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The 10 Highest-Spending Cities Are Surprising

When it comes to housing expenses, it's well known that New Yorkers have a relatively heavy expense on their hands. And while we might assume this level of spending expands into other categories, a recent ranking of the highest-spending cities published by suggests that assumption would be incorrect.

Bundle tracked last year's non-mortgage or rent spending in the 100 largest cities, and looked at a variety of categories like dining, shopping, and travel. The spending patterns it discovered certainly weren't what I expected, geographically speaking. For example, households in Durham, NC, spent about $700 more on food and drinks last year than San Francisco residents, and the people in Raleigh, spent more on shopping than any other city on the list.

Find out which cities spent the most outside of housing expenses last year, and how much, when you


Average 2009 Household Spending by City

  1. Austin, TX: $67,076. Residents spent 83 percent more on shopping than those in NYC.
  2. Scottsdale, AZ: $64,687. Travel and leisure spending was more than double the national average.
  3. San Jose, CA: $59,022. Residents spent more on health related expenses than any other city.
  4. Arlington, VA: $52,085. Households spent more on travel and leisure than any other city.
  5. Plano, TX: $56,738
  6. Raleigh, NC: $53,398
  7. Nashville, TN: $52,964
  8. Tuscon, AZ: $51,857
  9. Irvine, CA: $51,286. Orange County residents spent $4,511 more on shopping than those in NYC.
  10. Durham, NC: $51,114.
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lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I'm not surprised to see Arlington high on the list. Despite the relatively high rents, people in the D.C. area still seem to spend a lot of money on travel, eating out, etc.
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 7 years
Living in Texas, I'm surprised to see Austin where I'd expect Dallas. Did notice Plano made the list though. I think it also has to do with our state economy. Not only are housing prices low, we're doing great in light of the recession.
nyxmoxie nyxmoxie 7 years
You guys sound jealous. If I had the money, of course I would spend it on travel and leisure, who wouldn't? I suppose that's why I wouldn't want to live in NYC or anywhere relatively expensive. I want to save my money for emergencies and to travel and have fun, who really wants to live like a hermit? There needs to be a balance to life, and who are you to judge anyone on how they spend their money?!
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
I was born and raised in Irvine, and I'm honestly not surprised at those numbers. We have a university, and tons of high tech companies. Single people just throw their money on food, drinks, clothes and entertainment. And everyone needs to wear designer everything
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
Maybe if they would lower rent costs for us in NYC we would spend more and thus boost the economy?
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Along the lines of what Snarkypants said, I wonder if Austin's ranking has something to do with the huge number of college kids living there. When I was in college, I spent A LOT more money on clothing than I did on food.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i bet the fact that a few of these are college towns also contributes. lower property costs, and more kids spending mom and dad's money
skigurl skigurl 7 years
LOL imLissy i was going to say the same thing - housing in Austin is so cheap so if you have a good job, you have the money to spend! no one in NYC has any cash after paying rent!
imLissy imLissy 7 years
they have extra money to spend because they're not spending it on housing and they're probably bored
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