Monday, November 12, 2012

Let's Compare Shall We?

How do our expenses stack up to how the average American spends their money? 

If you look at the Bureau of Labor Statics  you will see for 2011 making an average income of $63,685  spent  49,705         of that and broken up as followed below.

Average American Expenditures    

 Food at Home          $3838   My Family  $3600
Food (dining out)     $2620  My Family  $  350
Housing                     $16803  My Family $8100
Apparel                     $1740   My Family $  200
Transportation         $8293    My Family $4160
Health care                 $3313   My Family $    0 
Entertainment           $2572    My Family $ 500
Cash Contributions  $1721   My Family $    0
Personal Insurance
and Pensions              $5424   My Family $   0
All Other Expenses   $3381   My Family  $ 700

Looking at this, you can see while we spend just a little less than the average tends to spend at home, we spend far less in the eating out department. It is an occasional treat for us where we average just $30 a month in eating out as we do not always do this every month and certainly never more than once in a month.

Housing in another huge difference and I factored utilities and heating into our housing costs where we spend around half what an average American family spends in a year for. This is due to living in a cheaper rural area where housing itself can be found quite a bit cheaper than metropolitan and urban areas.

Apparel is another large gap, we have need once in awhile for shoes, socks and underwear but other than that we get our clothes free from others cleaning out their closets, gifts or for a quarter to a buck here and there at garage sales or thrift stores.

Transportation is also half of the average, I am making an assumption this is due to us being a one car family?  Included in this cost was our monthly car payment for 2011, gas, oil and car insurance.

Health care-- I need to fix this, and am in the process of working on it. Right now we do have Medicaid with a high deduct able but I am hoping to get something else perhaps in place ASAP.

Entertainment does not cost us much either and most what we choose to do is either free or very l ow cost like weekend camping trips, fishing, hiking and the like. Looking at the average expense in this area and I can see we spend far, far below average! WOOT WOOT

Cash Contributions- While I would love to get to a place where we can give cash contributions- we differ a little here at the moment.  We give and are generous by things we do or have on hand that could be helpful to others.  We may let someone stay with us awhile while they are down on their luck, send a bag of food to someone we know who needs it, bake sweet treats and take them to our elderly neighbor who no longer bakes, give surplus from our garden to those who do not garden, or simply stop and help someone who obviously could use a helping hand.

Personal Insurance such as Life Insurance is also something I need to fix! Enough said

So if you compare our expenses to national averages, you will see that due to our low expenses and cost of living, our income is really comparable to someone who perhaps is making twice as much but spending far more.

It all evens out, it really does... I like comparing the numbers sometimes as they can help me know how I am doing and the differences we have by the choices we make in our lives.