Tracking spending in Darien
Connecticut residents spent more than those in any other state during 2009, with the average Nutmegger dishing out $57,331 per year, according to the 2010 Bundle Report. The report was created by the new Web site Bundle.com, a free, searchable database that compares spending in America. It's backed by Citi, Microsoft and Morningstar.
New Canaan led the state in spending, followed by Darien, Westport and Greenwich, according to the Web site's Managing Editor Janet Paskin.
The average Darien household spent $144,758 in 2009, not including mortgages or rent, according to Bundle's Director of Content, Mark Armstrong.
"Our city ranking looked at the 100 biggest cities in the U.S., so Darien, perhaps needless to say, blows away all the top major cities," Armstrong said. Austin, Texas, was the highest spending major city, swiping $67,076 in credit card charges, and Detroit, Mich., was the lowest-spending, with a total of $16,446 in credit card bills, according to the report.
The data was collected from a mix of credit card transactions and government data, and does not account for purchases made using cash, which could be considered a "gap" in the report, according to Paskin.
Towns with highly concentrated wealth, such as Darien and New Canaan (where the average household spent a total of $145,883 in 2009), scored higher in spending throughout the report, Paskin said. "Although, we also saw in places where the cost of housing was higher, sometimes spending was lower," Paskin said. "They have less money for food and clothes ... . The correlations aren't necessarily simple."
The average Darien family spent $26,539 in food and drink during 2009, more than the $24,517 the average West Virginian family spent in total.
The report also tracks the venues where Darienites spend most frequently; for dining out, Darienites frequented Ten Twenty Post, Tengda Asian Bistro, Festivities and Starbucks the most.
Darienites also expended 6 percent of their "monthly spend" on clothing, shoes and outerwear, racking up an average of $1,044 in monthly wardrobe purchases, made primarily at Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers and T.J. Maxx, according to the report.
Darien residents also spend an average of $566 on charities per month, with the average donation of $227.
To learn more about the report, or explore regional spending trends, visit: www.bundle.com.