Married Americans Claim Greater Discretionary Spending Than Singles

November 12, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Household Income | Youth & Gen X

Gallup-Daily-Discretionary-Spend-by-Marital-Status-Nov2013Married Americans say they spend more money on a daily basis than Americans in any other marital status category, according to Gallup. Based on surveys conducted from January through September, Gallup found that married respondents reported spending a daily average of $102, an amount higher than claimed by those living in domestic partnerships ($98), the divorced ($74), singles who have never been married ($67), and those who are widowed ($62). The figures are based on reports of the total amount spent “yesterday,” excluding major purchases and normal monthly bills. They are therefore meant as an estimate of discretionary spending.

Married respondents reported outspending singles across every age group. The gap was particularly acute in the 18-24 bracket, where married respondents claimed $105 in daily spending, versus $54 for singles. Although data was not available for each age group, some of the other notable gaps were in the 40-44 ($123 for marrieds; $81 for singles) and 60-64 ($98 for marrieds; $63 for singles) demos.

In fact, married respondents claimed greater daily discretionary spending than all other marital categories for each group (where the data was available). Gallup attributes this in part to higher-than-average incomes for married respondents, with the reverse true for singles. However, incomes may not be the only predictor of spending patterns: although respondents living in domestic partnerships reported spending almost as much as married respondents, their average income levels were similar to those of single Americans.

About the Data: The results are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 1-Sept. 30, 2013, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 135,537 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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