Americans Spend Over Half of Household Income on Only Four Expenses, Study Shows

According to a new survey on typical homeowner spending, it is quite costly to be an adult in the United States today.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has compiled information from 2013 data on household expenses and has found that on average 53% of the typical American salary is spent on only four spending categories.

Housing expenses come out on top, representing 16% of the average American’s annual salary. This category includes mortgage and rent payments alone — nothing else that is involved with upkeep of the home.

While this number may seem outlandish to some homeowners, there is some good news. The nationwide rate of inflation has been relatively low for the past eight years, which has contributed to a great housing market and lower than average mortgage rates. So even though 16% is a good chunk of change, homeowners can rest easy knowing that the housing market has been much, much worse.

Second in line for expense costs is transportation, which gobbles up 14% of the average income. Included in this figure is gasoline, car payments, auto loan repayments, vacation travel, and public transportation.

Taxes take the cake for the third highest annual expense. Americans pay 12% of their income to personal taxes every year; however, this figure does not include sales tax on everyday items, property tax, and Social Security and Medicare taxes. Rather, these taxes are the ones taken off personal income for federal income tax purposes.

The fourth and final expense is also related to owning a home. Americans spend 11% of their income simply keeping their home up and running, spending their hard earned money on things such as monthly utilities, furniture, pest control and landscaping, basement waterproofing, and broken pipes. Each one of these bills costs a bundle on its own. For perspective, a typical American home spends about 2.7% of their income on energy bills, representing about $2,000 every single year.

With these figures in mind, Americans are bringing the house down with bills alone.

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