Today I was checking out the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States of America. This fine entity compiles a fascinating amount of data that never fails to depress me. Data about unemployment, about job prospects, about pay and benefits.
This link http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.htm directs you to a regularly compiled bit of information that spells out how Americans spend their money. The average spent on housing, on groceries, on transportation.
For me, it gave some insight as to how much you have to earn, to spend money on these things.
In other words, I needs me some $60,000 annually if I was a family of 2.5.
See what I mean about the depressing stuff?
The figure is climbing. According to their data, in 2006 consumer expenditures totaled $48,000ish, and in 2008 it is a reported $50,000ish. Over that time period, pre-tax income went from $60,000 to $63,000. The biggest chunk of spending went toward housing and then transportation.
If you contrast that over a longer period, which the BLS happily does for us, you will see a drastic difference between 1988 spending and 2008. (I assume that's because price has risen and I make a bold assumption) Of particular note is spending on food: $3,700 in 1988 compared with $6400 in 2008. Sheesh.