Self-reported daily spending by American adults reached $109 in July, the highest monthly average in almost a decade (since May 2008), per Gallup. The results are based on daily tracking surveys which measure self-reported “yesterday” discretionary spending – on items excluding household bills and major purchases.
July marks the 6th consecutive month in which daily spending has topped $100 on average. To give a sense as to how things have come since the recession, July spending bottomed out at $62 per day in 2009, before gradually increasing in the years since.
One interesting finding in Gallup’s survey relates to the gap in discretionary spending between higher- and lower-earning households.
Specifically, adults living in households with at least $90k in annual income reported spending an average of $178 per day during July. That was more than twice the amount spent by adults living in households with less than $90k in annual income ($80).
A review of trending monthly data over the past 12 months shows that this pattern is by no means an aberration: higher-income adults consistently spend at least twice as much as lower-income adults on a daily basis.
Previous consumer research from Gallup has also found that:
- The majority of US adults identify as belonging to the middle-class, though Millennials are almost as likely to identify as working-class;
- American adults’ biggest financial worry is the inability to pay the medical costs in the event of a serious illness or accident;
- Most Americans prefer saving to spending;
- Hispanics spend the most on a daily basis; and
- Adults with children in the household spend considerably more on a daily basis than those without kids.
About the Data: Results for the Gallup spending data covering July 2017 are based on telephone interviews conducted July 1-30, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 14,710 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.