What Americans spend on housing, food, transportation in major cities


Americans spend most of their money on three things: housing, food, and transportation.

That’s why one of the best strategies to save more money is to cut down spending one of the Big Three. Thankfully, it may be easier to do than you think.

To find out how much Americans spend on everything from housing, food, and transportation to healthcare, entertainment, and shopping, we consulted the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Surveys. The data covers the most recent period of 2016 to 2017 and reveals average annual expenditures for consumer units 22 major metros in the Northeast, South, West, and Midwest.

A consumer unit, as defined by BLS, is a household ranging in size from one individual to three or more people.

The total annual expenditure on all goods and services for the average household ranges from $48,654 in Tampa to $83,790 in Seattle. Notably, the amount residents spend on housing in both cities makes up about 30% of their total annual spending.

Below, find out how much residents spend in a year, on average, in 22 major US cities, ranked by total spend.

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