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Discretionary Spending Report
Old 05-18-2016, 10:32 AM   #1
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Discretionary Spending Report

I came across an interesting study that was done for Experian. It breaks down quite a few variables that can be used to come up with marketing plans/etc. for consumers. Some of the information is pretty fascinating. It is a little dated (2011) and I did look for something more recent, but was unable.

So, if you have a few minutes to waste, this is a decent way to do it!

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Old 05-18-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
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Very interesting. Thank you for the report. I fall into the "typical" for the discretionary spending. Even in 2011, I thought every household owned at least one flat TV, but I guess not.

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Old 05-18-2016, 11:49 AM   #3
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LCD TV prices have come down so much since 2011, I don't know how the makers can be profitable. Maybe they are not.

One thing about discretionary spending is it may be difficult to classify. I look at my son's Audi S4 as discretionary spending, but he probably thinks it is essential.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:36 PM   #4
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Wow, looking at their percentages of people that own various discretionary items, I am obviously living the good life and I must be much wealthier than I think.

As for the amount of discretionary spending, I didn't add mine up because it wasn't immediately obvious to me what to include. Even my essentials include some discretionary spending and are not bare bones cheap. If they were, I'd be sharing a rented room in a shack down by the river with six other people with no air conditioning or indoor plumbing and eating noodles if that. I'm not. The article defines discretionary spending thus:
Discretionary spending includes purchases of items such as tobacco, alcohol, education, reading, personal care, apparel, dining out, donations, household furniture and numerous forms of entertainment.
But even so, this doesn't cover every example of discretionary spending and paints with the broad brush of "such as" (bolded by me, in the quote above).
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:52 PM   #5
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Nah. Anything above a cardboard box under a bridge is discretionary.

I think these surveys depend on people's own definition of discretionary vs. essential. For example, an upper-middle-class person's idea of basic housing is different than that of a lower-middle-class person.
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:09 PM   #6
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Boy, page 3 puts our wine spending in perspective. (Over 1/2 spend less than 10K discretionary, and 12,800 is "typical.")

Not much of a surprise though; we know we spend a lot on wine!
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:18 PM   #7
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We're in the high discretionary camp. And I note things like:
  • Airline affiliation card
  • American Express
  • Use card 20+ times per month
  • Pay online
  • Usually pay full balance on credit cards
  • Cash management account
  • Short term CDs

So - they already know from my application that I'm going to be paying my card off each month and that I'm going to pay online.

Interesting report!

Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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