Consider yourself an average American? While that may put you good company with a lot of your neighbors, average is not always the best place to be. Especially when it comes to financial matters like money, loans and debt.
If you’re “average” in terms of savings, you have less than $1,000 in your bank account.1 If you are part of an average household, you have around $137,063 in debt.2 Some of that debt includes close to $27,000 in auto loans.3
If you’re the average family, you’ve also been spending more than before. The average home is about 2,100 square feet, up from 1,000 square feet in the 1950s.4 You also share the average American’s growing stress about money. Reports show that more than 49% of us are “concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being.”5
With all that in mind, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that spending money just to keep up with the Jones, instead might be keeping you back. Here’s how to reduce spending and do better than the average home.
According to The Department of Energy, a typical family spends at least $2,200 a year on energy bills.6
How to save: Get a smart thermostat. You can save 10% to 12% on heating and up to 15% on cooling.7
According to the EPA, the average American family uses 300 gallons of water a day.8
How to save: Use less water. Turn off faucets when possible. Use water-efficient faucets and showerheads.
On average, and depending on the carrier and plan, a family of four pays $120 to $240 a month for cell phones and service. 9
How to save: Seize on carrier promotions. As phone carriers fight to keep customers, plans are increasingly cost competitive. Another option: prepaid plans. They offer a lower price for upfront or automatic payments.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17.3% of monthly expenses, or about $750 a month, are dedicated to commuting to work.10
How to save: Carpooling. Biking. Public transportation. Or ride-sharing services that you can access and use from your smartphone apps.