Interesting chart showing a breakdown of where the family budget goues:

via infographiclist

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Retail

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14 Responses to “American Familys’ Money: Where Does It Go?”

  1. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    “consumer units” says it all.

  2. econimonium says:

    Petey I don’t get your point. What in this chart is “discretionary” and what isn’t? Before you go slinging around a epithet, ask yourself what is “consumerish” about paying for housing? Transportation? Pensions? Food at home? Health care? This tells us nothing about basics vs. non-basics. Just aggregate spending.

  3. the pearl says:

    Petey doesn’t ask himself anything. He is Pavlovian. Barry rings the bell, Petey must respond.

  4. Petey Wheatstraw says:


    I don’t get your point. I didn’t sling an epithet — “consumer units” is in the chart, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.

    The average US “consumer unit” is 49.4 years old and contains 2.5 people, of which 1.3 are wage-earners? It’s not a person, and it’s not a family, it’s a “consumer unit.” I’m commenting on language and what would appear to be an arbitrary “unit.” Maybe it’s not arbitrary, and maybe it does mean family in government-speak.

    What happened to the idea that we could have an average consumer or an average family? would that skew the data or the results? If so, why? Does the epithet “consumer unit” make things clearer?

    I wonder how a “producer unit” would be defined by the Labor Dept.

  5. 12 gauge says:

    …how the consumer unit spend their annual paycheck.

    I note they display the income before taxes and then the average annual expeditures. It leaves about 22% left for those taxes. So, in effect the Unit saves nothing per year, if not a bit in the hole. Only the federal government would omit what the Unit “spends” in taxes with his gross income.

  6. Dow says:

    Calculator says…the tax rate is too low.

    If the above assumes $62,857 in income less $49,067 = $13,790 in taxes of which $3,897 goes to Social Security and $911 goes to Medicare. Leaving $8,982 (roughly 15%) for the remaining federal, state and local taxes.

    Somebody else play with the math.

  7. arcticpup says:

    What is interesting is that when you sum those averages of what the average consumer unit spends annually, is that the average american “unit” actually spends more than their after tax income.

  8. Minmex says:

    Health Care cost seems awful light. I would be very glad to pay only that much a year.

    Company pays for me, but I pay for the wife and kids about 2x what is listed there just for premiums, not including deductibles, etc..

  9. river says:

    The health care part gets short changed, because out of a 62000 income, the employer probably pays another 7000 to 9000 directly for the employer portion of the insurance. And then, most years you don’t have any costs, but then the one year you have a baby, you end up with some big expenses.

    Also, there isn’t any line for student loans on that list.

  10. willid3 says:

    what is counted as part of health care, and housing?
    seems either we are paying a log for housing (1400 a month seems sort of high. but maybe its close to being low in some places). and rental housing? whats that suppose to be?

    and 260 a month for health care???? seems really really low. for a family.
    unless its really junk insurance. in which case we have over looked the rest of what they spend on it).
    and what are we spending on entertainment? its almost as high much as health care. which doesn’t seem any where close to right

    not so sure about that food budget either. our food budget maybe on the low side (at home we spend about 400-500 a month). and we don’t buy but once a month as a rule, and we aren’t very extravagant. and eating out might 100 a month n0rmally
    and what happened to electricity and other utilities?

  11. BusSchDean says:

    Petey: Don’t blame the gov’t (though of course that does not make the gov’t blameless). They have struggled for years with terminology as the make-up of a “household” and “family” have changed. We have seen a significant increase in one-person households, households comprised of unmarried and unrelated adults, families of unmarried adults with children of one or the other or both, families of adults who cannot marry (e.g., not legally divorced, gay, lesbian, etc.). Part of the goal, of course, is to create labels that are comparable over time. So we get the homogenized term of “unit.” Think of “Mork and Mindy.”

  12. victor says:

    It would be even more interesting to see charts like this drawn for say quintiles of incomes. This one throws the many Wal-Mart shoppers and the few Neiman Marcus ones into one big hopper, mixes them well and voila, the mother of all averages, the “consumer unit”.

  13. Greg0658 says:

    victor that would be privately collected data .. and valuable for resale to wagers (or not .. & very lucrative)
    ask Visa & MasterCard .. but now there are holes in the data thanks to those Wal*Mart & Target specialty cards

    as we continue down this FMCitBPtP and away from the milleniums old agriculture economy > that movie with the RFid time(debt)chip imbed into the forearm seems closer to reality …. wait till the SuperComputer sees the balance of this livestock creature culture: is more valueable A> alive B> perished
    A> feed it B> harvest it

    psst – I can’t get a grasp on how moms & dads (or boys & girls) should react .. if this is believed

  14. TennesseeCPA says:

    Thanks, Dow. Looks like they de-emphasized all the tax we pay. Probably some tax in that “everything else” category. ‘Nother day, another dollar.