So I have this list of links that I maintain and use as a go-to whenever I want to highlight a resource or even if I have a little writer's block (which happens on occasion when one has a daily blog). I realize tonight I've been saving a few of these links since May.
Yup, apparently I wasn't very blocked writingwise this summer, but also I thought that now more then ever, we're all doing number crunching of our own budgets.
The New York Times had a great chart it created back in May showing the spending habits of the average consumer:
"Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers 84,000 prices in about 200 categories — like gasoline, bananas, dresses and garbage collection — to form the Consumer Price Index, one measure of inflation… The categories are weighted according to an estimate of what the average American spends…" Check out the original graph here. It's really fun and interactive.
I put the percentages of the largest items in. Interesting huh?
The other aspect of the graph besides being voyeristic about people's budgets is how it examines inflation.The darker pinks and reds are things we're spending 20-40% more on then we did in 2008. Gasoline, fuel oil, and propane are all expected though eggs was kind of interesting to see. And we're spending 10% less on computers, televisions, and video equiptment (dark blue).
So are you average? I'm not quite but more on that in Part II: Your Spending Versus The Average American. But in the meantime, head to the New York Times and enjoy the graph!