Average Family Budget

Have you ever wondered what the average family budget is? Use the data on this page to compare to your own family budget.

Average 2008 Expenditures Categorized

average family budget

The following table shows 2008 expenditures broken down into categories. This data was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It can help give you some great ideas of how to handle your own family budget spending.

The table shows data from a "consumer unit". The Bureau of Labor Statistics definition of consumer unit is based on an average of 2.5 persons.

2008 Consumer Unit Average ExpendituresAnnualMonthly
 $50,486$4,207
Food$6,443$537
   Food at home$3,744$312
   Food away from home$2,698$225
Alcoholic beverages$444$37
Housing$17,109$1,426
   Shelter$10,183$849
   Utilities, fuels, and public services$3,649$304
   Household operations$998$83
    Housekeeping supplies$654$55
    Household furnishings and equipment$1,624$135
Apparel and services$1,801$150
   Men and boys$427$36
   Women and girls$718$60
   Children under 2$93$8
   Footwear$314$26
   Other apparel products and services$248$21
Transportation$8,604$717
   Vehicle purchases (net outlay)$2,755$230
   Gasoline and motor oil$2,715$226
   Other vehicle expenses$2,621$218
   Public transportation$513$43
Healthcare$2,976$248
   Health insurance$1,653$138
    Medical services$727$61
   Drugs$482$40
    Medical supplies$114$10
Entertainment$2,835$236
   Fees and admissions$616$51
   Audio and visual equipment and services$1,036$86
   Pets, toys, hobbies, and playground equipment$704$59
   Other entertainment supplies, equipment, and services $479$40
Personal care products and services$616$51
Reading$116$10
Education$1,046$87
Tobacco products and smoking supplies$317$26
Miscellaneous$840$70
Cash contributions$1,737$145
Personal insurance and pensions$5,605$467
   Life and other personal insurance$317$26
   Pensions and Social Security$5,288$441
*Data taken from Bureau of Labor Statistics.  
**Data based on consumer unit, which on average has 2.5 persons. 

Hopefully this average family budget data is useful when trying to analyze your own family money management plan.

Cell Phone Spending

family spending

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also had some interesting data on family residential versus cell phone spending. It is something I had wondered about, so when I found the information I thought it would be nice to share.

As you probably suspected, spending on residential phones is decreasing and spending on cell phones is increasing.

family spending

The next chart shows cell phone spending according to age group.

family spending



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