Monthly Bills Straining Americans’ Finances

As inflation ravages American bank accounts, monthly bills are becoming a strain on homeowners’ finances.

New data from fintech doxo shows that the average U.S. household spends 35% of their median income on essential household bills– roughly $2,046 per month, and $25,000 a year.

But the actual impact varies hugely by state. Doxo analyzed typical household bills such as auto loans, utilities, cable and internet, and alarms and security, along with a monthly mortgage payment or rent, to gauge a state’s affordability.

Hawaii, the most expensive state for household bills, sits at a markup of 50% above the national average. At the other end of the spectrum is West Virginia at -25.2% below that average.

“As consumers navigate their household bills in today’s volatile marketplace, bill payers may feel left in the dark, not fully understanding how much they are truly paying each month,” said Liz Powell, Senior Director of INSIGHTS at doxo.

California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland make up the top five most expensive states along with Hawaii, while Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky round out the bottom five.

The report notes that three in four consumers say inflation is impacting their ability to pay bills, and 86% are worried about how this period will impact their financial health in the future.

Homeownership comes with staggering costs outside of the down payment and monthly mortgage payments. Nine of out ten people who bought a home in the last three years were surprised by extra expenses they hadn’t considered, such as the price of property maintenance, renovation, and appliance repairs.

This is especially true in the first year of homeownership. First-time buyers already face a heavy blow from closing costs and down payments, but they typically spend an additional $3,600 on repairs they didn’t anticipate.

“People take great pride in their home’s appearance, and many first-time homeowners invest without realizing the amount of work and cost involved in its upkeep,” said Johanna Metz, vice president of marketing for TruGreen.

Combining those surprises with essentials like wifi and water bills can lead to major stress on homeowners battling the high price environment.