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Regions with Lowest Discretionary Spending to Income Ratios

This month we wanted to uncover U.S. metro regions with households that are least likely to outspend their means on discretionary purchases after they’ve paid for basic necessities (housing, utilities, public transportation, personal insurance and pensions).

We learned that income and discretionary spending levels do not necessarily correlate to the ratio between the two. For example, San Francisco households are estimated to earn $186K in income and spend $77K per year on discretionary purchases. Households in Wichita earn less on average in a year ($75K) than a San Franciscan spends, yet they still rank low for this ratio because they have relatively low annual discretionary spending levels of $33K.

Regions with Highest Income to Discretionary Spending

Source: Income360® and Discretionary Spending Dollars™

Discretionary Spending Rankings

Which metro regions have the highest annual estimated discretionary spending levels per household?

  1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($79K)
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA ($77K)
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($72K)
  4. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA ($71K)
  5. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX ($63K)


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