Which US City Spends the Most?

Americans are spending less. Well, some Americans. Which city do you think has the most per capita spending on expenses?

Newport Beach? Palm Beach? Greenwich?


Austin, Texas
Jeremy Woodhouse | The Image Bank | Getty Images
Austin, Texas

Residents of Austin, Texas, spend more than anyone else in the country on expenses, averaging $67,076 last year.

That's according to Bundle.com, a social money Web site funded by Citigroup, Microsoft and Morningstar.

These figures exclude the cost of mortgage or rent, which may be why a coastal city didn't come in first.

This is the second time in two weeks we've heard that money is flowing in the Texas capital. Last week I bloggedthat Austin is also the best market for young entrepreneurs.

What did the average American household spend?

A whole lot less than the folks in Austin. Bundle.com says the national average last year was $37,782. That total figure is comprised of $8,668 on shopping, $8,026 on health and family (not sure what "family" entails—school supplies? soccer fees?), $6,514 on food and drink, $6,398 on house and home expenses (excluding mortgage or rent), $5,477 on transportation, and $2,699 on travel and leisure.

What does that mean on a weekly basis?

  • $167 shopping
  • $154 health and family
  • $125 food and drink
  • $123 house/home expenses
  • $105 getting around
  • $52 travel & leisure
  • Total: $726

After Austin is Scottsdale, AZ, where the average household spent $64,687 last year. That's followed by San Jose, CA at $59,022). New York City did not make the top 25. In fact, its annual average spending was slightly below the national average, at $37,435. But if you just look at Manhattan, Bundle.com says the figure rises to $59,062, putting it in third place behind Scottsdale.

The city with the lowest spending should not be a surprise: Detroit. Folks in the Motor City spent only $16,446 last year on average. Hialeah, FL came in second at $19,397), followed by Chula Vista CA at $21,424). That kind of surprised me—$21k isn't going to get you very far in California. You could spend that on gasoline alone!

Bundle.com also breaks down spending by state.

Here, Connecticut comes in first ($57,331), followed by the District of Columbia ($49,430), Hawaii ($46,518), California ($42,623), and Texas ($42,623). New York came in 8th ($40,783), and West Virginia came in last ($24,517).

The Web site also breaks down the data in fun ways—"Bakersfield spends more than San Francisco on healthcare and pets."

Bundle.com also says married couples with kids spent more on everything than everyone else last year, but not that much more. "Having kids only boosts annual grocery spending by about 8 percent, on average."

Diaper prices must have come down since I was a young mother.

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