April 15, 2015

23 Consumer Spending Statistics That Will Surprise You

What is the average monthly household expense and how much do we spend on clothing per month? How much money is flowing in and out? Read on for 23 statistics on consumer spending.

Some people are spenders while others are savers. If your hard-earned dough seems to disappear as soon as it hits your bank account, you're not alone. With wages staying fairly flat over the last few years and prices on everything on the rise, getting ahead has become more of a challenge than ever.

CreditDonkey has covered the topic of consumer spending before, but we decided to take a fresh look at just how much money Americans have going in and out each month. We analyzed data from a number of sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve, to pinpoint where the typical person's dollars go and what their biggest expenditures are.


To begin our study, we look at some general statistics on consumer spending, including the average amount spent each year as well as on a monthly basis. From there, we moved on to looking at how the median income compares to spending and how much cash Americans are actively saving.

1. How much does the average consumer spend annually?
On average, the typical American spent $51,100 in 2013, the most recent year for which data was available. That's actually a decrease of 0.7% from the $51,442 spent in 2012.

2. How much do consumers spend on average each month?
For 2013, the average monthly spending per household broke down to $4,258. That's nearly $120 more than consumers spent each month in 2011.

3. What does the average American spend per day?
As of December 2014, Americans hand over about $98 on average to cover their various daily expenses. That's $2 more per day compared to the year before.

4. What's the median household income in the U.S.?
In the post-recession era, Americans' median household income has been on a steady decline; in 2013, it came in at $51,939. That's a pretty steep drop from the $56,436 reported in 2007.

5. What's the personal savings rate?
As of December 2014, the personal savings rate in the U.S. was 4.9%. Compared to the 10.5% rate reported in December 2012, Americans are saving much less.

6. How does income influence spending?
On average, Americans who earn $90,000 or more per year spend nearly twice as much per day as those who make less than that amount. In 2014, high-income earners spent an average of $150 a day compared to $77 a day for middle and lower class workers.


Housing is typically the biggest expense for most people and we were curious about how the cost compares for renters versus homeowners. We also looked at how many Americans are spending a significant amount of their income just to maintain a home.

7. How much do Americans spend on housing each year?
On average, Americans hand over $17,148 to cover their annual housing costs. That's nearly $350 more than they spent in 2011.

8. What percentage of Americans own their home?
Home ownership has fallen in recent years; as of 2013, only 63.7% of Americans owned a home. That's a slight dip from the 64.9% who were homeowners in 2011.

9. How big is the average mortgage payment?
Through 2013, the average monthly payment for a three-bedroom home with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was $865. That represents an increase of 3.5% over the previous year.

10. How many renters are there in the U.S.?
Nearly 105 million Americans choose to rent rather than buy a home. The 34% are under 30 years old.

11. What's the average rent cost?
With demand for rental units at an all-time high, the cost of renting keeps climbing. Currently, the average rent cost in the U.S. is around $1,200.

12. How many Americans spend more than 30% of their income on housing?
It's estimated that as many as 41% of American households spend more than 30% of their income to keep a roof over their heads. Among renters, 25% spend more than half their pay on rent.


Whether you prefer to eat organic or you're a junk-food junkie, spending money to stay nourished is a necessity. For the next part of our analysis, we focused on annual and weekly food spending, as well as the cost of entertainment.

13. How much do Americans spend on food annually?
Keeping their appetites at bay cost Americans an average of $6,602 in 2013. Nearly $4,000 of that was spent at the grocery store to buy food to prepare at home, and about $2,600 went towards eating out.

14. How many people spend more than $300 a week on food?
One in 10 Americans admits to shelling out more than $300 a week on food. At the other end of the spectrum, 8% say they spend less than $50 a week.

15. Who spends the most on food?
Young adults aged 18 to 29 tend to spend the most on food, averaging $173 a week. Men also spend slightly more than women, at $157 versus $146.

16. Who spends the least?
Seniors maintain the smallest food budgets, spending an average of $103 a week on groceries and dining out.

17. How much do Americans spend to stay entertained?
In 2013, the average amount spent on entertainment approached $2,500. That's over $100 less than what they spent in 2012.

18. What does it cost to get away from it all?
Taking a vacation isn't cheap. In 2013, Americans spent an average of $1,045 per person on summer travel.


Aside from the big things like food and housing, there are lots of other costs that go along with maintaining a household. For the final part of our study, we broke down spending for some of the most common expenses Americans incur.

19. How much do Americans spend on clothing each month?
Clothing is a major spending category for most people and on average, Americans spend $134 for apparel each month. That adds up to about $1,600 a year.

Tip: Best Time to Buy Clothes

20. What about transportation?
Unless you live in a city where public transportation is readily available, having a car is a must but it can take a big bite out of your budget. The average transportation expenditure for 2013, including gas, insurance and maintenance, was $9,004, or about $750 a month.

21. What's the average spent on childcare?
Kids bring a lot of joy but they also come with a big price tag, and some states are more expensive than others. In 2014, the average amount parents spent for full-time daycare for an infant ranged from $5,496 in Mississippi to $16,549 in Massachusetts.

22. How costly is healthcare?
The average person in the U.S. forks over $3,600 for healthcare each year. Insurance costs account for about 61% of total healthcare spending.

23. What do Americans spend on charitable giving?
Donating money to a nonprofit is a great way to give back and earn a tax break in the process. In 2013, cash contributions totaled $1,834 on average, down from $1,913 in 2012.


As the data suggests, Americans are handing over some pretty big bucks each year to maintain their respective lifestyles. If you're cutting it close each month, re-evaluating where your money is going may help to rein in your spending.

Sources and References:

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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