April 19, 2015

How the Average American Family Spends Its Money

Have you ever wondered how the average American household spends its money? How much goes into food versus shelter or how much money is spent on transportation versus clothing? This great chart helps illustrate the most recent government data on household expenditures by category.

How the Average American Family Household Spends Money

This chart was put together using the Department of Labor's latest survey as of October 2010. It shows how the average American household or average American family spends its money. Source: Visual Economics

  • guest1

    the chart says 2009 but the data is actually from the year end 2007 report….. and this is posted in 2011?

    after the housing crash, this chart is pretty meaningless for anything other than a very general idea of what families spend money on. increase the % on food, transportation, housing and healthcare, reduce entertainment, insurance, personal.

    • Joshua Kennon

      That’s the nature of government data. It’s always been that way, and likely will always be that way. It’s systematic and probably can’t be fixed (I say that from both sides of the experience; one of my family’s manufacturing businesses is part of the Producer Price Index that helps calculate the wholesale inflation rate in the United States. There is no way the government could ever get real time data from us. It would be too big of a distraction.)

  • sarah

    is this yearly or monthly?

    • http://www.joshuakennon.com/ Joshua Kennon

      “Annual” means yearly. To get the monthly figures, you would need to divide everything by 12.