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Average American Budget

  • Discretionary Spending $9,312
  • $1,188 for dining out;
  • $960 for charitable giving
  • $948 for birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts
  • $852 for entertaining
  • $768 on home decorating, such as new furniture or carpeting
  • $732 on fast food and take-out food
  • $396 for health and beauty aids.
  • $384 on cellular phone service.
  • 2001 fixed household expenses $23,545, (Fixed expenses include rent or mortgage, groceries, utilities, telephone service, car payments, gasoline, auto insurance, doctor bills, tuition, income taxes and property taxes.)


A Look at Home Economics in the 2000s

Setting up, running and maintaining a household (without going broke, maxing out the credit cards, declaring bankruptcy, moving in with relatives or becoming a welfare case) in our modern era.



Here is a little lesson in Home Economics that I recently learned!
But first, a joke:

Q: Is your refrigerator running? (say yes)

A. Well then you better go catch it! (Laugh)

I still get a kick out of that one! It is also a nice lead-in to my lesson! It all started last July when we purchased a vacation home which came equipped with 23 year old appliances. Now I have heard the mantra about "Energy Efficient Appliances" before, but never had it been so clearly illustrated to me: When I opened the first electricity bill for our new house, I nearly had a stroke. We were using an insane amount of electricity, and we were hardly ever there!

Kenmore 18.2 cu. ft. Top Freezer RefrigeratorWe figured that it had to be the refrigerator Our Old 23 Year Old Refrigeratorsince that was really the only thing using electricity in our absence. So, I set about looking for a new one (paying close attention to each candidate's Energy Star status) and decided on this Kenmore 18.2 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator in Stainless Steel (Item #:04679943000) for $722.49 from Our new fridge was delivered and installed on September 29th.  (And for $10 extra Sears hauled away the old one!)

Take a look at what happens to our electricity usage:
  July August September October November
Kilowatt Hour Usage 576



255Kenmore Energy Star Fridge Saves the Day!

269Kenmore Energy Star Fridge Saves the Day!

Buying Guides
  1. Sheets and Linens - everything you need to know about buying bed sheets!
  2. Appliances - (Work in progress - but while you're up on economy and conservation!)


How We Pay Our Bills

  • The number of consumers who were expected to use credit or charge cards to pay at least one monthly bill in 2001 was 14%, compared to 7% in 2000.
  • 25% pay bills online or use online banking

The household bills most commonly paid with a charge or credit card include:

  • Internet and online services (19%),
  • Magazine or newspaper subscriptions (10%),
  • Doctor or hospital visits (10%),
  • Local and long distance telephone services (6%),
  • Membership dues (5%).

Budgeting American Style

  • 63% set a household budget
  • 35% stick to it
  • 25% don't
  • 17% Say they overspend
  • 36% do not set a budget
      Purple Flower



Copyright Retro Housewife 2003-2008