New data! Introducing the 2010 Bundle Report: How America Spends
Forget the numbers for a moment: Whether you're rich or poor, buying a home or crashing with your parents, happily employed or frustrated and searching, you probably spent a lot of time over the past year thinking about money — how you spend, how you save, and the question that nags us all: "Where did it all go?"
Bundle introduced Everybody's Money in January to give Americans the data and the context necessary to answer that question, and to (hopefully) motivate us to do something about it. Now, we're proud to introduce the first-ever Bundle Report, a breakdown of how America spent for all of 2009.
The numbers above show how much the average American household spent last year: $37,782, not counting mortgage or rent (which are not included in the Bundle data). Divided into six categories, that's 23 percent of their daily budget spent on shopping, 14.5 percent on getting around (gas and auto expenses), 17.5 percent on food and drink, 7 percent on travel and leisure, 17 percent on house- and home-related expenses, and 21 percent on health and family.
That's just the beginning. Here's what else you'll find:
1. The 25 top-spending cities: Austin is No. 1
New York City on top? Nope. Austin, Texas, residents were the No. 1 spenders in the U.S., averaging $67,076 in overall household expenses over 2009 (excluding mortgage and rent). Austin's 2009 spending was 77 percent higher than the national average of $37,782.
2. Five lowest-spending cities: Detroit ranks last
The lowest-spending city in the U.S. was Detroit, where residents, hit hard by the recession, spent $16,446 on items including food and drink, shopping, gas, travel and entertainment.
3. 50-state breakdown: Connecticut on top
Connecticut residents led the nation in spending, while West Virginians ranked last, spending 35 percent less than the national average in 2009. Residents of New Canaan, Conn., last year averaged $25,486 on dining out, more than the average West Virginia resident spent, total ($24,517).
4. As we get older: 65+ splurge on travel, 18-25 dinner out
What do seniors and college students have in common? Time. But how they spend it — and their money — are different. Even accounting for differences in income, seniors spent up to 61 percent more than 18- to 25-year-olds on travel in 2009; the younger households spent up to 49 percent more on dining out.
5. How marriage and kids affect yearly spending
How does spending change when you get married or have kids? Bundle's breakdown by household status shows that married couples with kids spend more on just about everything, but not always as much as you'd think: having kids only boosted annual grocery spending by about 8 percent, on average. Also: young parents spent less on eating out and getting around (gas and auto maintenance) than people without kids; after age 36, the trend reverses.
In the weeks and months to come, we'll dig more deeply to discover specific spending trends on areas like groceries and dining out, gas and auto expenses, travel and leisure, shopping and the growing costs of staying connected in a wired world.complete summary of how we highlight the data and what's included in each category.
About the artist: Raised in Denver, Colo., Stefanie Posavec now lives in London, where she designs book covers by day and creates data visualizations by night. In future projects, she plans to explore the future of the book and its shift from print to screen. Find her work at itsbeenreal.co.uk.
Data on 25 big-spending suburbs
Infographic: The top spending cities for travel, cable and entertainment
The truth about food spending in America