Americans are the world's best consumers, even when we don't have money to spend. But, as it turns out, with all the worry about Americans being free and easy with Amex and Visa, our personal debts are still smaller than our assets (on the whole). This page gives a snapshot of the spending and saving habits of Americans.
How much the average* America household spends a year (2004) BLS (pdf)
Total: $43,395 (we earned on average $54,453, before taxes)
What we spend it on:
source: BLS (pdf)
*The "average" household has 1.3 earners and 2.5 people
Average household debt:
What kind of personal debt owe (2001)
What we take out the loans for (2001)
source: Fed (pdf)
Average (median) American household assets: $147,400
Average (median) financial assets: $28,000
What our assets are in:
source: Fed (pdf) (2001)
When you add up our debts and assets, the average American comes out in the black. (2004) Fed (pdf)
median average: $93,000
mean average: $448,000
Servicing our debt
One way to keep an eye on our debt problem is to track how much of our income we spend on servicing our debt (that is, paying interest on our loans). The graph below shows the percentage of our income we have to spend to repay our debts.
Where the facts are from
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