How Americans Spend Their Money, Organized By Class

Ever wonder how your fellow citizens in adjacent (or distant) income brackets live?

Ever wonder how your fellow citizens in adjacent (or distant) income brackets live? The sharp folks over at NPR's Planet Money assembled this handy chart to give us a glimpse inside the budgets of American households, organized by income group.

Interesting similarities and differences pop out immediately. Regardless of income, we all spend roughy the same percentage of our income on eating out. (The other half doesn't live that differently after all.) Feeding a family at home, though, shows dramatic difference: The poorest families use nearly twice the percentage of their income as compared to rich families.

Clothes and shoe budget? That's about the same across the board. Utilities, though, cost twice as much for poor families than they do for rich ones. Nearly the same goes for healthcare.

The kicker comes at the bottom. Poor families can only set aside 2.6 percent for retirement while rich families pile up five times that percentage of their income for their golden years.

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Produced by Lam Thuy Vo, NPR


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