After paying for essentials, the very poorest Americans are left with just a $1 a day.

Your money - where does it all go?

Depends on how much there is. For those making $16,000 a year, more than half of it goes to housing and utilities. But those making $160,000 a year still have almost two thirds of their disposable income left over after those monthly bills.

Planet Money graphs one of our favorite topics: How families spend money. Here are their numbers rendered slightly differently:

The results aren't so surprising: Poor people spend more of their money on essentials than richer people (and these numbers don't account for dramatic geographical differences). But how much is left over?

After essentials - housing, transportation (incl. gas), food, utilities, and clothes - the poor have 15 percent of their disposable income left over, and the $10K+ crowd has about 40 percent. This next graph uses those figures to tell how much disposable income a typical person making $17,500, $60,000 or $150,000 has left, after the essentials are taken care of:

This graph doesn't include a few categories you might argue are essential: food at restaurants (which is somewhere between elective and essential), health care (which is essential, but spiky) and education (which is practically essential, but specific to certain years). After those categories, the poorest group has spent 98 percent of their income, leaving them with $367 for the year - or a dollar per day.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a DART light rail train in Dallas, Texas.
    Transportation

    What Cities Are Getting Wrong About Public Transportation

    Cities could get more people walking, biking, and riding transit, according to a new report, if they just know where to look for improvement.

  2. Life

    The ‘Marie Kondo Effect’ Comes at a Weird Time for Thrift Stores

    Netflix’s hit show has everyone tidying up, but that's not the only reason second-hand stores are being flooded with donations.

  3. A photo of President Donald Trump showing off U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes in March 2018.
    Perspective

    This Isn't a Border Wall: It's a Monument to White Supremacy

    Like Confederate monuments, President Trump’s vision of a massive wall along the Mexican border is about propaganda and racial oppression, not national security.

  4. a photo of a transit bus under a freeway in Los Angeles, California.
    Transportation

    Los Angeles Passed a Historic Transit Tax. Why Isn’t It Working?

    Voters who supported L.A.’s Measure M may like transit, but they don’t seem to want a city that’s built for it.

  5. A man charges an electric bus in Santiago, Chile.
    Transportation

    The Verdict's Still Out on Battery-Electric Buses

    As cities experiment with battery-powered electric buses, some are finding they struggle in inclement weather or on hills, or that they don’t have enough range.