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Examining the cost of the American Dream

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The American Dream used to be a chicken in every pot and a white picket fence. It is continually expanding and now includes two cars, cell phones, and coffee from a coffee shop every day. The cost of living is going up, but we’re spending a lot of money on things we probably don’t really have to. This is leading us into a debt crisis that is harming even the most financially responsible among us.

Twenty years ago, almost no one had a cell phone. They were seen as a luxury for those who had plenty of money to burn. Now they are seen as a necessity, and 59% of cell phone users spend $100 or more per month on them. An astonishing 21% spend more per month on their cell phones than they do groceries, and 13% spend more than $200 a month.

Coffee used to be consumed at home and was relatively inexpensive. Now the average American spends $20 a week on coffee. That works out to $1092 per year on coffee, which is slightly less than the average cost of commuting to work. When you add in an average of $37 per week that individuals spend on eating lunch out rather than taking their lunch to work, that’s over $200 a month the average person could be putting into a savings account.

If you want to be able to afford your American Dream, make work ethic a priority. Be frugal when you don’t have to be, and make saving money a priority. Most importantly, don’t spend money you don’t have. Keep your expectations realistic and be happy with what you have. To learn more about how to keep the American Dream alive, check out this infographic. Examine your finances closely and decide where you can make cuts and save money.