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It's Official: Gov Stats Shows the Middle Class is Dead

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Transportation:   Off to work we go.

America 's average family has two cars and car loans totaling $3,250 per year in payments.  They spent a total of $7,658 driving 13,800 miles last year.  Each mile cost about 55 cents.  It's a darn good thing they live close to work, because 10,000 miles is the average commute for one person, leaving our 1.3 workers no miles left to go anywhere else.

Personal:   A little something just for you.

Each average family member gets 3.5% of the household gross earnings to live it up!  Their spending for each person went like this: $609 on clothes, $1,077 on entertainment, $235 on personal care, and $313 on either smokes or alcohol for all of 2011. 

That's $2,200 to cover all your clothing, grooming, hygiene, entertainment and other personal indulgences for the year.  Here's your allowance for the week: $42.30.  Don't spend it all in one place.

Frivolous Spending:  Butts and beer.

The 1% is by now wondering how much the poor could save by not smoking, drinking, toking, snorting or shooting. 

As far as legal indulgences go, not much. (See the numbers above, this spending is included in the $42.50 weekly per person allowance).  In 2010, each member of the average American family spent $2.48 cents for smokes and $3.54 for brews weekly.

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Spending on illicit drugs is not reported by the BLS.  See: "Other" below for how much fun money an average American might have to toss away on self medication with dry goods.

Other:   Why am I reaching for my wallet?

What about gifts, parking tickets, resumes, vacation/travel, office parties, license and registration fees, membership dues, etc.?  Either fit it into one of the other budget lines or take it from a whopping $880 per year of miscellaneous spending, about $6.77 a week per family member.

Average American Living Unit, 12 months (Story based on most recent 2010/2011 data)

2.5 persons  

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1.3 workers

Gross income per worker: $48,351   

                             Spending

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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)
 

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I used the "C" word in this piece only because the... by Chaz Valenza on Sunday, Jan 1, 2012 at 4:41:38 PM
What's your guess?  I've been thinking about ... by Chaz Valenza on Sunday, Jan 1, 2012 at 4:59:47 PM
   That sounds about right. I'm working ... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Jan 1, 2012 at 6:49:29 PM
I believe that the real world inflation recently d... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 4:58:28 AM
And we're supposed to vote Republican ? NOT... by Chef Boy RV on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 12:13:43 PM
I prefer to reference us as the former m... by jtenn on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 12:56:35 PM
The following post includes adapted excer... by Richard Clark on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 12:15:46 PM
   Medical costs make it just about impo... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 1:10:42 PM
How much do you pay for these?... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 4:48:53 AM
Foot doctor, family doctor, Joslin clinic for eyes... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 6:31:03 AM
The top 0.01% of earners make at least $9.14 milli... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 12:45:46 PM
see subject... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 1:12:02 PM
The salaries you note here would be typical salari... by Gary Root on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:45:08 AM
... the great unspeakable in regard to capitalism ... by Jill Herendeen on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 7:24:03 AM
Ron Paul may not be the perfect progressive BUT he... by Jill Herendeen on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 7:14:12 AM
Romney and Obama have the most corporate support. ... by Michael Shaw on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:15:57 PM
most votes; their guy in the back room will fix it... by Jill Herendeen on Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012 at 9:55:44 PM
it's only downhill from here!... by Michael Shaw on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 3:19:17 PM
"The fourteen hundred dollar number must include e... by Rixar13 on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 6:17:30 PM
"The fourteen hundred dollar number must include e... by Rixar13 on Monday, Jan 2, 2012 at 6:17:55 PM
Historically, when the richest gained too much pow... by DH Fabian on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 7:29:13 AM
...when all the money goes to the top, the last pl... by Chaz Valenza on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 8:28:23 AM
imposed by the much above middle class on Wall Str... by John Sanchez Jr. on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 9:41:17 AM
Thanks for writing this, I really appreciate the i... by Jackie Feazell on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 8:12:15 PM
Tht would be nice. (Yes, I see it.)  I work a... by Chaz Valenza on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 8:47:00 PM
Even though a debt crisis is gripping the ... by Richard Clark on Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012 at 9:15:13 PM
My husband and I were middle class, we live in pov... by Paula Landua on Sunday, Jan 15, 2012 at 4:29:35 PM