When Americans Spend and What They Spend on

Americans. What a ridiculously lucky bunch. Most of us have disposable income; some of us have a lot. We spend a lot, too. I mean, we don't really like saving so much. If you've ever wondered what everybody's spending on, here's your answer.

Spending Categories

You might be surprised to learn that the percentage of income spent on each of twelve different categories doesn't change much when you adjust for income, age or even year. According to CNN Money, it doesn't matter how old we are or how much we earn, we spend most of our money on housing and transportation. Statistics from CreditLoan.com agree. Here's what our spending looked like in 2013.

Category Avg. Spending % of Total Spending
Transportation $9,004 17.6%
Food $6,602 12.92%
Personal Insurance and Pensions $5,528 10.82%
Entertainment $2,482 4.86%
Apparel and Services $1,604 3.14%
Housing $17,148 33.56%
Cash Contributions $1,834 3.59%
Healthcare $3,631 7.11%
Other $3,267 6.39%
Total $51,100

Source: CreditLoan.com (percentages are our own calculations)

When We Spend

According to Statista, we still spend the most before and during winter holidays (a lot on Black Friday, Cyber Monday). No surprise there. The second most expensive time of the year may surprise you, though. Here's the ranking.

1. Winter Holidays: $602.1 billion (source: punchbowl.com)
2. Back to School:  $67.96 billion
3. Mother's Day: $19.9 billion
4. Valentine's Day: $19.73 billion
5. Easter: $17.32 billion
6. Super Bowl: $15.53 billion
7. Father's Day: $12.68 billion
8. Halloween: $6.89 billion
9. St. Patrick's Day: 
$4.44 billion

source: statista.com unless otherwise noted

Other Notes

Be the First

When? First, that's when. 30-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first, according to Brevet.

Push At-Home Hours

The stats say more and more consumers are shopping online instead of at brick-and-mortar stores. If they don't buy anything online, they're checking reviews and watching demo videos. Consider tailoring your ad strategy to consumers who are sitting at home or using their smart phones on their lunch breaks.

Ask "When Will They Need or Want It?"

All-wheel drive cars sell best just before winter because drivers want to prepare for snow and other inclement weather. Shorts and skirts sell best during the spring because consumers want to prepare to dress for the season. Whatever you sell, try to figure out when the market will get the itch to buy it. Then, adjust your marketing and inventory based on your findings.

At isoTree, we specialize in advertising and lead generation. If you need help with your marketing effort, we're here for you. Click here to learn more about our services.

David Kalla