How Americans Spend Their Money

I just found this fascinating chart that shows how Americans spend their money. The chart is broken down into three income classes  and shows the difference in their spending patterns; specifically, how much they spend within major expense categories.

The three categories with the biggest disparity (based on percentage difference) are: taxes, charitable contributions, and education.

I found this to be a bit surprising. The media, politicians, etc. would have us believe that high-income earners are spending it all on themselves. But that seems to be only partially true. While they do spend more on housing, food, and cars, the biggest expense differences aren’t in those areas.

Also, is it any surprise that the highest income earners also spend the most money on education? My best guess is they spent just as much on education before they developed their incomes. The education helped drive their success.

Anyway, I think this chart is worth a look: How Americans Spend Their Money

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7 thoughts on “How Americans Spend Their Money”

  1. Great link. It was revealing seeing that laid out.

    Though, in all fairness, the one’s making more money were living far below their means but…

    How can anybody live on $18K a year, for an average family of 1.7. You can, but it’s poverty, poverty.

    And then, the rich had so much taxes to pay, while the poor did not. I never think that’s fair. The rich are paying for the poor, involuntarily.

    But, it does show the proven formula for sustainability: earn more & save more.


  2. John – I wondered the same thing as you: how does a person live on so little?

    I was also surprised that the more kids in a family, the higher the income. I had always heard the opposite. The poor have lots of kids; the rich only have one or two. The chart shows otherwise.

    The tax part makes me angry. I can’t stand how the rich are robbed to pay for the poor. Involuntary charity is fine; forced “wealth redistribution” is criminal.


  3. In my young liberal opinion I believe the rich should pay more taxes, that they should pay an equal amount by %. I used to believe they should pay more than that but my faith in the governments ability has gone down since then.
    Anyway, the way i think of it is as an investment in future. Those rich peoples money is funding our schools. Granted our school system isn’t perfect but for many if it wasn’t for our public schools they wouldn’t read, write, know maths, or eat. I know the last one is true from my Mom, She worked as a teacher, at a missionary in Texas for two years. For some of the students school lunch was the only meal they got throughout the day. They also used an excessive amount of pepper because it was free from the government.

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