As I sit at my desk writing this today, the headlines on my computer are very excited about how much Americans have been spending recently. “If You’re Average, You’ll spend $98 Today,” Time magazine tells me. The typical consumer spent $98 a day last month, pushing the average to its highest in 6 years. That doesn’t count things like your mortgage, car payment or utility bills. It’s a measure of your purchases at places like coffee shops, convenience stores, department stores and online retailers.
I’ve been putting off reading Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight, but I finally picked it up this morning. I’ve already learned a couple of things.
- Every January the author, Peter Walsh hosts a program he calls 31 Days to Get Organized Challenge. (#31Days2GetOrganized) I’ll certainly check that one out in 2018.
- US consumers spend $98 a day on discretionary items. That sounded high, so I visited the web page for the Gallup poll on consumer spending. As of today, Gallup reports consumers are telling them they spent $107 a day. That would be $39,055 a year.
Sure, those numbers come from Gallup, a well-respected polling organization. Still, they sound a little odd, don’t they? Let’s assume that that $98 a day wasn’t discretionary spending per consumer, but spending per household. That’s still more than $36,500 a year. Now compare that to the US median household income of $53,889. Don’t tell me that people are spending 68% of their gross incomes on lattes and iPhones.
Whether or not Gallup’s figures are accurate, we’re spending a lot, and some of the things we buy end up as clutter in our homes. Even if the average household spends only a third of what they reported to Gallup, they’ll probably end up with too much stuff. And that’s where Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight comes in.