Flushing Our Money Away

Rethinking daily habits.

If you’re like me, you like to do some deep thinking on the toilet. And by deep thinking I mean scrolling through social media and then realizing you’ve been on the toilet 10 minutes longer than you needed to be. One of those deep thinks got me wondering about how much time I spend on my toilet. And then I thought HOW MUCH do I spend on my toilet. And it turns out, before I got Tushy, quite a lot.

Your butt is a sacred place, the area around your butt is a sacred -baby producing- pleasuring-centered place. Yet since the 1930’s we’ve shoved chemically produced paper as far up our holes as possible without much thought. The concept of toilet paper is so ingrained in American culture that it’s almost unfathomable to imagine life without it. But if you travel outside of the states to places like India, Myanmar and even some countries in Europe, you’ll find the inside of a restroom is a hole and a hose.

So is toilet paper an American dream or just another profitable business that consumes more than it gives? It seems like the cost of TP isn’t just hitting our wallets but our health and the environment.

Toilet Paper a sad story

A new survey finds that the average American will spend a staggering $11,198 on toilet paper over the course of their life. (studyfinds.org). Spending $182 annually on toilet paper.

$182 might not seem like a big number but let’s spread that across 50 years and put that money in a market account with a 6% return.

50 year investment = $9100

Because of compound interest that investment would earn you $47,852.97 in gains plus the $9100 you contributed, making the total $57,034. 97

Yeah but don’t you need toilet paper?

Not really. Toilet paper really started to make a name for itself in 1890 when the Scott brothers sold toilet paper on rolls to hotels and drugstores. But most Americans thought the topic of poo was too taboo and didn’t even want to be seen buying it for fear that someone would find out they actually defecate. 😱 It was so uncool that the only way they could sell it was to market it as medicinal.

Then in 1928 the Hoberg Paper Company did what all advertising companies know how to do best, put a beautiful woman on the packaging and a culture was born! Adding to the boom of indoor plumbing in homes, by the 1970s American’s could not imagine a life without toilet paper.

(Hercules, 1998)

American’s spend collectively $6 billion a year on this one product. And it’s becoming a global business even though only 25% of the entire world population use toilet paper. Developing countries that are starstruck by the American dream see toilet paper as a signifier of wealth and prestige.

But the cost is getting richer. “The reality is that those little sanitary rolls are one of the most costly items in the world — both to our wallets and to the environment.” (Business insider)

“Even as the markets boom in developing nations, toilet paper manufacturers find themselves needing to charge more per roll to make a profit. That’s because production costs are rising. During the past few years, pulp has become more expensive, energy costs are rising, and even water is becoming scarce. As the climate continues to change, toilet paper companies may need to keep hiking up their prices.” (Business insider)

It turns out toilet paper is not only really expensive from a consumer and seller perspective but also a health perspective. TP has been linked to several health problems that cost Americans millions of dollars every year. Not to mention itchy butts.

According to The Islander there are 100,000 chemicals used to create paper goods. “Of that, the most dangerous of these toxins is chlorine and unfortunately, most conventional toilet paper is processed with chlorine bleach.” (The Islander) With American’s using 50 pounds of toilet paper EACH per year, we’re all exposing ourselves to quite a bit of toxic chemicals.

TP is also linked to a women’s disease called Vulvovaginitis. Vulvovaginitis is inflammation of vulva and vagina. It is considered a common condition with one third of women suffering from it’s painful, itchy, sticky, smelly uncomfortable side effects. (Why should this be common? 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️) The cost of having Vulvovaginitis range from a doctor’s visit and buying over the counter medicine. “In the United States, it is estimated that women spend $250 million annually on OTC antifungal medications.” (chronic vulvovaginitis) That’s $250 MILLION, JUST for vaginal infections. Not including the cost of the doctors visit!

Hemorrhoids is another problem linked to TP. Women and men both get Hemorrhoids which affects 1 in 20 Americans and 50% of people over 50. While TP doesn’t cause the hemorrhoids it does exacerbate the problem, preventing healing from taking place.

According to Physician’s Weekly; “non-surgical hemorrhoid treatment costs 1.4 million American’s age 18–64 at least $770 million annually” This includes $322 million in physician claims, $361 million in outpatient facility claims and $88 million in prescription medication. — (Physician Weekly)

“These estimates don’t include over-the-counter treatments for hemorrhoids. Those expenditures are likely considerable, too, given that worldwide sales of just one brand, Preparation H, hit $136 million in 2017.”

To recap

6 billion in toilet paper

250 million in OTC vaginal aid

770 million in hemorrhoid support

The cost of toilet paper is triple ply. It impacts our wallets, our health and the environment (which is worthy of it’s own blog).

Everything in life has a cost. How you spend time matters, how you treat your body matters. And a short term decision can create a long term habit with an unfortunate outcome.

Your money and time have WAY more value than a societal habit that actually causes harm to multiple pillars of your life. It does not feel good to have an itchy butt or vulva, it doesn’t feel good to struggle to make ends meet. That’s why at the beginning of Covid I immediately bought two Tushy’s.

Pre covid I was unconsciously consuming toilet paper, stocking it religiously. Even though I had lived in Asia and embodied the benefits of a great poop from squatting and rinsing with a hose, I got sucked back into the American dream.

March 20th the headlines were saying “No toilet paper to be found.” Inciting fear abound.. Toilet paper? Lack of toilet paper? I was like.. I know you don’t really NEED toilet paper. I’ve done it, it’s totally fine. I even kind of liked it!

“Honey, can I please bring the Ottoman with us on vacation?” Are now normal disagreements in my household. How have I lived my life without it?! It truly doesn’t make any sense. Why would I wipe my butt with paper to remove poo, when I can rinse it with water? ONTOP of how happy my butt is, my wallet is also singing its praises. I used to buy toilet paper every 6 weeks. Now I buy toilet paper every 4 months. Going from $172 a year to $80 means almost $100 in savings that I can put towards my future. I feel like I’m doing something right every time I use my Tushy. The environment thanks me, my butthole thanks me and watching my savings grow makes me feel on top of the world.


AJ is a Financial Freedom Coach and the founder of Beyond The Green Coaching. AJ uses a unique method of personal development meets strategic financial planning to help clients understand their finances and change their relationship with money. She goes straight to the root of her clients “money wounds” by transforming their mindsets from scarcity to abundance. AJ has a 8 week course that helps participants - get out of debt and into building wealth. While teaching them the skills to become financially independent and FREE. Join the wait list for January’s course.

Born in NYC, AJ currently lives in Washington, DC with her fiancé Brett who she met at sleep away camp when she was 14!

You can connect with her on social media as AJ Wolbrum or at hello@beyondthegreencoaching.com to learn more www.beyondthegreencoaching.com

AJ is a Financial Freedom Coach and the founder of Beyond The Green Coaching. https://www.beyondthegreencoaching.com/