By Amanda Jerelyn
When it comes to measuring and quantifying lifestyle, there is a broad range of things to consider. This can include diet, health, buying patterns, and even consumption of narcotics in some cases. There is no doubt that every commodity we consume and the ownership of tangible assets come with a price tag of their own accord.
This is where financial resources come into play as they help us acquire all necessities in our lives, including the ability to pay for utilities such as electricity, gas, and water.
According to a recent study conducted by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, food-borne agents affect 1 out of 6 individuals and cause approximately 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and over 3,000 deaths each year.
This clearly shows that people with bad lifestyle choices suffer from poor decision making. To elaborate further, let’s take a quick look at how an individual’s financial resources come into play and affect their behavior.
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The Link between Finance & Lifestyle
Housing & Property
The ability to buy a house or acquire it on lease largely depends on how much income the person is able to generate. This also correlates with how much rent an individual can sufficiently pay to keep a roof over their head and for their loved ones.
According to the State of Homelessness Report, an estimated 553,742 people in the United States experienced homelessness in January 2017. There are numerous studies conducted in the past and in the present that show the crucial role of money and the ability to pay has on the social and physical development of individuals.
On the national level, the median home price in the US is around $274,600. A person needs to earn at least $57,914.5 every year to afford the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance payments to afford a house in a metropolitan area. In February 2020, the average monthly rent for an apartment in the United States was 1,468 US dollars according to Statista. com resources.
Commutation & Transport
We all need to commute from one place to another. Some require regular inner-city travel, and some even travel outside of the city pertaining to daily tasks such as getting to work or attending to some other urgencies regarding health concerns.
The public, therefore, requires a suitable means of transportation to reach their desired destinations. The mode of travel, however, depends largely on how much income a person generates. According to a recent report by the US Department of Transportation, the travel for the month of November 2019 was estimated to be 260.3 billion vehicles.
Public transportation is a vital part of the economic and social fabric of metropolitan areas, especially for low income individuals who are often dependent on such services for their daily activities. Average used car prices in 2018 were around $20,000 according to Edmunds.
According to Bureau of Transportation, household in the United States spent an average of $9,737 on transportation in 2017, making it the second largest household expenditure after housing.
Health & Wellbeing
Finances contributes towards overall health and wellbeing. The ability to acquire treatment and assistance from qualified doctors can be costly. The 2017 data shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clearly states that the per capita expenditure for health at the national level comes to $10,739.
The national health expenditures for the same year amounted to $3.5 trillion. This clearly shows that both market and non-market factors widely determine the price and evidently cause the rates to be much higher than in other countries. Patients often end up paying higher prices for the same services as compared to other countries.
The fact that the OECD blatantly accepts and does not deny can be attributed to the government not intervening enough to drive down prices. Furthermore, many studies have also found that compared to high-income Americans, lower-income families face great barriers to medical care.
The majority of them are unlikely to acquire health insurance, obtain new drugs, receive new technologies, and unable to access primary and specialty care.
Clothing, Daily Items, & Accessories
First and foremost, we need to understand that the cost of living in the US can vary widely depending on your location and state. Hence the annual income required to live a comfortable life in New York is notoriously high, touching close to $96K, so to speak.
According to a study by Numbeo, monthly utilities for Cooling, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, and Water for an 85 square meter apartment can range from $94.26-$300. A pair of Levis jeans can be around $25-$65. Pair of leather business shoes for men can cost around $50-$150. A summer dress at a chain store like Zara or H&M can be around $20-$60.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American families spend nearly $1,700 on clothes every year. This amounts to 3.5% of the total family’s expenses. Living expenses for an average New Yorker comes to $1,100 per month, excluding rent.
Travel & Recreation
When it comes to recreational activities, traveling and tourism are considered the top favorite among most Americans. According to a study by the US Travel Association, domestic and international travelers spending on leisure trips amounted to $729.4 billion. Over 80% of local trips are taken for leisure purposes, and over 1.9 billion US residents logged personal leisure trips in 2019.
Top activities for leisure travel included fine dining, rural sightseeing, shopping, and visiting friends/relatives. Considering domestic travel, Boomers account to 44% while compared to 26% by Millennials. While Boomers prefer more urban localities, Millennials windup more at remote locations, a fact that can be attributed to Boomers having more time and disposable income to spend during vacations.
Social Gatherings & Interactions
Active social life can offer us improvements in our overall health and even increase our lifespan. In the United States, the opportunities to interact with people and being socially active are limitless. Apart from going to the cinemas, shopping, gyms, and out of home dining, there are tons of things throughout the year like concerts, social parties, expos etc.
However, the ability to do so, especially for not free and paid events, depends on income. Hosting a dinner party for your friends at your own house can cost around $25-$125 per person depending on your taste and ability to spend on goods. Hence the total cost for a 25 guest can be anywhere from $625 to $3,125.
Education for today’s young and aspiring minds helps them acquire valuable certifications and skills that they can utilize to improve their living standards, follow a professional career, and even support their family needs. However, higher education is never cheap.
According to recent research published by Top Universities.com, annual charges for public two-year colleges, including accommodation, tuition, and other fees, amounted to $12,320 in 2019. However, for a private, non-profit, and four-year college can cost you as much as $48,510 every year.
Studies further reveal that 43 million adult Americans older than 18 years of age carry a federal student loan of $1.5 trillion and an additional $119 billion from private sources not backed by the government.
Considering the high cost, many platforms offer cheap assignment writing service UK to students to help them with their studies.
Marriage & Kids
If you do not plan on living alone and, in fact, want to settle down with a life partner and raise your family, then without question the ability to do so is represented mainly through your financial capabilities to bear such burdens.
According to a study by the US Department of Agriculture, middle-income parents spend around $233,610 on a child before they turn 18. Likewise, in another study, it is also revealed that the average cost of a wedding in the USA is around $33,900, according to The Knot.
According to the US Census Bureau, the average household income in the United States is approximately 73K per year. So if you are wondering, can a family of 4 survive on a 100K per year? The answer is yes, however living in more expensive cities like Boston, Manhattan, and San Francisco is frankly out of the question.
Our financial resources do determine the kind of lifestyle to choose for ourselves. While people may opt to spend their lives lavishly or become extremely savvy when it comes to saving, the price tag for products and services remain the same for all of us.
Hence anything from daily use items, healthcare, food, clothing, education, and traveling to having ownership of a house and other substantial properties is mostly reflected through our ability to sustain expenses before damages become irrevocable.
Amanda Jerelyn recently completed her studies in the field of Finance. She currently works as a Blogger at Dissertation Assistance to pay for her further education. She has a keen interest in playing with numbers and writing on such topics.