According to the government's most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey, spending patterns are little changed from years prior.
More money is spent on entertainment and less money is spent on dining out. Beyond that, the figures are somewhat static.
Meanwhile, using on the survey's industry-by-industry breakdown, we can see how monthly housing payments and daily commuting costs impact a household's budget.
For the budget-conscious, going out less often and bargain-shopping can help pad the bottom line, but not as much as living in a less expensive home or moving closer to work.
Even a refinance into lower rates can make a difference.