Consumer spending in 2013 decreased 0.7% from 2012, following two years of increased annual spending. On average, consumer units spent $51,100 in 2013. The distribution of that money hasn’t changed too drastically, but even small shifts show a bit of a trend toward reducing expenses. Here are five categories where consumer spending went down from 2012 to 2013.
1. Dining Out
In 2013, consumer’s have manage to wise up about spending money on dining out. Food is much more expensive when dining out than dining at home. So while dining out has decreased overall food spending has stayed the same, consumer’s are spending more at the grocery store to increase the home experience.
Consumers seem to have cut back on shopping sprees, using thrift stores more and coupons
3. Gasoline & Motor Oil
It has become trendy to save money on gas. Buying gas with discounts offered by grocery stores seems to be the new norm.
In addition to dining out, entertainment is one of the most popular places people go when trying to trim their budgets. Getting together at homes seems to also be on the rise as well as outdoor things that can be done on a tight budget. This frees up money for other expenses.
The little extras — whatever they may be — can add up quickly and hurt your bottom line. Miscellaneous expenses soaked up less of consumers’ cash in 2013. Some households have cut cable, cell phone plans, gym memberships, paper towels and cold cereal are all expenses that some folks consider extras.
Keeping expenses in line with your income and savings goals is crucial to staying out of expensive, credit-damaging debt in the long run, even though it’s sometimes very difficult to determine what to cut. Needs and wants vary by person and household, but no matter how your expenses break down, the most important thing is to focus on living within your means.