is the New Black // 3750
  1. Breaking Bad // 3430
  1. Seinfeld // 3120
  1. Gilmore Girls // 2700
  1. Roseanne // 2310
  1. One Tree Hill // 2110
  1. Veep // 1990
  1. Modern Family // 1980
  1. Twin Peaks // 1810
  1. House of Cards // 1710
  1. Gossip Girl // 1360
  1. Cheers // 710
  1. Happy Days // 670
  1. Frasier // 560
  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer // 530
  1. Mad Men // 510
  1. ER // 360
  1. The Big Bang Theory // 320
  1. How I Met Your Mother // 310
  1. The Wire // 300

[h/t OnBuy]