As a society, we love to shop. I know I’ve done my fair share. Because I have a curious mind, I decided to do a little research on how much we, as Americans, spend on shopping, in both time and money.
Here are some shopping stats that will blow you away:
On average, a single adult spends approximately $65 per week on food. (choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com)
25% of our grocery dollars are spent on processed foods and sweets. (creditdonkey.com)
The average American spends $454 dollars per year on alcohol. Upper income (over $150,000 per year) spends nearly three times as much. (bevrage.com)
Clothing was difficult. It seems there are those who spend a lot, and those who spend very little. Some people prefer purchasing many items, while others would rather buy one quality piece. But this is what I found (from August 2011): In a survey by corporette.com, over 40% of people spent between $500 and $1000 in the first half of the year, 27% spent less than $500, and 22% between $1000 and $2500. According to Forbes, Americans spend $1700 per family per year. The answers seem to be all over the place. I think what it really comes down to is this, we spend a lot of money on clothing.
How long do people spend shopping? Women spend the most time in a physical store, 399 hours per year to be exact. To be fair, those hours include shopping for the family – for clothing, food, and toiletries. (nydailynews.com)
Men and women both spend five hours each week shopping online, with men spending 28% more money than women. (bigcommerce.com)
$1600 per household per year on electronics. (gorave.com)
$1100 on coffee. (2012 business.time.com)
$2482 per household on entertainment. (bls.gov)
$1641 per year on a dog, and $1125 caring for a cat. (fortune.com)
$371 per child per year is spent on toys. (worldatlas.com)
$1500 per year is spent by the average American smoker. (aol.com, June 20111) For those who smoke one pack per day, the cost is $9200 per year. (smokefree.org)
$608 is spent on personal care. (valuepenguin.com)
$1345 on manicures. (wisebread.com)
$2041 are spent on vacations each year. (latinpost.com)
We have an expensive society, no doubt. Looking at these numbers makes me seriously ill. I often wonder if we don’t overspend on things that don’t matter, like junk food that doesn’t nourish us, clothing that sits idle in our closets, coffee we could make at home, and toys our children don’t play with.
We overspend, and overspend, and wonder where our money went. And then we look around our homes, and there it sits, inside magazine subscriptions we never read, and in chairs that never get used.
My home, my life, they are far from perfect. I am far from perfect. I still make purchasing mistakes, and spend my money on things I don’t need (like the three bottles of nail polish I recently bought). But I am trying. Trying to spend less, to be a conscious consumer, and purchase only what I need. Trying to live a simpler life, with less focus on stuff, and more on what matters.
Like vacations with my husband, events with family, and a solid retirement plan.
Which brings me to this: 26% of adults have zero savings. Nothing to fall back on in case of an emergency. 36% haven’t begun to save for retirement. (creditdonkey.com)
What does this have to do with minimalism? Everything. We are a consumeristic society, fed commercials since birth. Told to buy and buy and buy. We aren’t taught to save, aren’t told that we really don’t need toys and extra clothes or three bottles of polish to survive.It takes much less to live on than we think. Click To Tweet
Maybe it’s time to rethink where we spend our money and time. Maybe it’s time to place it in what matters.
It’s simple, when you think about it. Give up coffee at the shop, even once a week. Stop needless subscriptions, and extra trips to the grocery store. Put the dollars away, in the bank, or a retirement account. Watch your money grow.
What do you spend your money on that you could be saving? Where will you put it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As for me, I’m putting an end to nail polish.
Have a simply beautiful day.