In an era of skyrocketing home prices and the increasing reliance on the internet, the average American is spending nearly $500 per month on airfare, hotels, car rental, entertainment, and other necessities.
And when it comes to that spending, you may not be alone.
In a new report from Consumer Reports, the consumer watchdog says Americans spend more than $3 trillion a year on travel.
What are the main causes?
Consumer Reports’ study, “How to Make a $100,000 Vacation,” looked at factors that affect the average person’s spending.
The report found that a trip to the Caribbean, for instance, can cost up to $5,000 per person and take between three and eight days.
It also found that those who spend $100 on food can save nearly $100 a month on food and other goods.
Here are the top 10 causes of spending in America.
Health insurance Premiums Premiums rose in 2017, reaching $1,878.82 per month in January.
In January 2018, it reached $1.8 trillion.
Health Insurance costs Premiums increased in 2018, reaching an all-time high of $2,828.85 per month, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
That’s up from $2.6 trillion in 2017.
Health Care Costs Premiums also rose in 2018.
The average annual health care spending increased by $6,600, or 3.5%.
Health Care costs also rose by 4.4% in 2017 due to the Affordable Care Act.
That means the cost of a family of four increased by an average of $6.04 per month.
Gas prices Gas prices in 2018 were among the highest in 30 years.
Gas rose by 3.6% in 2018 due to increases in the costs of fuel.
Health care costs Health care cost for an individual increased by 4% in the first six months of 2019, from $632 per month to $642.55 per month due to new cost-sharing and cost-of-living adjustments.
The cost of an individual’s health care rose by 5.3% in 2019 due to costs for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Food prices Food prices in 2017 were up about 9.4%, from $4.78 per person per day to $4,967 per person.
That increase was driven primarily by increases in inflation, and also due to food prices.
Food costs rose in 2016 due to inflation.
In 2017, food costs rose 6.4%.
Health care care costs Hospital costs rose by 2.9% in 2020, from a year earlier.
Health costs also increased by 6.7%.
The average American household spent $1 trillion on health care in 2017 and $2 trillion in 2018 alone, according the Kaiser Foundation.
What can you do about it?
If you or someone you know needs help with spending, there are resources to help.
Take action to make your taxes more affordable and reduce the cost.
Read more from ConsumerReports.com:Top 5 Reasons to Save More:How to get to your destination with ease:The Best Places to Travel