This Is Why Americans Have so Much Trouble Saving Money

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We are all Steve Martin.

“I love money. I love everything about it,” he once said. “I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gas-powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.”

Yes, like the iconic comedian, the American consumer loves to consume. Maybe an electric dog polisher and a fur sink are a bit extreme, but the U.S., with its relatively low savings rate, definitely has a spending problem.

So where does it all go?

Cost-estimating website crunched Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers to come up with this telling chart:

As you can see, the average American earned $78,635 in 2018 and spent $61,224 of it, which means we’re spending about 80% of our income. After taxes are taken out, that percentage jumps even more.


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