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This Generation Is By Far the Biggest Spender

On average, Americans spend over $60,000 on personal expenses

There was a time not too long ago when $83,000 a year represented a good year’s wages.

These days, that $83,000 figure represents something entirely different – the amount of cash one major U.S. demographic spends annually.

That’s the takeaway from a viral graphic from The Visual Capitalist. The graph pins down just how much money Americans spend each year, based on 2021 figures.

Far and away, Generation X (Americans born between 1965 and 1980) spent the most of any U.S. demographic that year, cracking open their wallets to the tune of $83,357.

Millennials (1981 to 1996) clocked in with $69,061 – that was good for second place. Generation Z stands as the most frugal generation, spending only $41,636 for the year.

What different demographics spent their money on is an eye-opener, too.

For instance, Generation X and Millennials spent the most on housing, with $26,385 and $24,052, respectively. Gen Z, which collectively is having a tough time financially coming out of the pandemic, is on the bottom rung in house spending, at only $15,449.

It’s likely no coincidence that Generation X and the Millennials spend the most on alcohol, at $601 and $629, respectively. The so-called “silent generation” - born before 1945 - spends sparingly on beer, wine, and spirits, at just $297.

Elsewhere, cigarettes seem to be passe, as no generational demographic spent more than $124 on tobacco products. 

Gen X and the Millennials spent the most on two vanity categories – clothing and personal care products – at $2,249 and $1,008, respectively.

At least Generation X is trying to put some money away for a rainy day, parking $5,550 in total cash contributions. That’s second only to the Baby Boomers, who spent $6,309 on cash contributions.