How The Average American Spends Their Money [Infographic]

This week’s infographic may take a tilt of the head at first to read, but don’t fret. It gets much easier to read and understand after the intro paragraphs. It’s a great visual guide to what we owe and where we spend our money–or at least how the “average American” does so.

You already know that average Americans love spending. And they’re spending away to the tune of $2,600 a month on goods and services. That’s on top of the average consumer debt of $8000 per person. How does the average American wage earner afford this luxurious existence?

How The Average American Spends Their Money Monthly:

  • Clothing and Footwear: $95.43. If I spent this much a month I process I’d beat out Macklemore for best dressed.
  • Pharmaceuticals: $79.97. Maybe if people bought a gym membership and better food this wouldn’t be so high. This is on top of their premiums!
  • Groceries: $137.63
  • Musical Instruments: $1.53. So sad. So sad.
  • And the insight list goes on below…

I must say I was confused by the fact that housing utilities is higher than rental or mortgage payments.

Average American Debt

1943: $48 per person
1981: $1,026
2012: $8,454

Inflation of course is a factor, and people in 1943 couldn’t easily ascertain loans and debt. They weren’t forking out cash for medicine and surgeries. I suppose dying young or being active and healthy had it perks back then.

Many times credit card debt is worthy debt–paying the bills for diapers or meals while at university. Sometimes people get better credit card “loan” rates than they do on their college loans. But the fact of the matter is, Average Americans are carrying more debt than they should when they look at where their monthly spending goes.

Take a look at this excellent infographic and let us know what you think Americans should do about their money problem!

average american

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  1. Not sure I understand how people are paying so much each month for new cars. I never get that. Buy your vehicle and let it get you from A to B! Stop buying a new car every year like it’s some crazy accessory! It’s just a tranpsortaiton thing. You need it to get you to work and home. STOP BUYING NEW CARS!!! They’re so expensive. Drive the one you have until it dies. THEN buy a new car. And of course, never buy new.

    • I bought my car 10 years ago, and have 135k on it. I want to sell it before it starts becoming unreliable, b/c for work I of course need a reliable car and don’t want to blow money on it in emergencies.

      What I like about buying new cars is you can get exactly what you want and know it’s historic–it hasn’t been in any wrecks, etc. I’ve heard people say as soon as you drive it off the lot you drive off $4000 in value. But I’ve never sold my car as soon as I drove off the lot so that shouldn’t be a problem. If you buy cars right now—Memorial Day weekend always has good deals–you can save that $4000 in dealer and factory rebates and get a new car for the price of a slightly used one.

      Man, I need to write an article about this?

  2. As I look through what people spend their money on and the balances, I realize I made pretty good choices. I have very little debt and it will be paid off within 4 years before I retire.

    • Good to hear! I think there’s a pretty bad stigma about debt, but it’s not all bad. Regardless, we shouldn’t let it weigh us down emotionally. Medical debt, mortgages, school debt, and spending money while unemployed may not always be the best thing, but if it’s necessary, it’s not something that we should allow to feel like a drag.

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