Considering that the average household income was $74,600 in 2008 (no 2009 data released yet), there has been little wiggle room. In fact, total household expenditure dropped in 2009 - the first time a decline was reported since the survey was launched in 1997:
Here's a full breakdown on trends of where our money is going:
From 2008 to 2009, the top 3 categories that dropped the most in absolute (average) dollars were: Recreation (-$223), Personal Taxes (-$200) and Food (-$173).
By percent change, the top 3 declining categories were: Reading Materials (-8.3%), Recreation (-5.5%) and Household Furnishings and Equipment (-3.6%) - all pretty much discretionary.
From 2000 to 2009, total household expenditures rose 29%. The top 3 categories for increased allocation were: Personal Care (64%), Health Care (51%) and Education (50%). The top 3 categories for smallest change were: Reading Materials (-14%), Games of Chance (2% - need to check what this is) and, surprisingly, Food (19%).
We Canadians are not the same across the country. Total household expenditures in 2009 by province/territory:
- British Columbia - $73,571
- Alberta - $84,976
- Saskatchewan - $69,377
- Manitoba - $66,608
- Ontario - $76,577
- Quebec - $60,125
- New Brunswick - $61,212
- Nova Scotia - $60,867
- Prince Edward Island - $56,896
- Newfoundland - $57,605
- Yukon - $69,856
- Northwest Territories - $82,966
- Nunavut - $84,439
And here in Toronto? $83,847.
For a full summary, visit Statistics Canada for the most recent release of the Survey of Household Spending.
I didn't look at the median amounts, although maybe those figures would have provided a more useful picture. Who is an "average Canadian" anyways?