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November 08, 2010


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About the same as you but I still have a mortgage and probably not saving 1/3 of income yet. More like 25%.

Here are my stats:

- No credit card debt (paid off in full monthly)
- I do have 3 open credit cards (AMEX & two Visas)
- Depending on how you look at it, we are either WAY below average with our housing cost (that would be if you could the housing costs we are supposed to be paying) or WAY above average with our housing costs (because we're shoveling money as fast as we can at the mortgage.) We are below average on transportation costs, and below average on food.

- We're above average on savings.

- Above average on household income.

- I'm hoping that investments and residual income will be a source of our retirement income.

- We're above average on our credit scores

1. CC paid off every month (1K - 1500/month).
2/3. 2 cards, though mostly use Chase Freedom Visa. If I buy something online, I try to buy at a partner retailer that returns an additional percentage. Card gives back a bonus 10 points every time it's used, so if I know I'm going to spend $100, I do it $10 or $20 at a time (like refilling a prepaid card. I know it seems like a lot of work, but not really.)
4. 40% of net income to housing/utilities (prepay mortgage every month). Subway pass, $89/month.
5. Save about 35% income.
6. Like you, above.
7. A mix of 401(k)/IRA (both traditional and Roth), non-retirement savings/investments, and a small pension from two companies.
8. 820 (as of spring/2009).

One thing to note - although that is the average credit card debt - I believe it is skewed by people with high balances. From what I can find, around 30% pay off their balances in full every month.

Anyway -where do I stack up -
1. We pay off our cards in full every month
2. we have 4 credit cards (one of them is used only for my husband's business - so really 3 that are personal cards)
3. we have 2 mastercards and 1 discover. We use the discover card all the time, and the mastercards for places that don't take discover.
4. I have no idea our percentage that we use.
5. We are currently only saving at a level of 8%, plus a 4% match from my company. At the end of this year we are paying off both of our cars in full, and will be upping our savings level considerably.
6. We are above the median household income, although last year we were below due to job losses, hours cutbacks, etc. On a normal year we are well above though - even though my husband is working part time while staying home with our son.
7. We are planning on using 401k savings, IRA savings, and Roth IRA savings for retirement.
8. When we bought our house (6 months ago) my husband was in the high 700s and I was in the low 800s. Not sure how having the house debt now affects this though.

Budget above- 34%+17%+13% = 64%

1. I assume this is after tax income or taxes would have been mentioned as a major expense.
2. If the average household has 15k of consumer debt, where does the other 36% of their income go?
3. Does this mean the average household could reduce their income by 36% and still be fine? (and by 'fine' I mean survive- food shelter transportation.) The other side of this- these three categories could increase in cost (% of the family budget) before any hard decisions would need to be made.

1. No credit card debt. Don't even play with them anymore. If we pay them off every month, what's the point of having them?
2. Have no credit card. The account is open, but I have no physical card.
3. The credit card is linked to a Visa. My debit cards are Visa.
4. I spend roughly 22% of my pay on household, 2% on transportation, and 5% on food.
5. Because I'm saving to get to 30K in less than 6 months, I currently save more than 50% of my income.
6. I'm at roughly $108K annually, including rental income.
7. I'm not relying on Social Security or a military pension (although I am nine years away from receiving one) I'm relying on my retirement contributions.
8. The last I checked, my credit score was 720. It's probably this low because I can't stand credit.

1. No credit card debt & I pay my credit cards off every month. I spend approx $1500/mo on the card.
2. Have about 5-6 open credit cards but I mainly use just 1. No debit cards that I use, although my bank keeps sending me one linked to my checking account that I don't ever activate.
3. All my CCs are Visa's except I have 1 MC and an AmEx for work.
4. I spend about 16% on the house--even though I'm prepaying my mortgage.
5. I save 38% of my income in 401K, college savings, and multiple investment and savings vehicles.
6. My income is above average.
7. Retirement will be supported by social security, workplace pension, 401K, IRA, and other savings.
8. Credit score over 800.

1) We pay CC in full every month; however, are monthly charges are 3-4 thousand per month, therefore our average debt would show as 3-4 thousand also.
2) We have several different cards and will use whichever has the best reward at the time. Our primary is a Mastercard that funds 2% to a Fidelity 529 plan. The remainder are tied to quarterly 5% categories. Still trying to decide if it is worth the time to manage for the extra 3% over our primary Mastercard. Besides rewards, I will always use CC if it is free for the convenience of not carrying cash or writing checks.
3)15 year mtg with extra toward principal; total mtg, utilities, taxes, insurance = 22% of income
4)Saving 24% of income into retirement accounts
5)Will rely on retirement accounts and hope for gravy from Soc Security
6)Score = 793 last month

Age 76 - retired for 18 years.
1) 4 Credit Cards - 3 Amex - 1 M/C - paid off in full every month.
2) Save 75% of our total income.
3) No mortgages or other debts.
4) Home costs are $2,200/yr property taxes, $1,000/year insurance, plus the usual gas/electric/water/cable/phone bills and maybe $500 on plants etc.
5) Two cars paid for years ago - 91 Mercedes 560SEL - 98 Mercedes 230C.
6) Last time I checked my credit score it was 740.
7) Live on our four pension and SS checks - don't need to tap into our IRAs or our Trust account.

I have the same question as Tyler. Are the expenses as a percentage of income calculated before or after taxes? I see these types of reports from time to time and they don't really say. It makes a big difference on how you size up compared to these numbers.

Wow, I am a superstar. We have no consumer debt at all. We do have a few credit cards which are paid off every month. We save way more, make more, and have zero intentions of relying on social security to fund our retirement.

Hey, I am above average at something. Time to celebrate!

Tyler/Brian --

Click through to the original article (first link) and see if it answers your questions. It probably doesn't, but WILL give you some more info/insights.

FMF - Thanks I took a look at the source article. It didn't give me the answer but I did find the data source came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I went to that site and I found data tables at this URL:

I think the specific data set that the Yahoo article refers to is:

It looks like these figures are based on income before taxes. But when I looked at what the percentage of income taxes took out I was astonished.

Unless I am reading this wrong, the percentage of remaining income after taxes was 96.7% Uhhh Do I need to stop doing my own taxes or am I missing something???

Brian --

Are you saying that you expect numbers from the government to make sense? ;-)

My household is ahead of the curve for the most part. Household Income around 100k, savings rate around 10 percent, credit card debt hovers around 1k, student loans around 12k. One big debt we do have is our mortgage, we purchased a property in California in 2004 for 450k and carry around 385k in debt, the property is worth about the same (385-400k). We do plan on staying in the property for several years, so I think it will recover its full value from purchase and then some in the next 5-10 years, by then we should owe much less on it.

1. zero credit card debt - at least at when I pay the bill in full each month.
2. i have 7 credit cards open (visas and mc, no amx or discover).
3. 15% on housing. About 5% on cars at the most. 2% on food.
4. saving 30%.
way above median income and credit score.

Those averages do seem low, but we have to consider that the majority of Americans are not who and what we read about online.

I pay off my cards every month (I have them for the rewards)

I have 2 open credit cards both are VISA.

I spend about 41% of my income on housing,18% on transportation, and 14% on food.

I save about 20% of my income.

My household income is less than half the median income.

My retirement is probably going to be social security supplemented by personal savings.

Last I knew my credit score was in the low 700s

I pay off my cards every month. (I use them for reward points.)

I spend about 40% of my income on expenses. (This includes paying my child's living expenses in college.) I save about 60% in an average month.

I own my house and cars free and clear and have no other debts.

My income is above the median (but not by much), and my credit score is over 800. My philosophy about money is: It's not about what you earn, but what you keep. :-)

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