Budget 101: How does your spending compare to other Americans?
Are you trying to meet some financial goals like paying off your debt, saving for a vacation, building a fund for a house downpayment, or increasing your savings in general? A budget will help you get there. Whether you’re just starting to create your first budget or you’re revising your existing budget, it’s helpful to know what others like you are spending so you can anticipate if you’re planning for too much or too little on certain items. Take a look.
According to a GOBanking Rates survey, overall, Americans spends about $164.55 a day. This amount varies by age category, however, which makes some sense. As people age and need larger living space they’ll pay more for housing. As they have a family they may pay more for food while their spending in other areas decreases. As their income grows, spending on luxuries may increase. When compared in a bar chart , Millennials are shown to spend the most with older GenX’ers coming in just behind them by a couple of dollars.
Grocery and dining out
As an entire group, Americans spend $11.95 on grocery spending and almost as much as that, $9.22, dining out. That’s a total of $20.47 on food. As a comparison, those under 25 spend about half of the overall group on groceries at $6.25 per day but spend just as much eating out as they do at the supermarket. Younger Gen-Xers (35-44 years old) and their older counterparts (45-54 years old) spend about the same amount on food. Both groups spend about $14.00 on groceries and $11.00 eating out. This may be expected due to the fact that these groups are in the middle of family life while their careers (and hopefully incomes) are in full swing. Baby boomers, though, also spend highly on food until they begin to age. Members of this group who are 65 and older spend just $10.45 on groceries and $6.88 eating out. That’s a notable spending change.
The various groups in the survey spent very different amounts on housing with the overall average coming in at $32.59 a day. This spending may reflect issues such as housing affordability, job security, rental rates, and mortgage interest rates that each age group has experienced in their lifetimes. The group that spent the most in this category are both groups of Gen-Xers. They spend just over $39.00 on their housing each day. By contrast, those under 25 spend just about half that amount. They’re the group that spent the least of all survey respondents.
Clothing can be both a necessity and a luxury. For Americans overall, spending on clothing and apparel came in at just above $5.00 a day. Gen Z and both Baby boomer groups came in lower than that. All other groups were higher than that with some averaging more than a dollar each day higher. This may be a direct reflection of the discretionary income they have.
The survey specifically tracked spending rates for alcohol. Overall, respondents spent $1.53 each day on some form of an alcoholic beverage. In terms of specific groups, older Gen-Xers spent the most at $1.73 per day with their younger counterparts coming in close behind at $1.71. This spending may be related to the discretionary income that many in this group have if they are in their career prime. Younger Baby Boomers spent the next highest amount at $170 per day, with their older counterparts spending $1.26. By comparison, Millenials spent $1.57 on alcohol. Generation Z was the lowest group of the survey, spending just .87 cents a day on alcohol.