6 really dumb ways Americans waste money

Bonds

1. Overspending on Education

The U.S. spends more on student education each year than most other countries, according to a 2013 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Yet despite spending more, American students don’t perform as well on test scores.

Furthermore, college tuition continues to climb in the U.S. and family income hasn’t kept up, according to a recent report from The College Board.

Choosing to stay inside your home state for college can be a smart move for your pocketbook. Average in-state tuition and fees at a public university is $9,650. You’ll pay more than $15,000 to cross state lines, with average out-of-state tuition and fees at public universities at $24,930. Meanwhile, tuition and fees at private colleges averages $33,480.

Find Out: Student Loan Debt: Is College Tuition Worth the Cost?

If you really don’t want to waste money, consider community college, said Timothy Wiedman, a retired associate professor of management and human resources at Doane University in Crete, Neb. The average cost of in-state tuition and fees at a community college is $3,520.

“Completing a two-year transfer program locally while living at home — and then transferring to a more expensive four-year school to complete a bachelor degree — will often save a great deal of money,” he said. And the coursework will be virtually identical, he added.

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