No matter how well you keep track of your spending, most people could benefit from taking a closer look at their budgets. Reducing spending can free up extra cash to pay down debts or beef up retirement savings, and you will thank yourself in the future.
Of course, reworking your entire budget can feel like a challenge. If you’re curious about whether you’re overspending on some budgetary items, check out this list of 25 common household expenditures. GoBankingRates compiled data and determined the average amount Americans spend on these items… If your spending exceeds the average in some categories, those might be good starting points for addressing your budget.
- Mortgage payments – $18,792
- Rent – $12,696
- Vehicle insurance – $976
- Vehicle maintenance and repairs – $890
- Public transportation – $818
- Gas – $2,109
- Retirement account contributions – $6,831
- Utilities – $4,049
- Health insurance – $3,405
- Health and fitness – $1,860
- Groceries – $4,464
- Coffee – $1,100
- Alcohol – $583
- Restaurant meals – $3,459
- Childcare – $9,006
- Cell phone service – $1,188
- Subscription services – $237.33
- Clothing – $1,866
- Pets – $662
- Entertainment (fees and admission) – $766
- Education – $1,407
- Charitable donations – $1,888
- Holiday food and decorations – $227
- Holiday gifts – $659
- Miscellaneous – $933
There’s another great reason to research average spending in these areas: This list can serve as a jumping-off point for neutral discussions with your spouse or other family members.
No one is saying you must fall at or below all of the average expenditures listed above. Some items (such as groceries) depend upon your family size, while others (like transportation) are very location-dependent. But a little perspective never hurt anyone, and looking at impartial data can help you be honest with yourself.
As you revamp your budget, remember that we’re here to help with all of your financial planning questions. Once you free up some spare cash, will you pay down debts, save more for retirement, or something else? Give us a call, and we can help you decide how to plan for a stable future.