12 Habits That Are Costing You Money


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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.) 


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. 

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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6 Too-Cool Facts About Henry Winkler for His 75th Birthday

Getty Images
Getty Images

Henry Winkler thumbs-upped his way into America’s hearts as the Fonz in Happy Days more than 40 years ago, and he hasn’t been out of the spotlight since—whether it’s playing himself in an Adam Sandler movie, a hospital administrator with a weird obsession with butterflies in Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital, the world's worst lawyer in Arrested Development, a pantomiming Captain Hook on the London stage, or the world's most lovable acting coach to a contract killer in Barry

1. Henry Winkler made up a Shakespeare monologue to get into the Yale School of Drama.

After graduating from Emerson College, Winkler applied to Yale University’s drama program. In his audition, he had to do two scenes, a modern and a classic comedy. However, when he arrived at his audition, he forgot the Shakespeare monologue he had planned to recite. So he made something up on the spot. He was still selected for one of 25 spots in the program. 



In the fifth season of Happy Days, the Fonz grabbed a pair of water skis and jumped over a shark. The phrase “jumping the shark” would become pop culture shorthand for the desperate gimmicks employed by TV writers to keep viewers hooked into a show that’s running out of storylines. But Winkler’s water skiing adventure was partially inspired by his father, who begged his son to tell his co-workers about his past as a water ski instructor. When he did, the writers wrote his skills into the show. Winkler would later reference the moment in his role as lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn on Arrested Development, hopping over a dead shark lying on a pier.  

3. Henry Winkler is an advocate for dyslexia awareness. 

Winkler struggled throughout high school due to undiagnosed dyslexia. “I didn't read a book until I was 31 years old when I was diagnosed with dyslexia,” he told The Guardian in 2014. He has co-written several chapter books for kids featuring Hank Zipper, a character who has dyslexia. In 2015, a Hank Zipper book is printed in Dyslexie, a special font designed to be easier for kids with dyslexia to read. 

4. Henry Winkler didn't get to ride Fonzie's motorcycle.

On one of his first days on the set of Happy Days, producers told Winkler that he just had to ride the Fonz’s motorcycle a few feet. Because of his dyslexia, he couldn’t figure out the vehicle’s controls, he told an interviewer with the Archive of American Television. “I gunned it and rammed into the sound truck, nearly killed the director of photography, put the bike down, and slid under the truck,” he recalled. For the next 10 years, whenever he appeared on the motorcycle, the bike was actually sitting on top of a wheeled platform. 

5. Henry Winkler has performed with MGMT. 

In addition to his roles on BarryArrested Development, Royal Pains, Parks and Recreation, and more, Winkler has popped up in a few unexpected places in recent years. He appeared for a brief second in the music video for MGMT’s “Your Life Is a Lie” in 2013. He later showed up at a Los Angeles music festival to play the cowbell with the band, too.

6. Henry Winkler won his first Emmy at the age of 72.

The seventh time was a charm for Henry Winkler. In 2018, at the age of 72—though just shy of his 73rd birthday—Winkler won an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as acting teacher Gene Cousineau on Barry. It was the seventh time Winkler had been nominated for an Emmy. His first nomination came in 1976 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Happy Days (he earned an Emmy nod in the same category for Happy Days in 1977 and 1978 as well.

This story has been updated for 2020.