Cost of Living
Cost of living Calculations.
The average cost of living for an American
- $20,194 per person per year according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (value given divided by 2.5 average household size ('consumer unit') - 
- Of this, food ($2577), housing ($6844), cars ($3442) totals $12863 per person
Average food expenditures for an American
- Bureau of Labor Statistics - $2577/person/year - 
- Almost half of this is eating out
- $4800/year according to 
- $2700/year according to 
- $5000/year - 
Average housing expenditures
- $6844/person/year - includes utilities and furnishings - 
- $541 of this is electricity, and 451 is phone
- $1500 of this is mortgage payments, or about 1/4 of all housing costs
The average transportation expenditures
- $3442 per person per year - BLS - 
- Of this, $1086 is for fuel and oil, and $205 is public transportation
Other highest costs
- Pensions,personal insurance, social security- $2242/person/year
- Healthcare - $1190/person/year
- Entertainment - $1134
The above statistics don't tell much about debt levels.
$8500 is the average debt per person in America in 2008 - 
Cost over a lifetime
Say a person lives 78 years , and you take the average cost of living from BLS.
Over 78 years, one spends an average of about $1.6 million dollars just to survive.
Of this, one spends about $1M on housing, food, and cars ($12683 per year * 78)
One spends an average of $530,000 to put a roof over their head over their life.
One spends an average of $270,000 on their wheels.
One spends an average of $201,000 on grub.
This certainly makes a case for buying out at the bottom.