Here’s How the Average American Household Spends Their Money


Each year the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts a Consumer Expenditures Survey, which is a massive survey of hundreds of thousands of American Households to find out exactly what Americans are spending their money on each year.

Here are the results of the most recent survey (2015), which shows what the average American household spends on various categories as a percentage of total spending:


You can find the data I used for this visualization here


Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.

Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.

His favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, a site that allows him to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free, has no trading or maintenance fees, and even allows him to set up automated target-allocated investments.

His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.

His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.

His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.


Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.

8 Replies to “Here’s How the Average American Household Spends Their Money”

    1. That was my initial thought as well. It’s only based on yearly spending and it’s also the AVERAGE amount spent by American households. There are plenty of households who have no education costs, which could be dragging down the average.

  1. Makes sense for the most part. Other, transportation and food are ones which variably have the most potential of being adjusted 🙂
    It’s nice to see pensions and social security being one of the highest though.

    1. It’s definitely an interesting chart to stare at and see which categories are larger / smaller than you may have thought. These numbers also represent the average for all American households, so these could vary pretty dramatically from one household to the next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *