Ready, Set, Shop! With Consumer Spending Up, Data Shows Men Outspend Women On Average

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May 9, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown

Many household fights are over how much money the woman spends. But ladies, know you can go out and do a little more shopping. A new study reveals that men—yes, men—spend more than women on average.

According to the first-ever Intuit Consumer Spending Index, men spend $600 to $700 more each month than women.  The study found that in the first quarter of 2013, men spent more on alcohol (37 percent), entertainment (27 percent), eating out (29 percent), gas (19 percent) and overall shopping (six percent). Women did spend 21 percent more on clothing and apparel.

Overall, the average American household is spending nine percent more now than they did at the beginning of 2009, according to the index, which is based on Mint.com data going back to 2009. And, for the first time, the spending data matches the US population on a number of measures of demographic and geographic data.

Certain states saw the biggest spending increases over the four-year time span. The most dramatic increases were in Arkansas and the District of Columbia ­ up 34 and 30 percent, respectively. North and South Carolina, however, each saw spending decrease by three percent.

After a prolonged lull following the 2008 recession’s historic spending lows, consumers are now spending more. “The data we’ve examined here reflects a period when the country recovered from one of the most dramatic economic shifts in recent history ­ showing how consumers tightened, and have since loosened spending,” said Scott R. Baker, Stanford University economist and the data scientist working with Intuit to develop the index.

Here’s a breakdown of what we’re spending more on:

  • The average household spends more than twice as much on gas than they did four years ago;
  • Grocery spending increased 17 percent, due in part to the popularity of premium grocery stores such Whole Foods (especially in California). Restaurant spending is also up;
  • And in restaurants, people under the age of 36 spending 40 percent more on dining out in 2013 than in 2009:
  • Health care spending has increased at one of the fastest rates since 2009: more than 30 percent. Although people ages 41 to 55 spent more than $300 each month, it was the younger generation that saw the most dramatic increase. Their spending increased by more than 40 percent since the first three months of 2009;
  • Americans have become more charitable.  “Though overall spending has increased nine percent, a disproportionate amount of that is in gift giving and charitable donations, where Americans have become 47 percent more generous since 2009,” says the report.

The study looked  at all the various transactions made in more than 20 specific categories and analyzed spending patterns by age, state, income and gender.

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