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Habits of US spending in 2020

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Not surprisingly, Americans spend a lot of money. To understand how to market to different groups, there are some key notes to keep in mind. It is essential to know where all our money goes, why we tend to spend more money on certain products and services and how the economy works. Below, we present a general description of the spending habits of the United States and break them down according to demography.

Table of Contents:

Overview of US spending habits

Americans earned $ 78,635 before taxes and spent $ 61,224 in 2018. This means that American spending habits lead us to spend 78 percent of our income every year. Americans spend on things from essentials, such as housing and transportation, to non-essentials, such as entertainment.

This is exactly what the Americans spent:

Expenditure cost
accommodation $ 20,091
Transport $ 9,761
Food $ 7,923
Personal insurance and pensions $ 7,296
Health care $ 4,968
Entertainment $ 3,226
All other expenses $ 2,030
Cash contributions $ 1,888
Clothing and services $ 1,866
Education $ 1,407
Personal care products and services $ 768

US spending habits infographics

the Bureau of Labor Statistics saw a 1.5 percent decrease in revenue and a 4.8 percent increase in expenses in its annual consumer report. Among the different categories, entertainment spending increased more by 10 percent. Cash contributions experienced the largest decrease and fell 10 percent.

These figures fluctuate according to the type of household. To illustrate, we can compare the differences in expenses between married couples without children and married couples with children. According to reports, married couples with children spend more on personal insurance and pensions, while married couples without children tend to spend more on medical care.

To better understand American spending habits, we analyze different groups and identify their spending habits. See our guide below to immerse yourself in the different spending habits in the United States.

Teen spending habits

  • Food is the top priority for teenagers and the second priority for teenagers. (Piper Jaffray)
  • Teenagers reportedly spend an average of $ 2,600 each year. (Piper Jaffray)
  • More teenagers made money in 2019 working independently than in 2018. (Junior Achievement)

Today there are 42 million teenagers in the United States. Although they spend most of their days in school, teenagers are an important demographic for the economy, since 22 percent reportedly earn money working. In addition to jobs, many teenagers also get a subsidy from their parents that allows them to buy. Most teenagers have a positive outlook on their financial future with six out of 10 teenagers who believe they will own a home by the time they turn 30.

Learn more about teenage spending habits.

Habits of spending of university students

  • 34% of university students rated work and expenses as their main challenges. (Source: RISC)
  • Seniors spend more on course materials. (Source: NACS)
  • 31% of minority students take fewer classes to save on textbooks. (Source: Cengage)

Today's university students come from all walks of life. Four years in college are no longer the norm: many students take between an additional semester and some additional years to graduate. This additional time incurs additional costs (such as tuition and rent) that affect spending habits. In addition to the money spent on the payment of tuition, university students are buying new technology, tickets for festivals and events, and lots of food. Older students with more life experience also have to balance school expenses with other mandatory purchases such as household food.

Learn more about the spending habits of university students.

Habits of Generation Z spending

  • 54% of Gen Zers prefer to buy using a web browser. (Source: IBM)
  • 77% believe they influence how their parents spend on food. (Source: IBM)
  • 66% of Gen Zers want brands to sell high quality products. (Source: IBM)

The elusive Generation Z includes anyone born between 1997 and 2012. According to reports, their spending habits differ even more than their older millennial counterparts. This generation grew up completely immersed in the digital age and is very likely to buy online. These digital natives are also used to having everything fast, so they probably click if an application or website loads too slowly. Quality and value are of the utmost importance for this generation. They quickly change brands if they believe they are getting a better overall value from a different company.

Learn more about Generation Z spending habits

Millenary spending habits

  • Millennials spend about $ 600 billion every year. (Source: Accenture)
  • 54% of millenary purchases are made online. (Source: UPS)
  • Millennials earn about $ 56,099 annually before taxes. (Source: BLS)

Millennials are generally defined as the generation born between 1981 and 1996. This group is known for making financial decisions that are surprisingly different from those that preceded them. Millenary spending habits include an increase in online shopping, a preference for experiences on material things and an openness to generic brands if the choice saves money.

Learn more about the Millennium spending habits

Baby boomers spending habits

  • Baby Boomers account for more than half of US spending. (Source: Visa)
  • The boomers expect to make 4 to 5 leisure trips in 2019. (Source: AARP)
  • Baby Boomers put between 9% and 10% of their salary for retirement. (Source: Stanford)

Baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964. This group is full of people nearby or already in their retirement years. Unlike their parents who were born in the Great Depression, boomers hope to have a fun retirement. They hope to experience new places and try new things. However, many baby boomers face retirement problems due to lack of savings and increased debt.

Learn more about Baby Boomer's spending habits

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