What average Americans spend in a year in 22 major cities

  • Americans spend the bulk of their money on housing, food, and transportation.
  • Because of differences in cost of living, how much people spend annually varies across cities.
  • The annual total expenditure on all goods and services for the average household ranges from $48,654 in Tampa to $83,790 in Seattle.
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Americans spend most of their money on three things: housing, food, and transportation.

That's why one of the best strategies to save more money is to cut down spending one of the Big Three. Thankfully, it may be easier to do than you think.

To find out how much Americans spend on everything from housing, food, and transportation to healthcare, entertainment, and shopping, we consulted the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Surveys. The data covers the most recent period of 2016 to 2017 and reveals average annual expenditures for consumer units 22 major metros in the Northeast, South, West, and Midwest.

A consumer unit, as defined by BLS, is a household ranging in size from one individual to three or more people.

The total annual expenditure on all goods and services for the average household ranges from $48,654 in Tampa to $83,790 in Seattle. Notably, the amount residents spend on housing in both cities makes up about 30% of their total annual spending.

Below, find out how much residents spend in a year, on average, in 22 major US cities, ranked by total spend.

Average Americans spend in a year
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Average Americans spend in a year

22. Tampa

Average annual spend: $48,654 ($4,054/month)

Food: $6,289 ($524/month)

Housing: $17,131 ($1,427/month)

Transportation: $8,307 ($692/month)

21. Miami

Average annual spend: $59,947 ($4,995/month)

Food: $7,040 ($586/month)

Housing: $22,350 ($1,862/month)

Transportation: $10,507 ($875/month)

20. Detroit

Average annual spend: $60,183 ($5,015/month)

Food: $7,397 ($616/month)

Housing: $18,794 ($1,566/month)

Transportation: $10,426 ($868/month)

19. Chicago

Average annual spend: $60,582 ($5,048/month)

Food: $8,170 ($680/month)

Housing: $21,254 ($1,771/month)

Transportation: $7,717 ($643/month)

18. Phoenix

Average annual spend: $62,072 ($5,172/month)

Food: $6,856 ($571/month)

Housing: $19,491 ($1,624/month)

Transportation: $9,985 ($832/month)


17. Atlanta

Average annual spend: $62,250 ($5,187/month)

Food: $6,683 ($556/month)

Housing: $20,965 ($1,747/month)

Transportation: $11,747 ($978)

16. St. Louis

Average annual spend: $62,394 ($5,199/month)

Food: $7,300 ($608/month)

Housing: $20,154 ($1,679/month)

Transportation: $9,958 ($829/month)

15. Dallas-Fort Worth

Average annual spend: $63,207 ($5,267/month)

Food: $6,571 ($547/month)

Housing: $22,350 ($1,862/month)

Transportation: $10,507 ($875/month)

14. Honolulu

Average annual spend: $65,099 ($5,425/month)

Food: $10,036 ($836/month)

Housing: $24,355 ($2,029/month)

Transportation: $7,391 ($615/month)

13. Philadelphia

Average annual spend: $65,436 ($5,453/month)

Food: $8,203 ($683/month)

Housing: $20,932 ($1,744/month)

Transportation: $9,505 ($792/month)

12. Los Angeles

Average annual spend: $66,971 ($5,580/month)

Food: $8,727 ($727/month)

Housing: $24,311 ($2,025/month)

Transportation: $9,741 ($811/month)

11. Houston

Average annual spend: $67,304 ($5,608/month)

Food: $9,153 ($762/month)

Housing: $21,818 ($1,818/month)

Transportation: $10,507 ($875/month)

10. New York

Average annual spend: $67,782 ($5,648/month)

Food: $7,689 ($640/month)

Housing: $26,113 ($2,176/month)

Transportation: $7,907 ($658/month)

9. Baltimore

Average annual spend: $69,126 ($5,760/month)

Food: $8,964 ($747/month)

Housing: $23,247 ($1,937/month)

Transportation: $11,049 ($920/month)

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul

Average annual spend: $70,487 ($5,873/month)

Food: $8,571 ($714/month)

Housing: $22,782 ($1,898/month)

Transportation: $9,409 ($784/month)

7. Anchorage

Average annual spend: $71,606 ($5,967/month)

Food: $8,306 ($692/month)

Housing: $23,039 ($1,919/month)

Transportation: $12,446 ($1,037/month)

6. Denver

Average annual spend: $74,088 ($6,174/month)

Food: $8,855 ($737/month)

Housing: $25,059 ($2,088/month)

Transportation: $11,841 ($986/month)

5. Boston

Average annual spend: $74,316 ($6,193/month)

Food: $8,264 ($688/month)

Housing: $29,015 ($2,417/month)

Transportation: $8,463 ($705/month)

4. San Francisco

Average annual spend: $79,291 ($6,607/month)

Food: $8,918 ($743/month)

Housing: $32,656 ($2,721/month)

Transportation: $7,974 ($664/month)

3. San Diego

Average annual spend: $79,585 ($6,632/month)

Food: $9,984 ($832/month)

Housing: $28,595 ($2,382/month)

Transportation: $10,592 ($882/month)

2. Washington, DC

Average annual spend: $79,921 ($6,660/month)

Food: $9,188 ($765/month)

Housing: $29,101 ($2,425/month)

Transportation: $10,748 ($895/month)

1. Seattle

Average annual spend: $83,790 ($6,982/month)

Food: $10,958 ($913/month)

Housing: $26,965 ($2,247/month)

Transportation: $12,810 ($1,067/month)


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