Numbers can anchor free-floating impressions, but sometimes they offer unexpected revelations.
To wit: Those with a master’s degree spend five times the amount that high-school dropouts spend on alcohol — $748 versus $148 each year.
On the other hand, dropouts spend more than double what the highly-educated spend on tobacco — $323 compared to $143.
These data come from number-crunchers hired by Retale, a mobile app that collects store circulars so customers can find the best deals in their area. In other words, Retale is not an education-advocacy group by any stretch.
But the company has used data from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey to create “Degrees of Spending,” an interactive snapshot of the way education relates to lifestyle.
Housing: a dropout spends almost 40 percent of total income on shelter; someone with an advanced degree? Less than a third of annual income.
Healthcare: Those with a master’s degree spend about 3.6 percent of their income on health insurance, compared to 5.1 percent spent by those with no college education.
You get the picture.
Play around with the graphic by hovering your cursor over different areas. You can see spending comparisons for various education levels. Clicking on a box breaks that information into more detail. Who knew that academics were such fans of public transportation?