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-illustration of several big-box retail stores.
    Equity

    After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown

    Big-box retailers nationwide are slashing their property taxes through a legal loophole known as "dark store theory." For the towns that rely on that revenue, this could be a disaster.

  2. Equity

    Housing Can’t Be Both Affordable and a Good Investment

    The two pillars of American housing policy are fundamentally at odds.

  3. A photo of a mural in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    Life

    Stop Complaining About Your Rent and Move to Tulsa, Suggests Tulsa

    In an effort to beef up the city’s tech workforce, the George Kaiser Family Foundation is offering $10,000, free rent, and other perks to remote workers who move to Tulsa for a year.

  4. A photo of protesters carrying anti-Amazon posters during a rally and press conference in NYC.
    Amazon HQ2

    Amazon’s HQ2 Decision Was Always About Transit

    In the end, New York’s MTA and D.C.’s Metro were the only transportation networks capable of handling such an influx of new residents. But both cities will have some work to do.

  5. Rendering of a 65-story glass skyscraper in Quebec City seen at night.
    Design

    The Skyscraper Dividing Quebec City

    Le Phare would stand 65-stories high in Sainte-Foy, an old, low-lying suburb of the historic city.