How Americans Spend Their Money

Furniture sets

Each year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts together a quarterly survey known as the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which tracks the buying habits of American consumers. According to the latest numbers, in 2011, urban households spent an average of $50,348 (rural households spent a bit less with $42,540). These figures represent spending on food, housing, clothing, education, transportation, healthcare, and entertainment; rural households spent more than urban households on transportation, healthcare, and entertainment.

When examining the numbers more closely, American households spent an average of $1,500 on household furnishings and equipment, such as furniture sets, dining room furniture, living room furniture, bedroom furniture sets, and the like. Of course, budget and taste can drastically affect these numbers, hence the reason they are considered an average. For example, bedroom furniture sets bought in Manhattan are surely going to be pricier than bedroom furniture sets bought from a furniture store in Chesapeake VA. That being said, the national average spent on bedroom furniture sets (including bed, dresser, mirror, and night stands) was roughly $1,200. For sofas, the average number comes in at $799; this, of course, would be slightly higher for leather furniture, which averages $1,200. In addition to bedroom furniture sets, Americans spent $700 on queen sized mattresses and box springs, $1,600 on dining room sets, and approximately $300 on coffee tables. It is interesting to point out that even though household spending has increased in recent years due to economic inflation, in 2010, consumer spending on furniture was down by six percent. This decrease in furniture expenditures proves that when the economy toughens, many Americans cut buying bedroom furniture sets from their budget.