Are You the “Average” Spender?

Watching your expenses eat up every paycheck, you might think you’re spending more than the average American. Do other moms and dads have anything left to save? Is everyone spending more for groceries these days?

As you might suspect, the government tracks it. The U.S. Department of Labor releases its consumer expenditure comparison regularly, and considers the average U.S. family as 2.5 people, which includes 1.3 wage earners.

If you are average, you are 48.8 years, own 1.9 vehicles and spend $49,638 out of annual household income of $63,091 (before taxes), says Department of Labor surveys. Add in the standard tax rate…and your paycheck is gone. (By the way, 2 out of 3 are homeowners, while the other rents.)

Here’s the latest annual pattern on how we dole out our paycheck:*
Housing………34.1% (shelter, utilities, public services, furnishings)
Transportation..17.6% (vehicle, gas, maintenance)
Food…………12.4% ($3,465 at home + $2668 away from home)
Insurance…….10.8% (health insurance, pension contributions)
Health care….. 5.7%
Recreation…… 5.4% (entertainment, reading materials)
Clothing…….. 3.8%
Education……. 2.1%
Alcohol/tobacco. 1.6%
Personal care… 1.2%
Miscellaneous… 3.7%
* Based on U.S. Department of Labor, consumer expenditures data

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