Food And Personal Care Expenses
Groceries are one of the highest expenses, as are pharmaceutical products and clothing. This only makes sense. Everyone has to eat, everyone gets sick sometimes, and everyone wears clothing. Oddly enough though, the average American spends only $1.53 on musical instruments, even though most people like some sort of music.
Cars And Computers Up While Pet Products Still Low
Average people everywhere spend almost as much on computers, related items and software as they do on new cars and trucks. And as much as people love their pets, Rover and Scratchy only receive $9.07 a month in food and related products.
The Ultimate Money Pit – Your Home
Housing and related expenses, including utilities, top off at an average of $450.16 per month, just beating out health care expenses by $40 or so. Personal care services, such as home health care, is a meager $22.44, while even fewer people are paying for domestic services, such as maid services, carpet cleaners, and the like.
Low Interest Rates Mean Higher Mortgage Amounts
The average mortgage for a new home is now $235,000, partially thanks to mortgage interest rates being at historically low levels. Even with an upward trend, these rates encourage people to buy homes or refinance.
Consumer Debt – A Trend The Continues
Unfortunately, consumer debt continues to be high. People continue to make new purchases, even if they have to use credit cards to do so. Only a change in spending habits can reduce this number.
Americans' Biggest Money Concern
Financial worries and debt, both personal and federal, are on the minds of many people. With the annual percentage rate on credit cards ranging from 0% to 14.97% or higher not paying off the full amount of your credit cards each month means you may be accruing a high amount interest each month. And if your creditor has increased these rates, you will be paying more still.
Credit Card Debt as a Financial Concern?
As it turns out, credit card debt is one of the lowest financial concerns on the minds of Americans. Only 24% of those surveyed said they were significantly concerned about the potential inability to make minimum credit card payments. Yet credit cards continue to affect personal behavior. The item that more people are worried about? Not having sufficient funds to retire, which 66% of respondents named as a substantial worry. (It’s worth noting that these two items are easily intertwined. Paying off your debt sooner means you’ll have more money long-term.)
A Look At Debt Across The States
We took a look at the cities in the United States and the average amount of credit card debt that residents of these cities have. Coming in at number one was San Antonio, Texas, where the average amount of CC debt was $5,177. The close second was Jacksonville, Florida, followed by Honolulu, Hawaii and Dallas, Texas. The national average is about $4,200; all twenty-five cities on the list were above that amount by at least $325.
A Look At The National Debt
Last week we saw the amount of the USA’s national debt and its projected future. As it turns out, when we examine debt by the percentage of a country’s gross domestic product, the United States comes in at number twenty. Our national debt is only 101.1% of our GDP, and while that number is not quite desirable, it’s all about comparison. The country with the greatest amount of debt relative to its GDP is actually Ireland: its debt is 1,382% of its GDP–more than 10 times the United States ratio.