No. 5 ...What We Spend In A Month

Has the much heralded age of austerity really come? As you can see from our snapshot of the changes in monthly household spending over the past four years, it's a mixed picture. Following the financial crisis and recession, consumer spending dropped in 2009 for the first time in 71 years, but we didn't close our wallets completely. Each month, the average adult American buys $3,710 worth of goods and services (which includes direct purchases as well as such expenses as employer-funded health care plans bought on our behalf), according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Adjusted for inflation, that's down just...

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