Sunday, August 23, 2009

Average Household Expenses

Sometime during the last month I stumbled across this diagram of typical American household expenses.

What I was actually curious about was how typical expenses changed during a recession. Did people try to spend about the same proportion in each category but smaller amounts? Or were some categories favored and others diminished?

(I say "try" above because there are obviously some expenses such as rent that are difficult to cut back just because a family is trying to spend less.)


Heather said...

From a mom blogger point of veiw I see a lot of the answer to your question (though it may not be scientifically sound). Several things I have noticed--people are still at the point where they are trying to bring in MORE income by selling their assets instead of hording (which would be the next step when you KNOW you won't be able to afford things down the road.) Also families are focused on dropping the more expensive entertainments (like big cable packages and leeching internet off others instead of buying internet access) while cutting the more flexible expendatures. For instance, most women I know ae cutting back on grocer spending and using thrift shops and yard sales and local farms instead of buying brand new and retail, however the the sheer number of sales trying to get customers in are meaning that many necessary items (like school supplies and clothes) are much cheaper at retail than they have been for some time. It is apparent that many stores are using more loss leaders to get customers in the door than previously. Around here that includes gas cards while other standard groceries have crept up roughly 50% in cost. That is how prices have been affected here though it seems to be very similar for others (*most of the bloggers I know are in Canada, Texas, Florida, and California with a few in New York.)

Tilly said...