In Budgeting, Money, USA

What do Americans buy and where does the money go?

Fantastic post over at NPR about where Americans spend their money.

They took all the data and created these two crystal clear graphs:


  • Shelter is the biggest at 31.5%
  • Women’s clothes are double the spending of Men’s clothes


  • Food has shrunk in terms of cost because of advances in agriculture — I am still not sold on it being a good thing to have so much food for such cheap prices, as today’s milk doesn’t taste like real milk to me, and only heirloom tomatoes taste like real tomatoes
  • Apparel has also gone down in cost because of dirt cheap labour being outsourced overseas — also not sold on this being a good thing 😐
  • Housing has jumped quite a bit, taking up a lot more income but houses have also doubled in size from 1000 square feet to 2000 square feet or more (McMansions anyone?)

What do you think about all these numbers?

My budgeting tool 

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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1 Comment

  1. B

    interesting post! I was looking for similar data for a future post, but from a different era than the 40’s. 

    Very cool.


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