A BUNDLE OF MONEY

Bundle.com is a new site that lets people in the U.S. compare spending habits, town by town and state by state. The differences are huge, and a good guide to where the money is. The lowest spending average, for example, was in Detroit, where the average household spent $16,446, not counting housing costs. The average U.S. household spends $37,782 a year, not counting housing.

Austin, Texas is named as the highest spending city among the 100 largest. But we looked up the data on a dozen smaller towns we knew were affluent and they all had higher spending numbers than Austin. Some spent five or six times as much per household. These include Beverly Hills, CA, Winnetka, IL, Newport Beach, CA and Kenilworth, IL.

You can look at monthly spending data by the type of spender:  high travel, lots of clothes, technology spenders, etc.  In Beverly Hills, California, the clothes hound spends almost $8,000 a month on shopping.

Bundle has some interesting comments from visitors, such as the one that said: “I bought my first house at 25. Here’s why I wish I hadn’t.” The writer goes on to say “It’s hard to explain the great feeling you get when you step into your home for the first time. The excitement soon fades as the true cost of home ownership set in.”  (It is very difficult to make money on home ownership once all the costs are figured in. Only a few markets move fast enough for profit. For the rest, as a realtor once admitted to Bob: “Buying doesn’t pencil out.”)

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