Life Lessons: Secret money wasters

Author: , Anchor / Reporter,
Published: May 02 2013 05:00:00 AM EDT

Studies show 70 percent of all consumer spending in the US is done by women, but where that money really goes may surprise you.

Financial experts say if you don't sit down and make a budget, you might be losing money without even knowing it.

By tracking what comes in and what goes out, they say you can change your financial future.

For example, most people don't realize how much they spend on fast food.

This year alone, Americans will spend more than $110 billion on fast food.

Ditching the fast food habit could save you as much as $1,820 a year!

Using the closest ATM rather than one at your own bank is convenient but costly.

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of New York says it costs most people five bucks a withdrawal, which is about $40 a month and almost $500 a year.

And although it's tempting to try and win the latest lottery, forget about it.

Consumers bought $70 billion worth of Lotto tickets last year and most people buy between $10 to $20 worth a week. That can add up to $1,040 a year.

Studies show where you live could also be costing you.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says many renters dish out about half of their paycheck each month on rent and utilities.

The advice from experts is that you should only spend a third of your paycheck on housing.