February 17, 2013

Average Annual Spending By Single People

The BLS has the Consumer Expenditure Survey.   One of the tables breaks down the numbers based on the number of people in the household.   This gives us an easy way to find the spending for single people.   This is the 2011 data.

Here are the main categories  and the annual & monthly amounts:


yearly monthly
Food at home $2,072 $173
Eating out $1,567 $131
Alcohol $370 $31
Rent/mortgage $7,176 $598
Utilities $2,380 $198
Household operation $692 $58
Housekeeping supplies $348 $29
Household furnishings $859 $72
Apparel and services $1,021 $85
Car purchases $1,235 $103
Gasoline /motor oil $1,399 $117
Other vehicle $1,418 $118
Public transport $316 $26
Health insurance $1,232 $103
Out of pocket medical $880 $73
Entertainment $1,522 $127
Personal care products $388 $32
Reading $90 $8
Education $782 $65
Tobacco $255 $21
Misc $577 $48
Cash contributions $1,446 $121

Now I've renamed some of the categories from the CEX report and I've rearranged a couple of them.  I did that just to present it in what I think are simpler budget categories.    There are a few things to keep in mind with these numbers.   They are averages across the entire population and not everyone spends money on all of these.   So for example most people don't spend $255 a year on tobacco but the 20% or so of people who do buy tobacco probably spend $1275 a year and averaged out that comes to $255.  

Gotta have a graphic so there's the categories shown with percents :

(click image to see full size)

 Here's the list sorted by the size of the spending  per category: 

Rent/mortgage $7,176
Utilities $2,380
Food at home $2,072
Eating out $1,567
Entertainment $1,522
Cash contributions $1,446
Other vehicle $1,418
Gasoline /motor oil $1,399
Car purchases $1,235
Health insurance $1,232
Apparel and services $1,021
Out of pocket medical $880
Household furnishings $859
Education $782
Household operation $692
Misc $577
Personal care products $388
Alcohol $370
Housekeeping supplies $348
Public transport $316
Tobacco $255
Reading $90


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