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Author: GardenStateFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 883929  
Subject: Breakdown of household finances Date: 4/12/2013 12:40 PM
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The Atlantic has a graphic and article today on how teenagers spend their money:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/04/how-teen...

So I broke out the numbers from the BLS and compared a typical middle-class adult to a typical teen. I can't show dollar figures, since the study looks at percents only, so this graph compares the share of spending between teens and adults. Teens spend 14X more of their money on food; 8X more on books and clothes; and twice as much on the entertainment super-category, which includes electronics, movie tickets, concerts, and video games.

While that's interesting and all (because, duh, most teenagers have a home already, so housing isn't going to be a big category for them), what was MORE interesting to me was this graphic, embedded in the article, about the "typical household."

http://visualeconomics.creditloan.com/how-the-average-us-con...

My first thought was that this graphic was pretty much meaningless because it's too average.

It says that the US Consumer Unit has average 2.5 people, average age 48.8, average number of earners 1.3.

So when I look at the graphic itself, and it's pretty detailed, I cannot find child care as an expenditure category anywhere.

So right off the bat there, I can't make heads-or-tails of this graph without realizing that there will be HUGE swings one way or the other, depending on the age of children and whether or not you use child care.

I think comparing the percentages teenagers spend on things would be a lot more interesting if they were compared to certain categories of consumers:

- DINK (Double Income No Kids)
- Retirees
- Families

As opposed to this huge graph that is so averaged-out as to be kind of meaningless, IMO.

But that's my take, and looking at the graphic made some of my LBYM hackles rise a little.

I also wonder where they put cable and cell phone - Utilities, or Entertainment?

Your thoughts?

GSF
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