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Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
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Experience:  GPHR Cert; U.S. Treasury Tax Advocacy Panel appointee
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how much money does an american spend in one week

Resolved Question:

How much money an average american spends in one week?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 10 years ago.

Dear joyhsenicamonge,

The average american salary is about 45,000 to 48,000 not adjusted for inflation. (some people like to adjust this for inflation which would make it look like we earned an average of 70,000 dollars plus) I like to deal in what people put in thier pockets.

Americans spend at the rate they earn. This past year, Americans on average dipped into debt and exhausted their savings at the tune of minus .5%. So on average we spent half a percent more than we earned. The last time this happended was in 1932 and 33, just prior to the Great Depression.

This means we spent on average 45,225 to 48,240 dollars per year. At 52 weeks per year: we spent between 870 and 928 dollars a week.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Ed Johnson's Post: I am looking for a very average week of spending... not a division of spending for the year . The answer makes complete sense hoewever, I am looking more on the lines of day to day... gas, lunch, soda pop and multypling by seven.
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 10 years ago.

The only average you can get, is one that speaks to the Cost of Living indecies. However, these neglect the daily incidentals.

GAs is tracked, but lunkc and soda pop is not. Tell yo uwaht,

This is a very extensive piece of research.

You would have to give my your shopping basket, and I would have to research each item.

For example: Gas is tracked. We know for example that the average american is spending 35 dollars a week for gas.

However, to find out how much is spent on soda pop, I have to reserach the soda manufactureres who have that data.

I would have to reserach for bread and milk, and cheese. lunches are tracked for school lunches, but I am not sure you will find lunches for everyone.

Here is a sample of the Cola spending reports. So We can research individual commodities.

However, most economists will only track categoreis, for example: how much is spent on food, clothing, transportation, etc.

This is not a simple question you are asking.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Ed Johnson's Post: I am honestly not trying to make you work hard, I am doing a presentation on the value and significancy of donating to a charitable institution, I was trying to relate our "leisure spending" and how it could be used for a better cause. How about this is there any way you can tell me how much on average an American spends at Mcdonalds? I have to relate this topic to a bunch of college students...
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 10 years ago.

Leisure spending is a good one. There is plenty of information for that.

I see you where you are going.

You are focuisng on the average american. The average american does not eat at mcdonalds. That is a targeted group.

Leisiure spending, now that is a statistically viable topic. It includes a broad range of items that do not reflect a particular class of people (for example people who drink coke or eat at mcdonalds). It also reflects spending on non-essentials.

Another powerful comparison for this type of porject is how much is spent on soft drinks as a consumer class product that does not differnetiate into who drinks coke or pepsie, etc.

How about this:

How mush is spent on:

  1. Leisure

  2. Luxury items

  3. soft drinks

  4. Alcohol

  5. cigarettes

People are going to spend on mcdonalds as a necessity, because it is a meal. I would think you do not want to dig into their food basket, but want to attache their propencity for giving from disposable income over and above the food basket.

What do you think?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Ed Johnson's Post: okay lets go with soft drinks then, I think that one item will be sufficient
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 10 years ago.

Dear Joyse,

let me know if these soda related factoids will help you. I can dig deeper if you like.

  1. 12 - 19 year old boys drink on average two 12oz bottle of soda daily.

  2. According to the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA), consumption of soft drinks is now over 600 12-ounce servings (12 oz.) per person per year.

The report listed at this link is available for a fee. Most of the statistics and market data concerning soft drinks is proprietary. However, you can find usable data for your project at this web site:

(formerly the natioal beverage association)

Ed Johnson, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience: GPHR Cert; U.S. Treasury Tax Advocacy Panel appointee
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