Money

The top 10 ways Americans waste money

It's easy to over-spend. Even the most budget-conscious consumer can end up mindlessly swiping a credit card to buy groceries that go uneaten, or leaving the A/C on when no one's home, or forgetting to return an ill-fitting shirt on time.

To find out what tempts Americans most and how they're most likely to squander their hard-earned dollars, Professional resources site Hloom surveyed 2,000 people and compiled a report on the United States of Financial Waste.

The results are telling.

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Mike Harrington | Getty Images

Nearly 70 percent of Americans say they waste money on eating out, but they're willing to cut back on that. By contrast, they aren't willing to reduce spending on uneaten or expired food.

Nearly 12 percent say they waste money on cigarettes and almost seven percent cop to playing the lottery — and survey respondents say they're open to eliminating both of those habits.

Other small luxuries of modern life have become sacrosanct. Streaming services (18.5 percent of respondents), tech gadgets (15 percent) and bottled water (11 percent) may be wasteful, but Americans have decided they're necessary.

How else are Americans frittering away their cash? Check out the top money wasters below.

Want to make a change? Learn how to create a waste-free grocery list and see if you're throwing money away on any of these 13 useless items.

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