For the individual calling CCCS in January:
- The $531 spent on food and gas accounted for about 30% of their monthly living expenses of $1,774.
- The increase in spending on gasoline was most dramatic, rising from an average of $182 in January 2007 to $215 in January 2008.
- Since 2003, average spending on gasoline has almost doubled from its January 2003 low of $112 per month.
- Average spending on groceries increased 4 percent from January 2007 to January 2008, rising from $303 per month to $316.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast is part of the CredAbility Network, a family of agencies serving people in all 50 states. The CredAbility Network provided basic budget counseling to approximately 5,000 individuals in January.
The average budget counseling client is 38 years old, had a gross annual income of just under $40,000 and total debt of $25,733. More than half are homeowners.
"There is no doubt that consumers are facing increasingly tough economic times," said Jessica Cecere, president of CCCS. "For many, increases in income do not begin to keep up with the rising cost of necessities."
Source: Consumer Credit Counseling Service