Wasting Money: 17 Things We’re Mindlessly Spending Money On

HuffpostLiving.com, Arti Patel

If your weekend outings include last-minute city parking spots, overpriced drinks at bars or a few dollars wasted on ATM transactions, just remember, every little dime adds up.

“The typical Canadian has no idea how much money they spend,” says Geoffrey Morgan, spokesperson for online money management website Mint.com. “Our users tell us they spend a lot of money eating out. [When users track expenses] at least 90 per cent of people change their financial habits and the biggest chunk, 50 per cent, spend less money eating out,” he says.

So all those morning bagels and $10 sandwich combos are definitely taking their toll. Spending $10 a day on lunch can add up to $2,600 a year, while spending $2.75 on your favourite coffee can cost you $1,300 a year. When you look at the bigger number, your coffee probably doesn’t taste as good.

And if you’re worried about overspending, you should be. Since last year, the average Canadian household had $11 less spending power per month in February 2012, according to a recent study by Walmart Canada. The study, however, also found that Atlantic provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia saw an increase in spending power.

Breaking bad spending habits can be difficult but not impossible, says Cynthia J. Kett, chartered accountant and certified financial planner of Stewart & Kett Financial Advisors Inc. in Toronto.

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