The average person in the U.S. spends about four hours of their day just going to work. After work, they have some fun with family and friends, then perhaps finally get some sleep. So, a lot happens during the day, which begs the question, how much does all of this worth?
To explore this, we need to start with how much the average automobile is worth. In 2019, the average price of a car in the U.S. was about $29,600, according to an auto insurance company. That means the average driver spends about $74.40 each day just on their cars. It also means the day is coming when a car is simply a mode of transportation, and nothing more.
Now, let’s look at the average daily spend of an average American family. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Report on Income and Poverty, families in 2019 lived on an average of $29,600 per year. That’s $764 per month, which is $86.40 per week. This equals a monthly budget of $5,240, which leaves plenty of money for transportation and education spending. So, if we assume the family of four needs two cars, the monthly budget can be easily split between the two vehicles.
What About The Track?
Next, we need to consider how much the average auto racing track is worth. If we consider the typical layout of an American racetrack—with a straightaway running roughly north to south and a large, circular track laid out in a large semicircle—we can approximate that the average track is worth about $10,000 per day. So, let’s say the family of four goes to the races twice a week and spends an hour and a half each visit. This means they’re spending about $10,000 per month, or $160,000 per year on the tracks alone.
How About Hotel Rooms?
Hotels also need to be considered when calculating the total economic impact of an American racetrack. Hotels are always a big part of a race weekend, with teams and drivers staying in them while traveling to and from the track. So, let’s say a hotel costs $85 per night, which is actually rather inexpensive for the area. That means the family of four is spending about $860 per month, or $113,440 per year on hotel rooms alone.
Subtotal So Far:
So far, we’ve determined that the average car is worth about $29,600 per day, an average hotel room costs about $85 per night, and the average auto racing track is worth about $10,000 per day. This adds up to about $148,200 per year, or $1,483.20 per month. Let’s see how far we’ve come.
What About Entertainment?
In addition to the budget for the racetrack itself, we need to consider how much the average American family spends on entertainment. The vast majority of this will be film and music related because, let’s face facts, most families are more than a little bit obsessed with their smart devices. So, let’s consider what we know about the average film and music fan:
- They generally spend about seven hours a day, six days a week watching film and listening to music
- They watch about three hours of TV each day and listen to about four hours of music
- They generally spend about three hours per day, five days per week on social media, specifically Instagram and Twitter
So, let’s say you want to show your support for NASCAR by going to the races. You can purchase a season ticket for about $150, which gets you into the grandstands where you can see the entire track. In addition, you’ll have access to all the other amenities associated with a NASCAR race weekend. This budget would allow you to attend about four or five races this year. Let’s say you attend three races, which is actually a pretty common number for attendees. You can spend about $870 on entertainment, which is $150 per race.
How About Travel?
The last thing anyone wants to do is spend their time traveling to and from the races. Fortunately, the budget allows for this as well. Let’s say you live in San Diego and want to go to the race in Florida. You can fly directly there aboard a Boeing 737, which is a modern, air-conditioned passenger jet. Traveling by car would take you about six hours. So, let’s say you’re flying and it’s a 20-minute cab ride to the airport. This adds up to about $120 in additional travel costs, bringing the grand total to $1,483.20 per month, or $18,720 per year.
Does This Add Up?
So, how much does all this add up to? Let’s do the math. It starts with $29,600 per day for the average car, which can be multiplied by eight hours, because the average person spends about eight hours per day just going to and from work. This equals about $263,200 per month, or $32,160 per year. The next line of calculation is about $85 per night for the average hotel room, which can be multiplied by five days because the average person stays in a hotel about five nights per week. This equals about $425,600 per year, or $52,640 per month. The last line of calculation is about $1,500 per month, or $17,520 per year on travel costs alone.
This totals $71,160 per year or $833.20 per month. So far, we’ve determined that the average car is worth about $29,600 per day, hotel rooms cost about $85 per night, and typical tracks are worth about $10,000 per day. Let’s see how this adds up.
What About Depreciation?
The last thing anyone wants to do is spend their time depreciating their cars and hotels, which is why they buy them in the first place. Even worse, the budget allows for things like tuneups and oil changes, which further erodes the value of a car. This is why it’s best to buy a new car instead of leasing one, as it depreciates less quickly and allows the user to recoup more of their investment.
This brings us to the end of our analysis. So far, we’ve determined that the average car is worth about $29,600 per day, hotel rooms cost about $85 per night, and typical tracks are worth about $10,000 per day. This adds up to a grand total of about $148,200 per year, or $1,483.20 per month. Keep in mind these are just the average figures for the U.S. So, if we assume a person in another country may spend less money on cars, hotel rooms, and tracks, the figure will be different. This is why we always recommend researching the local costs before making any kind of international vacation or business trip.
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