If you ever wonder where your money goes, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics can tell you. A newly released BLS report, based on census surveys, says the typical boomer household took home $67,499 in income after taxes in 2016 — the most recent full-year information available — and shelled out $61,204 for expenses ranging from housing to family pets.
The typical boomer household was slightly less flush than Gen-X families, which on average took in $80,937 after taxes and spent $68,532. Both were more affluent than millennials, who made $56,618 and spent $48,576.
The most expensive part of boomers’ budgets was housing, which typically cost them $18,917. The survey found that 76 percent of boomers owned their homes, and 40 percent still were making mortgage payments. Boomers typically paid $2,877 in mortgage interest and $2,481 in property taxes.
The second largest expenditure was transportation at $9,762, much of that for car or truck payments ($3,864), gasoline and oil ($1,942), and vehicle insurance ($1,395). Boomers spent just $655 on public transit, showing that the generation is still car-centric.
Boomers spent $7,324 on food, including $3,100 for eating out at restaurants. Despite health warnings about reducing red-meat consumption, boomers apparently still like their burgers and steaks. They spent $262 on beef — more than on other protein sources like poultry ($171) or seafood ($139). They consumed $422 worth of dairy products, and spent $787 on fruits and vegetables and $159 on cereal. They also paid $518 for alcoholic beverages and $386 for tobacco.
Boomers spent $6,197 on health care, $4,220 on utility bills and $1,602 on clothing. In a sign of changing priorities, they spent nearly nine times as much on cellphone service ($1,133) as they did on reading materials, such as books and newspapers ($130).