Chart of the Week: Spending Patterns By Education Level

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Jun 11, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Budgeting

Great series of charts from our friends at Visual Capitalist (hat tip to Brian Page for also tweeting this out) that analyzes spending by an individual's education level. Two charts are provided below: one for high school graduates, the other for college graduates. 

High School graduate: 

Explaining the chart: The chart is split into thirds: 

  • Left side: Shows sources of income: salary, Social Security (some of these HS grads are seniors collecting Social Security, dividends and property, other income
  • Middle: Takes total income from left side and shows how it is split between federal, state and local taxes, spending and saving
  • Right side: Breaks out spending into various categories (housing, utilities, etc.)

Questions:

  • What's the average income for high school graduate? 
  • How much of that income are they able to save? $ terms? as a percent of their income? 
  • What are the five largest spending categories from largest to smallest?  

 

 

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Questions:

  • What's the average income for college graduate? 
  • How much of that income are they able to save? $ terms? as a percent of their income? 
  • What are the five largest spending categories from largest to smallest?  

 

Questions comparing the two charts:

  • What is the difference in average income for the high school graduate compared to the college graduate? 
  • How does the savings rate differ between the high school grad and the college grad?
  • What are the differences in the way they spend their money? Compare the top 5 spending categories for each on a $ basis and on a %age basis? 

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Looking for more charts to analyze? Our Data Crunch product provides a graph and 5 questions all on a one page worksheet. 

 

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.