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How Much We Spend On Coffee, Gas, Pets, Beer, And More

french press product from amazon

I’m perfectly happy with a French Press

Recently, I read an article on Time.com about how much the average American spends on coffee, gas, and other neccessities. This made me curious about how we compare to the average consumer.

Coffee – The Consumerist cited Accounting Principals’ latest Workonomix survey and said the average American worker is spending about $1,092/year on coffee. Really? That is a lot of money! I drink a cup of French Pressed coffee in the morning with breakfast and that’s about it. Once in a long while, I would need an extra jolt in the afternoon, but my work place has coffee machines so I don’t have to shell out $3 + to Starbucks. I would guess that I spend $10/month at most on coffee beans = $120 per year. Mrs. RB40 on the other hand sneaks out to Starbucks once in a while for a seasonal drink and I have no idea how much she spends. I think she mostly uses gift cards there.

Lunch at work – 66% of the workforce buys their lunch to the tune of $37/week on average. That’s almost $2,000/year. I usually bring leftovers for lunch, but once in a while, I don’t have anything in the fridge and I’ll go out to eat. This happens probably 2-3 times/month. It’s difficult to calculate the cost of leftovers, but how about $2/lunch. I’ll say I spend $12/week for the total of $624/year.  Mrs. RB40 just told me that she sometimes sneaks out for lunch, too, instead of bringing her usual sandwich.

Gasoline – The average household spent $4,155 on gasoline. This one I have a solid number for. I started keeping track of our cash flow since April 2010 and I can extrapolate the data to one year. We spent about $950 on gasoline in 2011. We’ll have to reduce driving even further this year because I think the price of gasoline will go through the roof (again) this summer.

Cell Phone – The average cell phone costs around $600 annually. I spent about $100 on Tracfone last year. I don’t use the phone much so prepaid is the way to go.

*Update* These days I use the Moto X from Republic Wireless. It’s an inexpensive way to be connected.

Electricity – The average U.S. household paid $1,419 for electricity in 2010. We paid the $822 for electricity (including heating) in 2011.

Pets – The average dog owner spends $1,542 while the cat owner spends $1,183. We spent about $420 last year on 3 cats. That’s mostly food and kitty litter. We didn’t go to the vet last year, but should probably bring them in for checkups this year.

Watching Sports – The average pay TV subscriber paid about $100/year. We only have basic cable and I haven’t watched basketball lately. The Trailblazers keep disappointing me and I’m off the bandwagon. I usually go see live game once or twice per year when I get a free ticket from work. Live games are so much more fun. I’ll call this $0.

Beverages – The average household spends about $850/year on soft drinks. Wow, that’s a lot of carbonation. We rarely buy soft drinks so it’s pretty much $0 for us. Beer on the other hand… A total of $101 billion was spent on beer in 2010. I probably contributed about $150 to that fund in 2011. 😀

Here they are in easy to read table format for those of you who skipped to the end.

cell phone$600$100
watching sports$100$0

All in all, we are being very frugal compare to the average American. Our biggest expenditure isn’t every day items. Housing is where we spend a bit too much and if we can refinance that would help quite a bit. I’m still searching for a good refinance loan since CHASE is giving me a raw deal with HARP.

Do you know how much money you spent on these things in 2011? How do you compare to the average American? A lot of people must be a cheapo like me and drink coffee at home, so who is jacking up the curve? Is someone spending $2,000/year on coffee to offset my cheapness?

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

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{ 96 comments… add one }
  • Chris Banzet May 24, 2012, 6:30 am

    I think there is a double edged sword here. Although I agree we are very wasteful animals, I think there is also a quality of living that has to play into this.

    You mention that you’re going to cut down on your travel because of gas prices. I’m going to go ahead and spend that money and: See friends, hit the beach, drive through the mountains, visit the park for my daily walk, and visit the malls and shop. These are mental values that are worth the money. They help me peel off the day and rejuvenate me for round 1,000 at the office.

    That extra cup of coffee you refer to. I’m sorry, no free cup of over-burned afternoon coffee from the office compares to my Mocha Frappuccino. 🙂 And while the rest of the crew is just trying to hang on for the 5 o’clock whistle, I’m burning a blaze through my work and selling twice as much as everyone else.

    Americans have gotten REALLY bad about listening to others tell us we don’t “deserve” to live a better life. So much so, that we now think we have to drop ourselves to meet their standards. I for one totally disagree…. As do most people who find themselves successful.

    Although I appreciate your article, and do agree that there is a lot of overspending, I want to add my voice into this equation that tells Americans, don’t lose your quality of life while you’re attempting to prepare your future.

    Do you know how many people actually live to retirement? C’mon, the government doesn’t pick these numbers because they want to pay all of us our social security money back! Right?

    LIVE LIFE while you have it to live! That doesn’t mean be stupid and live paycheck to paycheck, but don’t live like you’re a man deep in the desert with only one canteen of water and two broken legs either….

    FIND A BALANCE!!! Successfully plan your future by properly nesting away a retirement, but EQUALLY plan to ensure that you get the satisfaction you deserve out of life!

    Guess who performs better at work? A guy who scrimps his whole life and lives a meager existence, or the person who fills up his piggy bank at work during the week and then re-fills up his soul on the weekend! BALANCE is KEY!

    Take care of your future, just don’t forget to take care of you today while you are doing it… 🙂 And don’t let someone else tell you what that level is. Only “YOU” can determine how much you need to restore your soul and sanity so that you are ready to take on the world tomorrow….

    Just my humblest opinion…. 🙂

  • CG February 13, 2012, 4:46 pm

    Hi! I’m a newbie to the site. 😉 My rounded up 2011 numbers:
    coffee $1,092 $300 Also press. I reuse the grounds for decaf.
    lunch $2,000 $0 Hubby always packs a lunch.
    gas $4,155 $1800 2 cars-100 miles commute weekly
    cell phone $600 $180 ~two Virgin mobile pay-as-you-go phones
    electricity $1,419 $1200 and natural gas $1260~very expensive in NJ
    pets $1,183 $0
    watching sports $100 $0
    beverage $850 $200 home brewing supplies, $100 in occasional Guinness and $40 in Coke and root beer for home pizza nights

    • retirebyforty February 13, 2012, 10:04 pm

      Reusing the ground as decaf sounds like a great idea. I might need to do that.
      Your expense are well under the average. Great job!

  • Donna McCaw February 7, 2012, 6:37 am

    Interesting figures here. Good comparisons as elf tracking lets you know where the money flows.. Google Burn Factor or Latte factor to look at these kinds of spending patterns.
    I track income and expenditure fairly closely. How do you keep the electricity so low?
    That one gets away on me on occasion.

  • Invest It Wisely January 28, 2012, 4:16 pm

    My workplace also has free coffee, but alas, that perk won’t be around for too much longer. 😉

    • retirebyforty January 28, 2012, 11:03 pm

      Heh heh, yeah. It’s getting closer for me too. I’m pretty sure it will be sometime this year. 😉

  • Leigh January 28, 2012, 12:26 pm

    I don’t drink coffee at all, so no costs for that! 🙂 I don’t have any pets either.

    Last year, I spent about $1,700 on lunches out at work. I spent about $400 on gas (I have a fuel efficient car and don’t put more than 5,000 miles a year on it).

    I switched from Vonage and a prepaid cell phone with T-Mobile to a smartphone with a contract and a data plan. My total phone costs for 2011 were about $700.

    Between living in an apartment and electricity rates being pretty cheap in my area, my electricity bill was under $200 for the year.

    I don’t watch live sports and I occasionally buy soft drinks, but when the 12-packs at the grocery store are buy 2, get 1 or 2 free, so those aren’t super expensive.

    Coffee $0
    Lunch $1,700
    Gas $400
    Phone $700
    Electricity $200
    Pets $0
    Watching sports $0
    Beverages $0

    I would say that other than lunch and my cell phone, I’m doing pretty well with my spending compared to the average American 🙂 Thanks, RB40 – that was an interesting exercise!

    • retirebyforty January 28, 2012, 11:19 pm

      Your lunch bill is pretty high, but everything else looks really great.
      I think you are doing much better than the average American. 🙂

      • Leigh January 29, 2012, 12:28 am

        Considering that I average < $100 per month on groceries, my total food bill including lunches isn't *that* bad.

  • Jackie January 27, 2012, 3:13 pm

    Haha, I love the “Here they are in easy to read table format for those of you who skipped to the end.” bit.

    At any rate, here are my numbers:

    Coffee, $0
    Lunch, $240 (but more on supper, we won’t go there though!)
    Gas, approx $690
    Cell phone, $984
    Electricity, $1440
    Pets, $a lot (due to illnesses)
    Watching sports, $0
    Beverage $48

    • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 3:57 pm

      I know you guys. hahaha 😀
      Nice job on gasoline there.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter January 27, 2012, 7:07 am

    Out of your list our cell phones would be the highest. I like my smart phone, I must admit. As far as coffee and lunches etc. we make these at home. Our biggest non-essential expense per year is definitely our travel budget. I like to see the world.

  • Lindy Mint January 26, 2012, 7:33 pm

    We’re under on coffee (surprisingly), soft drinks (don’t buy them), pets (don’t buy those either), sports, and lunches out. But we’re over on everything else, so I guess we break even.

  • Don January 26, 2012, 7:18 pm

    I spend about $400 on coffee (really lattes) per year. Actually, I’m lower on all the figures too. Overall, I’m pretty frugal. I thought the lattes would push be close to the number above, but I’m below the average number too.

    Nice find on the figures!

    • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 4:01 pm

      Great job Don.

  • MLISunderstanding January 26, 2012, 6:02 pm

    I come about to the average on cell phone use, which I was surprised by, as EVERYONE else I know pays more for their phone. I do live in the SF Bay Area, so most of them are smartphones. For everything else, there’s no contest. No car, no TV, no coffee, no booze, no soda. I am not a typical American in many senses, and these costs would only underscore that.

    • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 4:01 pm

      Nice job minimizing the cost! Are you a monk? (I’m channeling Financial Samurai here.) 😉

  • 101 Centavos January 26, 2012, 5:53 pm

    Hmm, Coffee and lunch from home (free coffee and tea at work), about $340/year for the one cell phone, and $2000 to $2600 on gas, and spot on for the electricity.

    $850 a year on soda? That’s some crazy money!

    Don’t know about wine and beer, those are food items. 🙂

    • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 4:00 pm

      Haha, I can see your Italian point of view on beer and wine.

  • Barb Friedberg January 26, 2012, 5:46 pm

    I’m afraid to calculate, although we brew coffee at home and bring lunch to work. We’re probably doing better than average in some categories, but definitely not on cable television.

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time January 26, 2012, 5:20 pm

    Happy you are well below average, happier I am well below average too. Thats kind of scary to think about gas prices this summer.

    • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 3:59 pm

      Buy energy stocks or get a bike. 🙂

  • My University Money January 26, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Wow… those are some eye-opening expense totals. I make the coffee work and so give myself plenty of goodwill in addition to being frugal! I would say I spend much less in every area except cell phone and electricity. Pesky Canadian phone plans cost me at leat that much a month, and good look trying to keep electricity costs down in -40 winters. I’d say I spend at least 1700-1800 a year on electricity, and that is supplementing with a wood stove that I cut wood for myself.

    • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 3:38 pm

      brrr… That’s way too cold for me. 🙂

  • Shilpan January 26, 2012, 5:05 pm

    I spent less than $100 on coffee and, certainly less than $300 on lunches last year. But, I am spending $250 per month on cell phone as I’ve four iphones. And that hurts. So, I am looking for ways to cut my phone bill. The only problem is — there’s no other phone as good as iPhone. 🙂

    • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 2:35 pm

      4 iphones? One for each member of the family? That’s a lot of money!

  • Hunter January 26, 2012, 4:46 pm

    3 Cats!!! Seriously? I’m sorry Joe, very sorry : )

    • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 2:34 pm

      They are pretty good for the most part. 🙂

  • Squirrelers January 26, 2012, 3:16 pm

    I think that for some of us, it’s the little things that can drive us through the day, even if it’s illogical to most. For some, it might be coffee. For others, it a pet. If we can minimize our weaknesses, and be frugal on most of these yet allow for maybe one category where we splurge a bit, it probably puts us ahead of the vast majority of folks.

    • Steve January 26, 2012, 4:42 pm

      I have the opposite approach. On a day to day basis I drink the free work coffee, bring my lunch, and cook dinner when I get home. Then I turn around and drop a bunch of money going on vacation. I remember the trip all year (and then some) whereas a habit of buying coffee would have faded into the background.

      • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 2:34 pm

        That’s what we did before we had a baby. 🙂
        Traveling is great and you remember those trips for a long time afterward.

        • Steve January 27, 2012, 2:42 pm

          You can travel with a baby. It’s harder but definitely doable!

          • retirebyforty January 27, 2012, 3:58 pm

            Man, it’s so much work just going around town with the little guy. We’ll wait until he’s a bit older before striking out very far. 🙂

  • Christa January 26, 2012, 1:59 pm

    We’re below average in everything but pets. I spent a few hundred over that on my dog, but I saved on the cats — so it evens out, right? 😉

  • PKamp3 January 26, 2012, 7:54 am

    I especially respect your low energy usage! We go over in the energy, over in the cell phones, and over in the watching sports (Sunday ticket… I’m anticipating purchasing it).

    Good work pruning the expenses all over!

  • Little House January 26, 2012, 7:11 am

    I know I spent less in almost every category; however my cell phone bill is actually more than the average (closer to $1,300 annually) and our beverages are probably higher as well. Yet, as much as I LOVE Starbucks, I think I spent less than the average at $720 for the year. 🙂

    • retirebyforty January 26, 2012, 4:29 pm

      How come your beverages bill is so high? Drink a lot of wine? 🙂

  • Derek January 26, 2012, 4:10 am

    Interesting article RB40! I know that my wife and I spend much less for lunch than the average couple, but we spend a ton of money on gas. I live about 15 miles from my work, and she’s about 35 miles away from hers. Each month, I figure we shell out $600-800 to the gas companies, which equals around $8,000 per year. Yikes….

    • retirebyforty January 26, 2012, 4:28 pm

      Wow, that is a lot of money for gas. Can you cut down at all? The price will hit the roof this summer and it will be painful.

  • youngandthrifty January 26, 2012, 12:07 am

    My electricity costs are way higher than yours! LOL… My bill was $500 for two months in the winter, though I did have tenants in the basement.

    Cable is expensive here too. I have a student discount and We are paying about $60 a month for cable, compared to the $120/year the average american spends.

    Gas is expensive, I used to pay $150 a month and now I only pay about $50 a month since I’m not working as much.

    I always bring my own lunch so I think I save some money this way. Then I go ahead and spend it on a vacation hehe.

    • retirebyforty January 26, 2012, 4:27 pm

      Wow, that’s a lot of money on electricity. Gas will go way up this summer so it’s a good thing you cut down already.
      Traveling is worth saving for!

  • Shawanda January 25, 2012, 10:32 pm

    $1,092 a year on coffee?! Preposterous!

    Now that I have to pay for my own coffee, instead of getting the stuff from the office, my coffee bill has gone up. You can’t beat free. But I’ll probably spend no more than $10 to $15 a month to make it at home. It takes me longer to leave home, get my coffee from 7-Eleven, pay for it, and drive back home, than it does to just make it myself.

    As for gas, I probably spend a quarter of what the average American spends. When you live in a densely populated area – and I do – you don’t have to drive far and you really don’t want to.

    My cell phone bill, on the other hand, is shameful. After unlimited calling, a data plan, and text messaging, I’m WELL over a grand a year.

    • retirebyforty January 26, 2012, 4:25 pm

      Nice job on keeping the coffee and gas cost down. 🙂

  • Simple Rich Living January 25, 2012, 8:51 pm

    coffee zero; I drink tea – maybe $100 (between buying tea and coffee shops)
    lunch $150 – I almost always bring my own lunch and only eat out if there is a work thing
    gas $810 – I tracked my gas spending last year
    cell phone $225 – I also have paid as you go (and a land line). It would be but there was a family emergency so I spent $30 plus in long distance in one shot once
    electricity $500 – my apartment is tiny and I live in a condo so some fee are included in the condo fees
    pets zero – no pet (don’t really ever plan to have one)
    watching sports zer0 – I am not a huge fan of watching sports
    beverage $20 – I only buy pop once in a blue moon

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:03 pm

      Your gas spending is really low. Great job!
      Electricity is very good too.

  • lifeoverwork January 25, 2012, 8:22 pm

    I’m guilty on the lunch thing. Part of it comes from being a single guy: I don’t have many leftovers as I don’t really cook. I could make excuses and say it’s not worth it to cook for one, but if I did I would have leftovers to bring! Instead, I’ll chalk it up to laziness.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:03 pm

      I used to eat lunch out all the time when I was single. It’s fun to go out and socialize with other single people. Now I just go to the gym at lunch. 🙁

  • Doctor Stock January 25, 2012, 6:44 pm

    You’re right… it’s the little things that really add up. Yet it is also these things that bring most of us a lot of simple pleasure.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:02 pm

      That is so true. A nice IPA goes a long way to make the end of the week much better.

  • krantcents January 25, 2012, 5:56 pm

    I do not drink coffee, however I will have a blended drink and cookie at Starbucks once a week ($5.55). Lunches are always leftovers (H & W) because I can not go out. Gas (2 cars) is approx $2,200, Cell phone is our only phone $840, electricity/gas (1,800 sq. ft. home) is approx. $900, dog is $600 and sports are free. No beer expense! I am over/under, but I do not care. I keep a low profile lifestyle anyway and am unwilling to cut or reduce things further.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:01 pm

      I think you deserve to enjoy your money. You already worked hard and are pretty well off. No need to cut or reduce anything. 🙂

  • JoeTaxpayer January 25, 2012, 4:33 pm

    I rarely buy a cup of coffee. My bill is close to (1lb/10days) * ($4/lb ave) *365 = $146 give or take. For every lb of Zabar’s I’ve bough at $6.95/lb, there’s a few at Costco that push $2.50/lb w/coupon.

    My gas and electric bills average $500/mo total. So $6000/yr.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 9:55 pm

      We’re drinking Costco coffee now. The 2lb bag last us a long time, probably a bit too long.

  • Jeremy @ Personal Finance Whiz January 25, 2012, 3:29 pm

    I’m always amazed when I see things like this. Our expenses last year were way below the average in most categories.

    coffee $120 (I brew at home, plus a couple of seasonal drinks at SB per year)
    lunch $200 (maybe? I don’t know if I go out for lunch even once per month)
    gas $2,160
    cell phone $1,980 (Blast you iPhone x2!)
    electricity $1,800
    pets $500
    watching sports $0
    beverage $50 (We usually buy a couple bottles of wine each year)

    So I’m at about 60% of the average overall. I wonder what some of the extremes are on the other end. Someone is driving the averages up!

  • newbie January 25, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Are these average American amounts for a single, couple or household? I think that may be what is conflicting with a few of these numbers.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 3:47 pm

      Some of them are household and some of them are individual. Coffee, lunch, and cell phones are individual. I should make that more clear in the post.

  • Steve January 25, 2012, 2:57 pm

    If you attend a couple sports games a year, that’s $100 pretty easily.

    Cell phones is only $50 per month. I guess that’s average-ish though it depends on if you have a data plan or not.

    OTOH $3 at Starbucks every work day in a year is only $750. And not everyone buys coffee at such places. (It’s the rare personal finance blogger who admits doing so 🙂 I’m pretty surprised by that number.

    Well anyways here are my guesses at the same numbers in my household (for both of us together):
    average steve
    coffee $1,092 $50 – get most of my coffee at work – get the occasional seasonal drink
    lunch $2,000 $1248 – we both brown bag almost every single day
    gas $4,155 $1500 – I think we get gas once a week @ $30 a pop. MrsSteve does the gassing up though so I’m not sure.
    cell phone $600 $1200
    electricity $1,419 $1370
    pets $1,183 $0
    watching sports $100 $45 – I don’t really like sports but a friend cajoles me into about one game per year
    beverage $850 $150 – I guess about the same as you.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 4:12 pm

      I think they are mostly talking about watching it on TV. Live games are so much more fun. Tickets are pretty cheap in the nosebleed section. 🙂
      Your gasoline expense is pretty good.
      Thanks for sharing.

  • The Passive Income Earner January 25, 2012, 2:46 pm

    I’ll attempt to approximate the numbers
    coffee – $400 – we don’t buy coffee much but we are on the road often and if you forget to brew you buy (I am a McCafe fan and not Starbucks).
    gasoline – ~$375/month = $4500 – 2 cars (1 to drive to work and the other for the kids and such)
    cell phone – $300 – we also use a prepaid card (My office provided iPhone soften the bill)
    electricity/gas – $2200
    pets – $1200 (1 small dog and 2 cats)
    sports channel – $120 – can’t miss hockey 🙂
    beverages – $400 – it’s expensive in Canada to buy beer and wine

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 4:10 pm

      Your numbers are pretty good. Gasoline is more expensive up north too.
      I didn’t know it’s that much more expensive to buy beer and wine in Canada. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m up there.

  • John @ Married (with Debt) January 25, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I know a few people who probably spend a grand per year on coffee. You almost have to be intentionally wasteful to do this, but then I realize that this is probably one starbucks per day.

    We are right at the average on electricity.

  • Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog January 25, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Im probably way below all of those – I dont drink coffee, I walk to work (no gas spending) I eat lunch at home (no work lunches) and I dont drink soft drinks – I’m about average on the phone, though.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 12:59 pm

      You are doing really great since you changed job. 🙂

  • Jeffrey January 25, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Wow, file this one under the “no wonder Americans are broke” category. I almost had a heart attack with some of these stats. $1k a year on coffee?!! That’s absurd. I’m a french presser, like you, and I spend $10-$15 a month on pretty decent coffee beans.

    $4k on gasoline?!? Ouch.

    I’m above average on the phone since I have an iPhone that costs ~$70 a month.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 12:59 pm

      I guess all the little purchases adds up. I wonder who is offsetting all of us cheapos.

  • frugalportland January 25, 2012, 11:56 am

    I don’t have pets and I don’t drink soda and I don’t watch TV. I drink only things that I can become addicted to — so coffee & booze. Can you do a post on how you keep your PGE bill so low?

  • Aloysa @My Broken Coin January 25, 2012, 10:36 am

    We are coffee lovers, so we do spend a lot (I don’t have a number.) Soft drinks… Hell now. We don’t drink soft drinks and I don’t get all this fascination with them. Pets… Oh pets… they can break you bank account really fast. I need to do some calculations! And write a post about it.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 12:58 pm

      Heh heh, you should figure out how much you spent for coffee and write a post. Looking forward to it.

  • MoneyCone January 25, 2012, 9:41 am

    Woah! The average one spends on coffee is $1,092? I need to stock up on SBUX!

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:15 am

      That is pretty crazy, right?

  • Charles January 25, 2012, 9:25 am

    i think if you’re comparing yourself to the average American, it’s a bad comparison. The average American is in debt, overweight and makes only $35-40k a year. Being better than the average American is not something to be proud of.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:15 am

      Hahaha, yes you are correct. Hey, at least we are not doing worse than average.

  • YFS January 25, 2012, 9:08 am

    I get creamed by my cellphone bill.. I pay a whooping 180 bucks a month (2 Iphones). Good thing is I write this off as a business expense. Lunch in D.C. is no small potatoes either. You can easily spend 10-15 dollars a day!

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:14 am

      Why do you need 2 iphones? 🙂 Just joking. I guess I should be happy that Mrs. RB40 only use it to call and text.

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc January 25, 2012, 8:25 am

    Yeah, based on the numbers of the typical American consumer, we’re comparatively more frugal too. I find it interesting how easy it is for budgets to spiral out of control on typical expenses. Good write up!

  • DollarDisciple January 25, 2012, 7:45 am

    One of the biggest things i’ll miss when I leave my office job is the free coffee!

    A lot of my numbers are similar (or higher.. ouch) but I can say one thing for certain: I also spent $0 on watching sports. We ditched the cable service last year and I don’t miss it at all.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:13 am

      Congratulation on cutting the cord. 🙂

  • Sustainable PF January 25, 2012, 6:23 am

    I think my beer budget would pretty much eliminate savings in the other areas! We do have a 110 lb dog and 3 cats too, so pet expenses are high.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:11 am

      That’s a big beer budget. 🙂 I can’t imagine how much the 110 lb dog cost in food alone.

  • Lisa @ Cents To Save January 25, 2012, 6:18 am

    This is a fun article. I think I am going to borrow the format and figure out what I am spending a year on these same categories. Might be a real eyeopener.

    • retirebyforty January 25, 2012, 10:11 am

      It’ll be fun to see other bloggers expenses too.

  • Money Beagle January 25, 2012, 6:16 am

    I drink the coffee at work 5 days a week, but I bring in my own half and half. Plus what I get on weekends, I think I figured out that I average around $10-15 per month on coffee costs including filters and such. Which isn’t too bad.

  • Niki January 25, 2012, 6:05 am

    I am not sure what we spent, I can and will look into it though. Sounds like a fun comparison. I am pretty sure we are also well below average also. Fun post!

    • Jon -- Free Money Wisdom January 26, 2012, 7:47 pm

      Wow, great food for thought. I’ll have to look into it as well. Although, I always take my lunch to work and I rarely eat out. I’d say I’m below average too. Great article!

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