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How Americans Spend Their Money

How Americans Spend Their Money

New findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics have revealed how Americans spend their money—and the differences in the spending habits of the nation’s rich and poor. The Atlantic has put the data into some handy charts that illustrate the breakdown. Overall, 33% of most American’s income went to housing, followed by 17% for transportation expenses, 13% for food and 11% insurance. “Entertainment” accounted for just 5% of total spending.

The study revealed that the nation’s poor (defined as the bottom 20%) spend 60% more of their income on basics like food, clothes and housing than the country’s richest (the top 20%). The only major categories the rich outspent the poor in, were entertainment and insurance. As the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson explains, “Cash-hungry families consume more of their income immediately, spending two in three dollars on absolute essentials like food and shirts. The rich are more predisposed to spend toward the future, with eight-times more of their income going toward insurance and even more going toward savings” …

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