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Are You Spending More Than the Average American on 25 Everyday Items?

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While your spending is tailored to your individual earnings and priorities, it doesn't hurt to use the average American as a financial gauge. You might be proud of your uncanny ability to find hidden gems at thrift shops or take advantage of the steepest retail discounts, saving heaps of money on clothing in the process. However, if you're also spending significantly more than the rest of America on things like education, child care or car insurance, you could be falling behind in terms of reaching your financial goals.

Related: How To Save Money on All Your Monthly Expenses and Bills

GOBankingRates rounded up 25 common expenses and used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Retail Federation and more to find out how much consumers typically spend on everyday items. The different expenses ranged from holiday gifts and subscription services to charitable donations and mortgage payments. In some cases, the figures were shocking. For example, Americans spend more on coffee than they do on their auto insurance -- in fact, caffeine consumption accounts for over $1,000 in the average consumer's expenditures. The final coffee bill is startlingly close to how much people spend on their cellphone services in a given year.

If you think that dropping $1,100 on coffee every year is perfectly acceptable, you should consider cutting back in other areas to fuel your caffeine habit without hurting the rest of your budget. While it's difficult to bring down your rent or mortgage payments on your own, you might find that tackling controllable expenses -- like dining out and entertainment -- can help you save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars annually.

Last updated: March 31, 2021

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Holiday Food and Decorations

  • What the average American spends annually: $227

See: Surprising Ways Older Americans Are Spending Their Money Now

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Subscription Services

  • What the average American spends annually: $237.33

Related: The 10 Best Fitness Apps To Replace Your Expensive Gym Membership

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Alcohol

  • What the average American spends annually: $583

Find Out: How Spending Money in These 10 Ways Will Actually Make You Happier

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Holiday Gifts

  • What the average American spends annually: $659
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Pets

  • What the average American spends annually: $662
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Entertainment Fees and Admission

  • What the average American spends annually: $766
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Public Transportation

  • What the average American spends annually: $818
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Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs

  • What the average American spends annually: $890
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Vehicle Insurance

  • What the average American spends annually: $976
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Miscellaneous

  • What the average American spends annually: $993

Everything You Need To Know: How To Create a Budget You Can Live With

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Coffee

  • What the average American spends annually: $1,100
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Cellphone Services

  • What the average American spends annually: $1,188
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Education

  • What the average American spends annually: $1,407
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Health and Fitness (Including Gym Memberships)

  • What the average American spends annually: $1,860
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Clothing and Apparel

  • What the average American spends annually: $1,866
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Charitable Donations

  • What the average American spends annually: $1,888
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Gasoline

  • What the average American spends annually: $2,109
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Health Insurance

  • What the average American spends annually: $3,405
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Dining Out

  • What the average American spends annually: $3,459
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Utilities

  • What the average American spends annually: $4,049
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Groceries

  • What the average American spends annually: $4,464
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Retirement Account Contributions

  • What the average American spends annually: $6,831

Find Out: The 10 Best Retirement Plan Options

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Child Care

  • What the average American spends annually: $9,006

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Rent

  • What the average American spends annually: $12,696
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Mortgage Payments

  • What the average American spends annually: $18,792

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: To find how much the average American spends on 25 common expenses each year, GOBankingRates compiled data on spending habits from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey, the National Retail Federation's 2019 winter holiday trends report, a Myprotein health and fitness survey, Child Care Aware of America's 2018 report, Acorns' Money Matters Report and West Monroe's "America’s Relationship with Subscription Services" report. All data used to conduct this study was compiled and verified on Dec. 4, 2019.