The 2010 Bundle Report: Singles vs. married vs. parents. Who spends more?
As anyone who's gotten married (or divorced), had a baby (or two), or even just graduated from college (or moved back in with the parents) will tell you, life events reorganize your finances faster than you can say 401k. And it doesn't get cheaper.
According to the 2010 Bundle Report: How America Spends, married couples spend more than single men or women, and married parents averaged the highest spending of all — $46,160, 22 percent higher than the national average. But it's only 15 percent more than married couples without kids. That's less than many couples with or without children might assume — and worth keeping in mind, when budgeting for the arrival of a little one.
Single men without children spent $30,739 last year, about 18 percent more than single women without kids. And, of course, some stereotypes persist: men spent 65 percent more on electronics than single women; women spent 40 percent more on clothes and shoes. But not always, and not everywhere. Middle-income single women in Charlotte, N.C. spent almost as much as men did on gadgets; wealthy Houston women will see your fancy cell phone and raise you.
More facts about households, gender, and spending:
Single men without kids spent about 46 percent of their food budget ($5,655) on dining out, and the other 54 percent on groceries. For single women, restaurants ate up 38 percent of their food spending.
Single parents allocated the greatest share of their spending (excluding rent and mortgage) to house and home, a category that includes home maintenance, home improvement, and utilities.
Bundle methodology: How we compile our data
How does your household match up? To find out, visit Everybody's Money.
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.
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