Contact Us

New Study Breaks Down How Americans Spent All Their Money in 2012


Money – we all want it, but once we have it, where does it go?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has come out with a study detailing how we spent our money in 2012.

Far and away, the biggest cost was housing – 33% of all money we spent went towards putting a roof over our heads. Transportation was next, at 17%:

The average consumer unit (defined as “families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, or two or more persons living together who share expenses”) coughed up $16,887 on shelter, while forking over $8,998 on transportation.

Food took third. Broken down, we spent $3,921 eating at home and $2,678 eating out.

Overall, we spent $51,442 last year. That’s especially depressing, considering a new report from the US Census Bureau found that the median household income last year was $51,107 — which is actually below the median household income of $51,681 (in 2012 dollars) generated in 1989.

Here’s a look at what we spent money on 2012, along with percentage of each item towards our total spending and the amount each consumer paid.

  • Housing – 33% ($16,887)
  • Transportation – 17% ($8,998)
  • Food – 13% ($6,599)
  • Insurance and pensions – 11% ($5,591)
  • Health care – 7% ($3,556)
  • Entertainment – 5% ($2,605)
  • Cash contributions – 4% ($1,913)
  • Apparel and services – 3% ($1,736)
  • All other expenses – 7% ($3,557)

[Bureau of Labor Statistics]

Best of 103.7 The Hawk

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Rockaholics quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Rockaholics contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.