By the Numbers: How Americans Spend Their Money

Image credit: 
Getty Images

Last year, Americans spent $10.7 trillion shopping. With that much dough, you could buy over 2000 aircraft carriers, 300 private islands, and still have money left over for a latte. Here’s a taste of the things we bought—and how much we spent on them.

Beer: $96 billion—enough to make 199,937,239 barrels!
(Brewers Association)

Pretzels: $550 million
(Reuters)

St. Patrick’s Day: $4.14 billion
(National Retail Federation)

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whiteners: $1.4 billion
(MSNBC)

Sinus Treatments: $5.8 billion
(Centers for Disease Control)

Pet Halloween Costumes: $310 million (The pet industry hauls in a total $50.96 billion!)
(National Retail Federation/American Pet Product Association)

Easter: $16.8 billion
(National Retail Association)

Romance Novels: $10 billion
(Romance Writers of America)

Engagement and Wedding Rings: $11 billion
(Knot Market Intelligence)

Valentine’s Day Flowers: $1.7 billion
(National Retail Federation)

Chocolate: $16 billion dollars (we eat 2.8 billion pounds of it!)
(IBIS)

Perfume: $4.2 billion
(Research and Markets)

Gambling: $34.6 billion
(American Gaming Association)

Coffee: $11 billion ($1.4 billion is organic!)
(Franchise Direct/North American Organic Coffee Industry Report)

via BME

Tattoos: $2.3 billion
(INC.)

Tattoo Removal: $66 million
(IBIS)

Golf Balls: $500 million
(Forbes)

Girl Scout Cookies: $800 million
(Girl Scouts of America)

Taxidermy: $800 million
(Breakthrough Magazine)

Video Games: $17 billion dollars
(NPD Group)

Soft Drinks: $65 billion
(National Soft Drinks Association)

Bottled Water: $11 billion
(Beverage Marketing Corp.)

Getty Images

Groceries: $478 billion
(USDA)

Fast Food: $117 billion
(Fast Food Marketing)

Professional Sports: $25.4 billion
(WR Hambrecht)

Dollar Store Purchases: $30 billion
(Security and Exchange Commission)

Alternative Medicine: $33.9 Billion
(Consumer Reports)

Toilet Paper: $2.6 billion
(NY Times)

Ringtones: $5 billion worldwide
(NY Times)

Baggage Fees: $3.36 billion
(Bureau of Transportation)

Credit Card Late Fees: $18 billion
(RK Hammer)

Lawn Care: $40 billion
(Bloomberg)

Child Care: $47 billion
(IBIS)

Twinkies: Approximately $500 million
(WSJ)

More from mental_floss...

July 17, 2012 - 8:04pm
webby
submit to reddit