U.S. states, cities where Americans spend the most

$37,782. That's the amount that the average American household spent in 2009, not including rent or mortgages, based on the How America Spends report just released by social comparison money site Bundle. The report, which makes use of U.S. government spending data and data obtained from Citi to break down the average spending by city, marital status, age and income level, provides a few surprises when it comes to who spends the most and the Bundle Everybody's Money tool allows you to zoom in even further and look at spending in your city.


"People spend the money that they have, or maybe a little bit more than that," Janet Paskin, managing editor of Bundle, told WalletPop in a phone interview, providing some context to report. Paskin further explained that this concept of "personal inflation" spans income levels and age groups and is evident in the data reported below.

When it comes to spending Connecticut was the highest ranking state with a whopping $25,486 spent on eating out in 2009, or just about a $1,000 more than what the average West Virginia resident spent on all categories.

Top Spending States (Excluding rent and mortgage)
  1. Connecticut ($57,331)
  2. District of Columbia ($49,430)
  3. Hawaii ($46,518)
  4. California ($42,962)
  5. Texas ($42,623)
  6. Arizona ($41,752)
  7. Illinois ($41,627)
  8. New York ($40,783)
  9. Maryland ($40,538)
  10. Washington ($40,480)

The spending report revealed that while Connecticut was the highest spending state, the top spending city hailed from the state where they like things big, Texas.

Top Spending Cities in the U.S. (Excluding rent and mortgage)
  1. Austin ($67,076)
  2. Scottsdale, Ariz. ($64,687)
  3. San Jose ($59,022)
  4. Arlington, Va. ($52,085)
  5. Plano, Texas ($56,738)
  6. Raleigh, N.C. ($53,398)
  7. Nashville ($52,964)
  8. Tucson ($51,857)
  9. Irvine, Calif. ($51,286)
  10. Durham, N.C. ($51,114)


The report also identified the cities that spent the least in 2009, two of which are home to many beleaguered autoworkers in the Midwest.

Bottom 5 Lowest Spending Cities in the U.S.
(Excluding rent and mortgage)
  1. Detroit ($16,446)
  2. Hialeah, Fla. ($19,397)
  3. Chula Vista, Calif. ($21,424)
  4. Toledo ($26,962)
  5. Boise ($28,006)
"If it weren't for my kids." It's a statement we hear all too often from married couples with kids about how their money seems to fly out of their wallets as fast as it can be direct deposited. Yes, having kids at home is expensive, and it's possible that money is simply being pinched elsewhere. Married couples with kids only spend about $5,000 more than their childless counterparts and only 8% more on groceries. The relatively small gap in grocery spending is likely due to the low cost of adding one more portion to a meal.

What one thing do married couples with kids outspend their baby toting counterparts on? As if you had to ask, their four-legged babies. Pets and pet care dollars spent by married couples without kids typically outpaced couples with children, which isn't that surprising.


Another interesting breakdown in the How America Spends report is how much different age groups spend on different categories such as eating out, travel and healthcare. Seniors on average spend 61% more than younger couples, even when adjusted for income. It might not be a surprise to the Takeout generation that 18- to 25-year-olds spent almost 50% more than seniors on dining out.

If you don't see your city on the list or want to know how your age group breaks down further in specific spending segments, even down to what restaurants are most popular, you can use the Everybody's money tool to filter by age, household type, income and location.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

Timing Your Spending

How to pay less by changing when you purchase.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum