Screenshot, USA Today Twitter
A screenshot of a tweet from USA Today detailing "the average adult in the USA spends $1,497 a month on nonessential items," according to one study.

SALT LAKE CITY — USA Today recently published a graphic that says you may want to cut back on your lunch.

The graphic, which was shared on Twitter, shows the amount the average American spends on “nonessentials.” In total, Americans spend $18,000 a year on these “nonessentials.”

“The average adult in the USA spends $1,497 a month on nonessential items. All told, that's roughly $18,000 a year on things we can all do without,” according to USA Today.

Here’s a breakdown of those “nonessentials” and how much we all spend.

  • Restaurant meals: $209
  • Drinks: $189
  • Takeout/delivery: $178
  • Buying lunch: $174
  • Impulse purchases: $109
  • Rideshares: $96
  • Personal grooming: $94
  • Subscription boxes: $94
  • Cable: $91
  • Online shopping: $84

The data, according to a USA Today article on the information, comes from research by Ladder and conducted by OnePoll.

Breakdown: The graphic doesn’t explain everything. When you click into the article, you’ll see the “nonessentials” breaks down a little bit more. In additional to all of those topics above, the researchers also suggest Americans spend on these “nonessential” items:

  • Gym classes or memberships: $72.53
  • Paid apps: $23.24
  • TV or movie streaming services: $23.09
  • Music streaming services: $22.41
  • Coffee: $20.25
  • Bottled water: $17.47
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Yes, but: Some of these might seem like essentials, right? Well, USA Today’s post, written by The Motley Fool, admits there are ways to cut back.

  • “Now you might argue that gym classes are an essential component of staying healthy, and rideshares are a means of traveling safely. But many of these costs can easily be minimized or eliminated without affecting your well-being. Take restaurant meals, for example. If anything, they tend to lead to overeating, and at more than $200 a month, they're eating up a large chunk of the average American's income.”

Still, the post inspired a wealth of reactions to USA Today’s post.