Are You Spending Money Like a Typical American?

I recently read an interesting post on Yahoo that documented how Americans, rich and poor, spent their money in 2012.  While I don’t have our 2012 figures, thanks to You Need a Budget (look for a full review coming next week), I can say how we’ve spent our money over the last 3 months.

The typical American’s spending is in black; our spending is in blue:

Transportation:  17%     4%

Housing: 33%     28%

Food:  13%     19.5%

Insurance:  11%     N/A

Health Care:  7%     3%

Entertainment:  5%     .05%

Cash Contributions:  4%     ?

Apparel & Services:  3%     .05%

All Other Expenditures:  7%     27% (a significant part of which is debt repayment)

Quarterly Taxes:  10%

Educational Expenses (for kids & husband’s graduate classes):  7.5%

One category that I see missing from the article’s data is taxes.  I included just my self-employment taxes, so missing from our data are the taxes my husband pays as well as our health insurance which comes from my husband’s employer.  I also left out retirement contributions as those also come from my husband’s gross pay and we don’t see them.   I really have no idea what the category cash contributions means.

I was surprised that our transportation costs are so low.  Right now, they are just comprised of gas for our car, which we fill up only one to two times a month, and my husband’s daily train pass.  I’m guessing the typical American’s transportation costs are so high because they have several cars and car payments.  However, our snap shot is only for 3 months, so our expenses will be higher over a year’s time when we add in license fees, insurance, and repairs.

I was also surprised that our housing costs are lower than the national average because it feels like a HUGE portion of our monthly budget goes to housing.

Finally, the article didn’t include debt repayment which I’m sure many Americans struggle with.

What do you think about this study?  How does your spending compare to the typical Americans?

Comments

  1. I’m surprised the study didn’t include debt repayment. I know that plenty of Americans have debt, but maybe they lumped that into ‘All other expenses.’ If I were to compare our bills, our housing is quite a bit more than 28%, but that’s due to living in an expensive city. However, our transportation is much less than 17%, so that’s good.

    • I’m surprised too, and it seems for many, debt repayment would be more than 7%. Good work on keeping your transportation costs low. It must be all that biking!

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