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Are You Spending More Than the Average American on 25 Everyday Items?

GOBankingRates Logo By Grace Lin of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 26: While your spending is tailored to your individual earnings and priorities, it doesn’t hurt to use the average American as a financial gauge. You might be proud of your uncanny ability to find hidden gems at thrift shops or take advantage of the steepest retail discounts, saving heaps of money on clothing in the process. However, if you’re also spending significantly more than the rest of America on things like education, child care or car insurance, you could be falling behind in terms of reaching your financial goals. GOBankingRates rounded up 25 common expenses and used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Retail Federation and more to find out how much consumers typically spend on everyday items. The different expenses ranged from holiday gifts and subscription services to charitable donations and mortgage payments. In some cases, the figures were shocking. For example, Americans spend more on coffee than they do on their auto insurance — in fact, caffeine consumption accounts for over $1,000 in the average consumer’s expenditures. The final coffee bill is startlingly close to how much people spend on their cellphone services in a given year. If you think that dropping $1,100 on coffee every year is perfectly acceptable, you should consider cutting back in other areas to fuel your caffeine habit without hurting the rest of your budget. While it’s difficult to bring down your rent or mortgage payments on your own, you might find that tackling controllable expenses — like dining out and entertainment — can help you save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars annually. Last updated: Oct. 26, 2020

While your spending is tailored to your individual earnings and priorities, it doesn’t hurt to use the average American as a financial gauge. You might be proud of your uncanny ability to find hidden gems at thrift shops or take advantage of the steepest retail discounts, saving heaps of money on clothing in the process. However, if you’re also spending significantly more than the rest of America on things like education, child care or car insurance, you could be falling behind in terms of reaching your financial goals.

GOBankingRates rounded up 25 common expenses and used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Retail Federation and more to find out how much consumers typically spend on everyday items. The different expenses ranged from holiday gifts and subscription services to charitable donations and mortgage payments. In some cases, the figures were shocking. For example, Americans spend more on coffee than they do on their auto insurance — in fact, caffeine consumption accounts for over $1,000 in the average consumer’s expenditures. The final coffee bill is startlingly close to how much people spend on their cellphone services in a given year.

If you think that dropping $1,100 on coffee every year is perfectly acceptable, you should consider cutting back in other areas to fuel your caffeine habit without hurting the rest of your budget. While it’s difficult to bring down your rent or mortgage payments on your own, you might find that tackling controllable expenses — like dining out and entertainment — can help you save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars annually.

Last updated: Oct. 26, 2020

© Thongsuk Atiwannakul / Getty Images/iStockphoto

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