Guess how much you're paying for just 10 essential items

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By the way, food and gasoline aren't included as 'essential' expenses

The monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures price movements for just about every consumer expense in the economy. But for the average family, how much has the price of essentials – the money you have to spend each month – gone up? Probably more than you think.

A recent report, doxo’s 2024 U.S. Household Bill Pay Report, shows the cost of living for the average family has risen 4% in the last 12 months, higher than the 3.2% measured by the February CPI.

The report found that the average U.S. household spends $25,513 per year, or 34% of income on the 10 most essential household bills, and also breaks out the household spending market size for each of these bill categories, percentage of households that pay each bill, and average monthly and annual bill pay costs by state.

The researchers estimate consumers spend $3.35 trillion annually on these 10 essential expenses. It is worth noting that neither food nor gasoline, things most families spend on each week, are included in the 10 essential items.

10 essential items

Here is doxo’s list of essential items, with the estimated total annual expenditure:

The average monthly amount of each bill paid in each category is:

Bill Category

Average Monthly Bill Payment





Auto Loan




Auto Insurance


Health Insurance


Cable & Internet


Mobile Phone


Alarm & Security


Life Insurance


“While we’re starting to see an overall cooling of inflation, American sentiment towards their own financial health remains bleak,” said Liz Powell, senior director of Insights at doxo. “Seventy percent of American consumers report they’re still worried about their financial well-being despite a stabilizing economy.”

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