Creating a spending plan is an excellent exercise, but do you feel that it would be helpful to know how your spending stacks up with other households or if the amount you spend in a particular category is “reasonable”? As it turns out, you’re not the only one who thinks such information would be helpful. Each year since 1980, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has conducted a survey to determine where Americans spend their money. The BLS tracks a wide variety of spending categories, but we’ll highlight only the largest. The following are the spending habits reported in February 2015 for calendar year 2013:
|CATEGORY||PERCENTAGE OF AFTER-TAX INCOME|
|Apparel and Services||3.1|
|Personal Care Products and Services||1.2|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/cex/
We encourage you to determine how your spending compares. Simply divide the dollar amount of each spending category by your annual after-tax income. Don’t have a spending plan? Use our template as a guide. You can access it on our website, www.WisdomWS.com, or by clicking here.