It's Shocking What It Costs To Be An American Consumer Today

Photo: Flickr via salsaboy

Anyone can “make it in America,” but the question remains: at what cost? The median household income in the U.S. hovers right below $52,000, according to U.S. Census data

To find out just where that cash is going, we’ve trolled through the latest data in employment, transportation, and common consumer expenditures. 

HOUSING: $181,500 is the median asking price for homes today (about $827.22/month with a 30-year fixed rate loan at today's interest rates).

RENT: Between $865 and $1,008 per month. Rental rates continue to soar, with a 5.3 per cent gain over 2011, according to Trulia.

MARRIAGE: The average couple spends $27,000 to tie the knot, which includes $1,121 for the wedding gown alone.

Source: The Knot

DIVORCE: At a cool $20,000 it's only slightly cheaper to end a marriage than start one.

COLLEGE: $21,447/year at public universities. Students pay twice that ($42,224) for private education.


STUDENT LOANS: $22,000 (public universities) and $28,000 (private) in student loan debt. That's a 20 per cent increase over the last decade.

CREDIT DEBT: $2,577.40 is on the average consumer's credit cards. The figure hasn't changed much since before the recession hit in 2007, when it was $2,530.

GETTING AROUND: $7,677 is the average tally for transportation costs, $360 of which goes into our gas tanks each month.

HEALTHCARE: $3,157 per year, according to the Bureau of labour Statistics. A study by a public health group found a 22-year-old worker and his employer will spend about $4 million on health insurance over his lifetime.

RAISING A FAMILY: $234,900, which is the cost of raising one kid through the age of 17.

EATING OUT: $2,505 per year.

RETIREMENT: Americans manage to save about $3,900 to IRAs per year for retirement. The latest estimates put employer-provided plan contributions at $1,600.

Source: Fidelity

Everything in life has its price...

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