How Americans Make and Spend Their Money
How do you spend your hard-earned money?
Whether you are extremely frugal, or you’re known to indulge in the finer things in life, how you allocate your spending is partially a function of how much cash you have coming in the door.
Simply put, the more income a household generates, the higher the portion that can be spent on items other than the usual necessities (housing, food, clothing, etc), and the more that can be saved or invested for the future.
Earning and Spending, by Income Group
Today’s visuals come to us from Engaging Data, and they use Sankey diagrams to display data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that helps to paint a picture of how different household income groups make and spend their money.
We’ll show you three charts below for the following income groups:
- The Average American
- The Lowest Income Quintile (Bottom 20%)
- The Highest Income Quintile (Highest 20%)
Let’s start by taking a look at the flows of the average American household:
The Average American Household – $53,708 in spending (73% of total income)
The average U.S. household has 2.5 people (1.3 income earners, 0.6 children, and 0.4 seniors)
As you can see above the average household generates $73,574 of total inflows, with 84.4% of that coming from salary, and smaller portions coming from social security (11.3%), dividends and property (2.6%), and other income (1.7%).
In terms of money going out, the highest allocation goes to housing (22.1% of spending), while gas and insurance (9.0%), household (7.7%), and vehicles (7.5%) make up the next largest categories.
Interestingly, the average U.S. household also says it is saving just short of $10,000 per year.
The Bottom 20% – $25,525 in spending (100% of total income)
These contain an average of 1.6 people (0.5 income earners, 0.3 children, and 0.4 seniors)
How do the inflows and outflows of the average American household compare to the lowest income quintile?
Here, the top-level statistic tells much of the story, as the poorest income group in America must spend 100% of money coming in to make ends meet. Further, cash comes in from many different sources, showing that there are fewer dependable sources of income for families to rely on.
For expenditures, this group spends the most on housing (24.8% of spending), while other top costs of living include food at home (10.1%), gas and insurance (7.9%), health insurance (6.9%), and household costs (6.9%).
The Highest 20% – $99,639 in spending (53% of total income)
These contain an average of 3.1 people (2.1 income earners, 0.8 children, and 0.2 seniors)
The wealthiest household segment brings in $188,102 in total income on average, with salaries (92.1%) being the top source of inflows.
This group spends just over half of its income, with top expenses being housing (21.6%), vehicles (8.3%), household costs (8.2%), gas and insurance (8.2%), and entertainment (6.9%).
The highest quintile pays just short of $40,000 in federal, state, and local taxes per year, and is also able to contribute roughly $50,000 to savings each year.
Spending Over Time
For a fascinating look at how household spending has changed over time, don’t forget to check out our previous post that charts 75 years of data on how Americans spend money.
The Richest People in the World in 2023
The world’s five richest people are worth a combined $729 billion. From luxury moguls to Asia’s rising titans, we show the richest in 2023.
The Richest People in the World in 2023
After witnessing record gains in wealth, ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) lost a combined $10 trillion last year.
A lagging stock market dented these fortunes against high interest rates, energy shocks, and economic uncertainty. But some of the world’s billionaires have flourished in this environment, posting sky-high revenues in spite of inflationary pressures.
With data from Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List, we feature a snapshot of the richest people in the world in 2023.
Luxury Mogul Takes Top Spot
The world’s richest person is France’s Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of LVMH.
With 75 brands, the luxury conglomerate owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Tiffany. LVMH traces back to 1985, when Arnault cut his first major deal with the company by acquiring Christian Dior, a firm that was struggling with bankruptcy.
Fast-forward to today, and the company is seeing record profits despite challenging market conditions. Louis Vuitton, for instance, has doubled its sales in four years.
In the table below, we show the world’s 10 richest people with data as of February 27, 2023:
|1||Bernard Arnault & family||LVMH||$202B||28%|
|2||Elon Musk||Tesla, SpaceX||$191B||-13%|
|5||Warren Buffett||Berkshire Hathaway||$106B||-10%|
|7||Carlos Slim Helu & family||Telecom||$90B||11%|
|10||Françoise Bettencourt Meyers & family||L'Oréal||$79B||5%|
Elon Musk, the second-wealthiest person in the world has a net worth of $191 billion. In October, Musk took over Twitter in a $44 billion dollar deal, which has drawn criticism from investors. Many say it’s a distraction from Musk’s work with Tesla.
While Tesla shares have rebounded—after falling roughly 70% in 2022—Musk’s wealth still sits about 13% lower than in March of last year.
Third on the list is Jeff Bezos, followed by Larry Ellison. The latter of the two, who founded Oracle, owns 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai which he bought in 2012 for $300 million.
Fifth on the list is Warren Buffett. In his annual letter to shareholders, he discussed how Berkshire Hathaway reported record operating profits despite economic headwinds. The company outperformed the S&P 500 Index by about 22% in 2022.
How Fortunes Have Changed
Given multiple economic crosscurrents, billionaire wealth has diverged over the last year.
Since March 2022, just four of the top 10 richest in the world have seen their wealth increase. Two of these are European magnates, while Carlos Slim Helu runs the largest telecom firm in Latin America. In fact, a decade ago Slim was the richest person on the planet.
Jeff Bezos has seen his wealth decline 32%, or $54 billion, the most across the top 10 richest. Amazon posted a $2.7 billion net loss for the full year of 2022, its worst year yet.
Overall, as the tech sector saw dismal returns over the year, the top 10 tech billionaires lost almost $500 billion in combined wealth.
Recent Shakeups in Asia
Perhaps the most striking news for the world’s richest centers around Gautam Adani, formerly the richest person in Asia.
In January, Hindenburg Research, a short-selling firm, released a report claiming that the Adani Group engaged in stock manipulation and fraud. Specifically, the alleged the firm used offshore accounts to launder money, artificially boost share prices, and hide losses.
The Adani Group, which owns India’s largest ports—along with ports in Australia, Sri Lanka, and Israel—lost $100 billion in value in the span of a few weeks.
Interestingly, very few Indian mutual funds hold significant shares in Adani Group, signaling a lack of confidence across India’s market, which was also cited in Hindenburg’s report.
As a result, Mukesh Ambani has climbed to Asia’s top spot, controlling a $84 billion empire that spans from oil and gas and renewable energy to telecom. His conglomerate, Reliance Industries is the largest company by market cap in India.
Markets2 weeks ago
Ranked: The World’s Most Valuable Bank Brands (2019-2023)
Mining5 days ago
Charted: 30 Years of Central Bank Gold Demand
Markets4 weeks ago
Retail Investors’ Most Popular Stocks of 2023 So Far
VC+2 weeks ago
NEW FEATURE: Unlock the VC+ Archive in March
Money4 days ago
The Richest People in the World in 2023
Politics3 weeks ago
How the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Impacts Science and Academia
Datastream2 weeks ago
The Drive for a Fully Autonomous Car
Demographics5 hours ago
Mapped: The World’s Happiest Countries in 2023