Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Average Spending - Singles
Old 11-16-2014, 05:59 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,815
Average Spending - Singles

According the the BLS, average spending for single people, ages 60-79, in 2013.


CATEGORYOwner__Renter_Both___
Food at home 2,794 1,852 2,302
Food away from home 1,350 1,020 1,138
Mortgage interest 1,930 12 1,321
Mortgage principal 1,657 12 1,133
Property taxes 2,274 6 1,553
Homeowners insurance 516 6 355
House maint, repairs, flooring 1,296 30 893
Rent 24 6,818 2,138
Electricity 1,264 685 1,077
Heating fuels 557 159 432
Water, sewer, trash, 489 165 386
Major appliances 192 27 139
Housekeeping services 599 129 447
Cleaning Supplies 214 133 172
Other housekeeping supplies 328 198 267
Furniture 218 106 180
Smal appl, misc HH eq & textiles _ 808 279 600
Other lodging 230 23 164
Telephone services 861 597 779
Computer information services 263 145 225
Clothing 670 588 602
Cars, net purchase + lease 1,525 727 1,265
Vehicle finance charges 66 52 62
Car insurance 1,259 675 976
Gasoline 1,413 775 1,214
Car maint & repairs 711 268 559
Car rental, parking, tolls 124 50 100
Public transportation 28 84 45
Other vehicles - - -
Health insurance 2,362 1,326 2,030
LTC insurance 155 52 122
Dental, Eyecare, Hearing Aids 470 159 370
Other medical 894 661 804
Personal services 25 5 18
Fees and admissions 224 81 178
Cable/Satellite services 717 524 654
Other AV equip & services 129 80 111
Pets, toys, hobbies, 788 345 601
Other Ent supp, eqp, services 126 46 98
Personal care products 231 132 187
Personal care services 228 110 190
Reading 109 52 90
Education 90 30 68
Alcohol 257 209 222
Tobacco 183 289 215
Miscellaneous 674 431 584
Alimony and child support 260 241 252
Gifts to f & f, educational 164 23 130
Other gifts to family & friends 1,767 487 1,333
Tax deductible contributions 1,002 283 776
Life and other pers insurance 333 111 263
Travel food and alcohol 250 85 196
Travel lodging 269 77 207
Travel gasoline 88 40 72
Travel public transportation 364 103 280
Travel other 67 34 56
TOTAL 35,887 21,636 30,632

Yes, this is just like my earlier thread on average spending by couples.
I thought I should put singles in a new thread with a more descriptive title.

The Renters represent about 30% of the total interviewees.
About 1/3 of the owners are paying on mortgages, so the mortgage numbers above would be $5,800 and $5,000 for those people (and, of course, zero for the other 2/3).
These numbers exclude income tax.

The "How much do you need to retire?" thread has an entry from a single poster who spends $15k + rent. Note that's about the same as the average renter in this survey.
__________________

__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-16-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,878
Seems odd, why would the "food" category be different from an owner to a renter. The same person renting consumes less food ?

I don't spend anywhere close to what the owner table lists.
__________________

__________________
rbmrtn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 06:52 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,017
This does not include income tax. I am not in the US and I am not in that age group, but even accounting for the exchange rate, I spend significantly more on lifestyle expenses (CDN$50-55k) and the spending patterns are different from mine. I spend more on travel for sure.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 07:29 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
Seems odd, why would the "food" category be different from an owner to a renter. The same person renting consumes less food ?

I don't spend anywhere close to what the owner table lists.
More likely cheaper food, not less food. It is changing, but up to now renters are mostly younger and/or poorer than homeowners. This whole owner/renter breakout is also likely a richer/poorer breakout. Notice the class tell in that the renters spend more on tobacco. In America, smoking pretty much points to poverty. That or hipsters, but I think they are too small a group to affect national figures much.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 07:46 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,815
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
Seems odd, why would the "food" category be different from an owner to a renter. The same person renting consumes less food ?

I don't spend anywhere close to what the owner table lists.
I agree with Ha. It seems that renters, on average, are simply working with less money. They spend less in every category except tobacco.

I broke them out because the "Both" column shows that the "average" single pays $1,553 in property tax and $2,138 in rent. Showing the two columns helps people understand how these averages develop.

Another example would be "computer information services" at $225/year. That probably doesn't mean there are a lot of people getting internet service for $19/month, but there are a bunch of people who don't have internet at all mixed in with those that do.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 07:48 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,710
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
More likely cheaper food, not less food. It is changing, but up to now renters are mostly younger and/or poorer than homeowners. This whole owner/renter breakout is also likely a richer/poorer breakout. Notice the class tell in that the renters spend more on tobacco. In America, smoking pretty much points to poverty. That or hipsters, but I think they are too small a group to affect national figures much.

Ha
Note that the numbers are for folks 60 to 79 so the age issue has been removed.
__________________
meierlde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 06:26 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 2,211
I'm the single poster spending $15k. My spend pattern is completely different though from the average listed there.

Basically, I spend less on nearly everything (food at home, healthcare), and 0 on many items (no tobacco, no car, no alimony, no cable, no pets).

.. and then the drama happens: travel. I spend alot on travel. My 'bare bone' budget is just $9k, which basically excludes travel.

A few other items stand out for me:
  • I'm 34. The stats shown are for older people. They tend to travel less.
  • Older people who rent are by far poor. So the average older renter is actually not an average person. Like Ha pointed out.
Not that I consider myself super-frugal by any means. I'm probably somewhere between the median and the bottom quartile.


For my education level and job experience though I am definitely an outlier. Not that it matters, except for the impact on my savings rate (>70% in the good years).
__________________
Totoro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 06:43 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Senator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 3,045
Interesting note. According to this list, it is cheaper to rent.

Adding these categories
Mortgage interest
Mortgage principal
Property taxes
Homeowners insurance
House maint, repairs, flooring
Rent

Ownership is $7,697, Renting is $6,884.
__________________
FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
Senator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 06:50 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 2,211
You shouldn't include mortgage principal. Also, not sure if tax deductions or rent subsidies are somewhere in there.

Still, it is interesting though to see that the numbers are relatively close to each other.

Big question of course is what kind of house are these people living in Heating, cleaning supplies and electricity 2x - 3x as much for owners seems to point to a big difference in square footage.
__________________
Totoro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 07:00 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
You shouldn't include mortgage principal. Also, not sure if tax deductions or rent subsidies are somewhere in there.

Still, it is interesting though to see that the numbers are relatively close to each other.

Big question of course is what kind of house are these people living in Heating, cleaning supplies and electricity 2x - 3x as much for owners seems to point to a big difference in square footage.
I was thinking the same thing. I remember when I bought my co-op apartment 25 years ago and moved out my similarly sized rental apartment in the same neighborhood. I compared the costs of renting versus the costs of owning my apartment and netted it out after income taxes and they came out about the same. And that was despite having a mortgage with an interest rate of nearly 11%! I was able to reduce the interest rate through refinancing in the early 1990s and that knocked down a good amount of money I had to pay out every month. I did not count mortgage principal because I was simply paying myself by paying down debt.

When I paid off the mortgage a few years later, I was left with only my monthly maintenance which by itself was a lot less than any rent, and I still kept some of the tax deduction for property taxes and the co-op's own mortgage interest. And I have an asset versus nothing if I were still renting.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 08:07 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,982
That health insurance looks pretty darn cheap
__________________
Doing things today that others won't, to do things tomorrow that others can't. Of course I'm referring to workouts, not robbing banks.
DFW_M5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 02:05 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Interesting note. According to this list, it is cheaper to rent.

Adding these categories
Mortgage interest
Mortgage principal
Property taxes
Homeowners insurance
House maint, repairs, flooring
Rent

Ownership is $7,697, Renting is $6,884.
Note that only 1/3 of the owners have mortgages.
So I'd say that the owners pay $4,085 for taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs.
2/3 of them have no mortgage.
1/3 of them also pay $5,800 in interest and $5,000 in principal.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 02:53 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
.
Big question of course is what kind of house are these people living in Heating, cleaning supplies and electricity 2x - 3x as much for owners seems to point to a big difference in square footage.
I was going to speculate on this. But, then I realized I have the data and I should be able to look it up.

Unfortunately, the BLS does not give square feet.
However, they do have "type of building".
52% of the owners live in "single family detached".
10% of renters live in that type of building.

They also show "number of rooms".
5.4 rooms for owners.
3.6 rooms for renters.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2014, 02:58 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,875
When I lived in rental apartments, heat was always included in rent. Other electricity use, including a/c, was on me.

I just found a note in a diary I kept in the early 1980's, when I lived with roommates in rented apartments. Although I didn't keep an expense spreadsheet like I do now, I watched my grocery spending like a hawk. In 1983, I spent $630 on food. With inflation, that would be ~ $1451 today. So I think those other renters must be eating a bit more than I did way back when. (I did not eat out at all).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
Y

Big question of course is what kind of house are these people living in Heating, cleaning supplies and electricity 2x - 3x as much for owners seems to point to a big difference in square footage.
__________________

__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How Many Uncommitted Singles in the ER Forum? TromboneAl Other topics 43 05-29-2008 07:02 PM
Group travel for singles Zoocat Travel Information 11 01-29-2008 08:00 PM
Ideal house/apt size for singles? W2R Life after FIRE 60 10-13-2007 12:59 AM
Another "what do you spend" thread....for singles this time accountingsucks Young Dreamers 17 04-21-2007 07:56 AM
more than average savings- average spending shorttimer Young Dreamers 23 11-04-2006 05:32 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:45 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.