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Average U.S. Household Spent $37,782 Last Year, Citi-Backed Site Bundle Finds

Biggest spenders live in Austin, Texas., the new social money comparison site backed by Citi, Microsoft, and Morningstar, released a report today on "How America Spends." According to the study, the average American household spent $37,782 in 2009, including $6,514 on food and drink. It also includes a 50-state ranking of household budget behavior and a data analysis of trends by marital status/kids, income level, and age.

Austin, Texas residents are the No. 1 spenders in the U.S., averaging $67,076 in overall household expenses over 2009 (excluding mortgage and rent, which are not included in Bundle's breakdown). Austin's annual spending is 77 percent higher than the national average, according to Bundle's new data.

"We always hear about 'Carrie Bradshaw' types spending big in New York City, but when you remove housing costs from the equation, it's not just the stereotypical cities where residents spend big on items like shopping, dining out, groceries, or travel," says Janet Paskin, personal finance writer and Bundle's managing editor. "Austin tops New York City in shopping, and Bakersfield spends more than San Francisco on healthcare and pets. Our behavior as spenders in America doesn't change, but we do spend our money in very different ways."

The lowest-spending city in the U.S. is Detroit, where residents, hit hard by the recession, spent $16,446 on items including food and drink, shopping, gas, travel and entertainment.

For all 50 states, Connecticut residents lead the nation in spending, while West Virginians rank last, spending 35 percent less than the national average in 2009. Residents of New Canaan, Conn., last year averaged $25,486 on dining out, more than the average West Virginia resident spent, total ($24,517).

Bundle's numbers for How America Spends were compiled from sources including Citi and U.S. government spending data and third-party research. More details can be found at

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