Back when humans used to still read physical magazines, I kept a subscription to Sports Illustrated. I’m pretty sure I bought it because a neighbor’s soccer team was running a fundraiser, and I just felt too guilty to say no.
Hey, at least a magazine subscription is healthier for me than the boxes upon boxes of girl scout cookies I inevitably end up buying every year.
I always skimmed through most of the magazine, but the one section I could never get enough of was the weekly “Go Figure” column. The column wasn’t so much an article as it was a short collection of the most interesting, wacky, and head-scratching stats the magazine’s researchers could find.
For your reading enjoyment, I’ve shamelessly stolen the idea. Since My Money Wizard isn’t exactly a sporting website, our focus will be a little more personal finance oriented.
Here’s to a new tradition!
Go Figure: American Spending
$69,629 Average pre-tax household income in America last year.
4.7 Percent of income the average American saves per year.
21.3 Years it takes to save just one year’s worth of living expenses, given the above savings rate.
$2,000 Amount of money which only 1/3 of Americans felt certain they could come up with for an unexpected need.
76 Percent of Americans who admit to living paycheck to paycheck.
40 Percent of households who feel they “have too much debt right now,” according to a 2012 survey of over 25,000 households.
$279,002 Dollars of interest the average consumer will spend over their lifetime.
$70.2 billion Amount Americans spent buying lottery tickets last year.
$63 billion Total amount Americans spent last year on Sports Tickets, Books, Video Games, Movie Tickets, and Music… combined.
This obviously paints a pretty grim picture of the finances in this country. And frankly, the first stat makes the rest even worse. You’d hope to see people take responsibility for this disaster, but apparently most are looking to the lottery to save themselves from their woes.
Thankfully, if you’re reading this your situation probably looks pretty different from the above picture, or you’re quickly learning how to turn things around.
We don’t need to look to the lottery, because we’re in it for the long game. The great irony of it all, of course, is that the long game will make you richer far quicker than the short one.