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The average American household spends just about $57,000, but where does it all go? Looking at where most money is spent can offer insights into areas of potential savings.

Spending trends

Where do Americans spend most of their money?

Who hasn't tallied up monthly bills or looked at a credit card statement and pondered if they're spending a little too much? The average person also may wonder how their expenditures compare to other people around the country and what they need to do to enjoy financial freedom in retirement.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends just about $57,000 each year between necessities and luxuries. Canadians are spending even more than their neighbors to the south. Statistics Canada indicates that, in 2016, the average annual expenditure on goods and services per household totaled $62,183.

So how are people allocating their funds? The results may surprise you and indicate where it's possible to trim some fat and save big bucks.

Across North America, housing is the largest line item in people's budgets. Various sources suggest that housing and shelter needs account for anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of most household budgets. By making housing decisions based on areas with the most efficient cost of living, individuals can save considerably over the long run.

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