Chart of the Week: How does the average American household spend their money?

Mar 26, 2019
Budgeting, Chart of the Week, Research

From our friends at Visual Capitalist


  • What is the largest income source for American households? 
  • What percent of a household's income covers federal, state and local taxes? 
  • What is the savings rate for the average American household (Hint: Divide Savings by Total Income to establish the savings rate)?
  • What are the five largest costs? Do you think these five costs are wants or needs? 
  • One rule of thumb is that you shouldn't spend more than 30% of your total income on housing. How is the average American household compared to this rule of thumb?
  • How charitable is the average American household? 


Use NGPF Data Crunches to develop your students' analytical skills. 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.