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(The Atlantic)   A look at how Americans spent their money in 2012, all broken down by income disparity   (theatlantic.com) divider line 104
    More: Interesting, income disparity, Americans, pie charts, Bureau of Labor Statistics  
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17186 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Sep 2013 at 12:35 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-16 09:47:54 PM  
This should not surprise anyone. If it does, you're one of those people who think that it's silly that people claim to be "poor" and yet have refrigerators.
 
2013-09-16 10:20:21 PM  
intobolivian.files.wordpress.com

Which was also Barbara Ehrenreich's opinion at the close of "Nickel and Dimed" as to why it's so hard to get ahead in America.  In order to get and keep a job, you absolutely have to have a physical address. And sure you'd save money by having 10 roomies, but no landlord in his/her right mind is going to allow that many people to share a dwelling. Prices on gas may drop every now and then, but prices on rent always go up.
 
2013-09-16 10:52:17 PM  
does not specify whether employer-managed health care counted as income
 
2013-09-16 11:14:39 PM  
Poor people can plan for the future. They just can't afford to save for it.
 
2013-09-16 11:30:54 PM  

doglover: Poor people can plan for the future. They just can't afford to save for it.


Basically this.... that insurance column REALLY shows the disparity, and that doesn't even show what people are able to actually "save" (either directly or into investments), which would look pretty similar to that insurance column I am guessing.

It is interesting though that "entertainment" is more or less the same % of your income, no matter what your income level.

I do have to say, housing at 30%, even with including all my utilities in "housing" (it isn't clear if "housing" for this meant just your rent/mortage, or was supposed to include utilities) is at 24% over the past year.  Seems like most people, even in it the "Top 20%", way overspend what is "necessary" on their housing (although, I live in one of the lowest cost of living metro areas in the country, so, obviously that helps in that regard).
 
2013-09-17 12:38:10 AM  
Econ 101 - poor people have a much higher marginal propensity to consume rather than to save.
 
2013-09-17 12:41:21 AM  
Does beer count as food?

Even if it does that pie chart is grossly underestimating.

/mmm... pie
 
2013-09-17 12:44:11 AM  
Looks like rich people spend less of their income on housing and food. Poor people ought to take note.
 
2013-09-17 12:44:25 AM  
Spend more than 1/4 of your income on housing, nearly lose your house, come to the rest of us for a bailout, rinse, repeat.
 
2013-09-17 12:47:53 AM  
Maybe we should have started with Obamahousing or Obamacars, before Obamacare. At least Bush crashed the housing market so we can buy houses cheap now.
 
2013-09-17 12:49:24 AM  
I spent a shiatload on pie this year, but I don't know how to visually represent that.
 
2013-09-17 12:51:31 AM  
Would a car elevator be housing or transportation?
 
2013-09-17 12:53:27 AM  
The Atlantic

/laughing
 
2013-09-17 12:57:25 AM  

doglover: Poor people can plan for the future. They just can't afford to save for it.


Or take risks with their time and money, like "Going to college so you have a chance of getting a job that actually pays decently".
 
2013-09-17 12:57:52 AM  
I don't understand the value of posting these news articles. It's the equivalent of standing outside the houses of others and despising them for being better off than you.

Seriously folks, let ... It ... Go...
 
2013-09-17 12:58:19 AM  
the only thing this graph shows us is that the amount of money it takes to stay alive is fixed, and if you don't have more than X dollars, you'll never be able to save

...and the wages in this country aren't solving for X, if you know what i'm sayin'

/and i think you do
 
2013-09-17 01:00:12 AM  
I spent the majority of solvent cash on motorcycles and entertainment. They're intertwined in my life

/and lots on charities
/50/50 raffles are charities!!!
//I almost always give the 50/50 winnings back to the charity the raffle is for
 
2013-09-17 01:00:40 AM  

1nsanilicious: I don't understand the value of posting these news articles. It's the equivalent of standing outside the houses of others and despising them for being better off than you.

Seriously folks, let ... It ... Go...


Yeah, the American dream is dead. Get over it.
 
2013-09-17 01:04:50 AM  
The "average" chart is misleading. The BLS stats show that the "average" he's using as the baseline has an income of $65,596, expenditures of $51,442 and is around 50 years old.

Nothing lies like graphs made from statistics.
 
2013-09-17 01:04:52 AM  
You know what the difference is? That big chunk labeled as "housing"? The rich are spending it on property, and the poor are spending it on rent.

Guess which one of those two has a positive return-on-investment.
 
2013-09-17 01:08:22 AM  

LordJiro: 1nsanilicious: I don't understand the value of posting these news articles. It's the equivalent of standing outside the houses of others and despising them for being better off than you.

Seriously folks, let ... It ... Go...

Yeah, the American dream is dead. Get over it.


No, I think he's referencing the Librul obsession with other peoples stuff.

cloudfront.mediamatters.org
 
2013-09-17 01:10:03 AM  
I'm a little nutty when it comes to the detail of tracking my expenses and investments. Here's how my expenditures have been over the past 12 months (this doesn't include the 16% gross placed into 401K & 2% into fed savings bonds.

scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net

-Business services: expenditures for work, which I'm reimbursed (and gives me "free" cash rewards on my credit card - about $500 a year).
-Home: mortgage: solar panel install & waterfront property purchase
-Auto & transport: fuel, car lease, insurance for 5 cars/motorcycle, boat insurance, marina
-Travel: a cruise to the Mediterranean, trip to Iceland, cruise to the arctic, cruise to Tahiti, Disneyworld, and Disneyland a few times.
-Heath and fitness: I include my hobbies in this, so it includes Scuba equipment, marathons, mountain climbing gear, and expense to hire mountain climbing guides.
Food: self explanatory. I eat out a lot, at least once a day.
Bills: power, water, internet
Shopping: shoes, clothes, etc.

Overall I'm pretty happy with this profile. Nothing goes to fees or interest, other than the 3% interest on the mortgage, which works out to be about $200 a month.

/no wife, no kids, no student debt, no credit card debt = has a lot of fun
 
2013-09-17 01:10:10 AM  
I spent 80% of my  pre-tax salary on housing over the last two years.

/Finally paid off the f-ing mortgage, though.
 
2013-09-17 01:11:46 AM  
I spent a ton of money of hookers and blow. The rest I wasted.
 
2013-09-17 01:13:20 AM  
What about "government"?  That's one big expense that isn't in tfa. 
Guess people aren't supposed to realize just how big of a bite government is taking from them.
 
2013-09-17 01:14:25 AM  
wow, the 'troll' is strong in here...
 
2013-09-17 01:15:42 AM  

ausfahrk: I spent 80% of my  pre-tax salary on housing over the last two years.

/Finally paid off the f-ing mortgage, though.


Wow, nicely done! I've been contemplating that move, but with interest rates being as low as they are, I chose to invest in buying other properties, and putting money into the market via 401k & stocks. I figure that "money is cheap" right now, and the real estate market has bottomed, it's time to put money there.
 
2013-09-17 01:17:27 AM  
Soooo...did you just come here to tell us how awesome you are?

MrSteve007: I'm a little nutty when it comes to the detail of tracking my expenses and investments. Here's how my expenditures have been over the past 12 months (this doesn't include the 16% gross placed into 401K & 2% into fed savings bonds.

[scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net image 416x314]

-Business services: expenditures for work, which I'm reimbursed (and gives me "free" cash rewards on my credit card - about $500 a year).
-Home: mortgage: solar panel install & waterfront property purchase
-Auto & transport: fuel, car lease, insurance for 5 cars/motorcycle, boat insurance, marina
-Travel: a cruise to the Mediterranean, trip to Iceland, cruise to the arctic, cruise to Tahiti, Disneyworld, and Disneyland a few times.
-Heath and fitness: I include my hobbies in this, so it includes Scuba equipment, marathons, mountain climbing gear, and expense to hire mountain climbing guides.
Food: self explanatory. I eat out a lot, at least once a day.
Bills: power, water, internet
Shopping: shoes, clothes, etc.

Overall I'm pretty happy with this profile. Nothing goes to fees or interest, other than the 3% interest on the mortgage, which works out to be about $200 a month.

/no wife, no kids, no student debt, no credit card debt = has a lot of fun

 
2013-09-17 01:21:57 AM  

leadmetal: What about "government"?  That's one big expense that isn't in tfa.
Guess people aren't supposed to realize just how big of a bite government is taking from them.


It's a small price to pay in order to live in the greatest country on the face of the planet.

Besides. the poor exactly jack and shiat to the feds.
 
2013-09-17 01:23:42 AM  

retro128: Soooo...did you just come here to tell us how awesome you are?


Oooh, ooh, I did.  I've been waiting for this thread since Friday.  Mission accomplished.
 
2013-09-17 01:25:53 AM  

TomD9938: the poor pay exactly jack and shiat to the feds.



/ bleh...
 
2013-09-17 01:26:06 AM  
Not interested in the top 20% or the bottom 20% - how about those of us in between who are too rich for social welfare, and too poor for corporate welfare?
 
2013-09-17 01:27:10 AM  

dletter: doglover: Poor people can plan for the future. They just can't afford to save for it.

Basically this.... that insurance column REALLY shows the disparity, and that doesn't even show what people are able to actually "save" (either directly or into investments), which would look pretty similar to that insurance column I am guessing.

It is interesting though that "entertainment" is more or less the same % of your income, no matter what your income level.

I do have to say, housing at 30%, even with including all my utilities in "housing" (it isn't clear if "housing" for this meant just your rent/mortage, or was supposed to include utilities) is at 24% over the past year.  Seems like most people, even in it the "Top 20%", way overspend what is "necessary" on their housing (although, I live in one of the lowest cost of living metro areas in the country, so, obviously that helps in that regard).


Everyone has got to find some way to eliminate the feeling of tedium from their lives, poor people much more so than wealthy people in my opinion.
 
2013-09-17 01:28:14 AM  
So a poor person is spending 40% of their income on renting a one bedroom apartment while a wealthy person is spending 30% of their income paying the mortgage on their 4-bedroom 2-bath home in the suburbs?
I have trouble understanding the data as it is presented.
 
2013-09-17 01:28:14 AM  

dletter: I do have to say, housing at 30%, even with including all my utilities in "housing" (it isn't clear if "housing" for this meant just your rent/mortage, or was supposed to include utilities) is at 24% over the past year.  Seems like most people, even in it the "Top 20%", way overspend what is "necessary" on their housing (although, I live in one of the lowest cost of living metro areas in the country, so, obviously that helps in that regard).


Mine in 2012 was about 37%, counting rent only. You could probably get to 25% around here by getting a somewhat crappy place, but to get below that for me would have required roommates. Which certainly isn't unreasonable, but it's not the choice I made and while I recognize I'm paying quite a bit, I also don't consider myself to be "overspending".

--

Inspired by MrSteve posting his Mint data, here is mine for 2012 (I changed my passwords and didn't update Mint so it's far out of date):
i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-17 01:33:00 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Looks like rich people spend less of their income on housing and food. Poor people ought to take note.


Well, when your house is paid for, it's pretty easy to not spend much of your income on it.
 
2013-09-17 01:33:36 AM  

1nsanilicious: I don't understand the value of posting these news articles. It's the equivalent of standing outside the houses of others and despising them for being better off than you.

Seriously folks, let ... It ... Go...


Hey look, a Mormon being a condescending asshole. Where have we seen that before? Oh right, what's his name... ...Spit Chimney?
 
2013-09-17 01:33:53 AM  
i1048.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-17 01:34:39 AM  

ausfahrk: I spent 80% of my  pre-tax salary on housing over the last two years.

/Finally paid off the f-ing mortgage, though.


80% of my pre tax salary couldn't buy a house. Nor could I live on the remainder.
 
2013-09-17 01:35:33 AM  

leadmetal: What about "government"?  That's one big expense that isn't in tfa.
Guess people aren't supposed to realize just how big of a bite government is taking from them.


It depends really on how well you plan for the future, and work your expenses to maximize deductions. Through solar energy tax incentives and deductions, I was able to keep my effective income tax rate at 3.48% this year. My state doesn't have an income tax, so no worries there. I live out in the county, so my property taxes are low - about 2% of my gross income. I keep my sailboat at a tribally owned marina, so no taxes there. My leased electric car qualified for $7,500 fed cash rebate (which went to the dealership, lowering my payments), the tabs for an EV were free in the state, and the car was sales tax exempt too.

The only major tax is the ~9.8% sales tax. Depending on the level of expenditures, you can legally minimize that too by purchasing items while out of the country and bringing them back, as long as you stay under the duty free limits (typically $1,600), and if need be, jumping through the paperwork to reimburse the VAT. You can't do a bunch this way, but you can buy things like clothes, tax free, while abroad.

If you're smart on how you spend your money, you minimize your tax exposure and can instead use that money elsewhere (ie. installing solar panels on your house, traveling, driving a new EV, etc.)

Or you can be like most people, and blow it on highly taxed items like lotto, booze and cigarettes.
 
2013-09-17 01:37:10 AM  
Percentages are misleading because cost of living doesn't adjust medially with income. There is a relative maxima to the kind of life that exists, and anything you earn beyond that doesn't improve your living standards.

For instance: Say taxes are 50%. For a person earning a billion dollars, that's 500 million, which may sound like a lot but it doesn't impact his standard of living because there is no standard on the planet that requires 500 million to live. There is barely any standard on the planet that requires more than 5 million to live. Taxes could be set at 90% and his lifestyle would still be unaffected. He can still eat gourmet steaks at 5-star restaurants every night.

But for someone earning $18,000, 50% is literally cutting their standard of living in half. It's the difference between slums and a decent apartment. Between rent and electricity. It defines whether he can spring for new socks or eat mayonnaise sammiches three times a week.

This illustrates why the flat tax is such a stupid idea, because it looks strictly at income and doesn't factor cost of living.
 
2013-09-17 01:38:48 AM  

red5ish: So a poor person is spending 40% of their income on renting a one bedroom apartment while a wealthy person is spending 30% of their income paying the mortgage on their 4-bedroom 2-bath home in the suburbs?
I have trouble understanding the data as it is presented.


this. also, renting as opposed to buying...HUGE difference.
 
2013-09-17 01:42:43 AM  
This shiat is so skewed I can barely focus. Yes, captain obvious, people who make less money tend to not plan for the future as much as others who make more.

Hey! People who make more money may have more drive in life or may have more things they want to achieve.

There's nothing wrong with that. But, we need to get more "poor" people out of the poor me mentality.

The american dream is real. If you don't believe it then you are part of the problem.
 
2013-09-17 01:43:38 AM  
The smart money is actually on the poor.
 
2013-09-17 01:47:05 AM  

dletter: doglover: Poor people can plan for the future. They just can't afford to save for it.

Basically this.... that insurance column REALLY shows the disparity, and that doesn't even show what people are able to actually "save" (either directly or into investments), which would look pretty similar to that insurance column I am guessing.

It is interesting though that "entertainment" is more or less the same % of your income, no matter what your income level.

I do have to say, housing at 30%, even with including all my utilities in "housing" (it isn't clear if "housing" for this meant just your rent/mortage, or was supposed to include utilities) is at 24% over the past year.  Seems like most people, even in it the "Top 20%", way overspend what is "necessary" on their housing (although, I live in one of the lowest cost of living metro areas in the country, so, obviously that helps in that regard).


Affluent neighborhoods cost extra, because the land is desirable.
 
2013-09-17 01:47:15 AM  

radarlove: The smart money is actually on the poor.


Might be some truth in that -- the Koch Bros make toilet paper and Warren Buffet makes underwear. Even the poorest of the poor have to wipe their butts and cover 'em up.
 
2013-09-17 01:47:35 AM  

MrSteve007: Or you can be like most people, and blow it on highly taxed items like lotto, booze and cigarettes.


In fact, forget the lotto and cigarettes!
 
2013-09-17 01:48:34 AM  
I didn't see an entry on there for lobbyists...
 
2013-09-17 01:59:38 AM  

MrEricSir: radarlove: The smart money is actually on the poor.

Might be some truth in that -- the Koch Bros make toilet paper and Warren Buffet makes underwear. Even the poorest of the poor have to wipe their butts and cover 'em up.


Oh it's far more than that- the truly poor are used to not having anything and scavenging to survive.  Should some kind of tremendous economic hiccup happen, they possess a prime position to withstand it (if they even notice that it has happened).  Those with the most, on the other hand, have the most to lose. The more you have, the more you become dependent on what you have.  Should the Koch bros. money be valueless tomorrow, and all their assets decimated, will they be prepared to survive without it?  Will they be prepared to dig in the mud and eat rats for food?  Will they be able to lower themselves enough to beg for water and shelter?  And if they're even a little bit responsible for the situation we'll find ourselves in at that point, would anyone even help them?

No, the poor are set because they have nothing to lose and have their feet firmly planted in the reality of survival.  The rich sit in a terribly precarious position but can't see the cliff's edge because of the fantasy of aristocracy.

It's beginning to look like the meek really will inherit this earth.
 
2013-09-17 02:04:06 AM  
Mine would be much simpler:

Rent: 1/4
Marijuana: 1/2
Everything else: 1/4
 
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