Monday, July 02, 2012

Spending: The Top Ten List

The ten items on which the average household spends the most were the same in 2010 as a decade earlier, although the order had changed and spending trends for the top ten items ranged from a 47 percent increase (health insurance) to a 63 percent decrease (federal income tax), after adjusting for inflation.

Here is the 2010 top ten list in rank order, along with how much the average household spent on those items and the percent change in spending since 2000, after adjusting for inflation...

1. Deductions for Social Security: $3,903 (+44%)
2. Groceries: $3,624 (-5%)
3. Mortgage interest: $3,154 (+1%); or Rent: $2,773 (+11%)
4. Vehicle purchases: $2,588 (-40%)
5. Gasoline and motor oil: $2,132 (+30%)
6. Restaurants: $2,081 (-6%)
7. Health insurance: $1,831 (+47%)
8. Property tax: $1,814 (+26%)
9. Electricity: $1,413 (+22%)
10. Federal income tax: $1,136 (-63%)

The average household spent $48,109 in 2010, almost identical to the $48,176 it spent in 2000, after adjusting for inflation. Some notable changes in the rankings of items on which the average household spends the most: Cell phone service surged from 66th to 14th place; College tuition climbed from 24th to 16th place; and Cable television service rose from 28th to 18th in the rankings.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Surveys

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