From swanky new hotels to new housing developments and road construction, signs of economic momentum abound in Louisville. Managing Editor Kevin Broady takes a look at where the money comes from and where it goes.

Louisville's Economy At A Glance

#87 Best Places for Business and Careers

#58 in Cost of Doing Business

#75 in Job Growth

#128 in Education

Population: 1,294,500

Major Industries: Health Care, Tourism

Gross Metro Product: $71.6 B

Median Household Income: $56,821

Median Home Price: $180,000

Unemployment: 3.6%

Job Growth (2017): 1.2%+

Cost of Living: 7% below National Average

Sister Cities throughout the World: 8

Languages spoken in our school systems: 80

International Events a Year: 100+

Largest Annual Celebration and Showcase: World Fest and Kentucky Derby Festival

Home of International Companies: 200+ including Fortune 500 Global Companies

As an easy place to live and play, Louisville has emerged over the last few decades as a major center for the health care, tourism and bourbon industries. Figures from the Kentucky Department of Tourism show that tourists dug deep and spent more than $15 billion in Kentucky in 2017—an increase of almost 4 percent from 2016. In a year, Louisville typically sees about 16.4 million visitors. Jefferson County was at the top of the tourism surge with $3.5 billion in tourism spending.

As economic engines surge to rank Louisville #87 as the most desirable cities for a business or career, where does all my money go? Let’s take a look at what’s in your wallet or purse, how Louisville’s spending style compares to other cities and what can make you more green in 2019.

Cash or Carry

For many Louisvillians, cash is not king.

14% of Louisvillians carry no cash

25% carry $10 or less

75% carry $50 or less

What’s in Your Wallet?

According to data released in April 2018, from the American Banking Association, there were 364 million open credit card accounts in the United States alone.

7 out of 10 Americans have at least one credit card.

50% of credit card holders have three or more credit cards.

37% percent of credit card holders said they were very likely to apply for a new card within six months.

So how do you get paid?

Given a choice between paying someone with cash or using a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment app.

47% preferred the digital option

45% preferred the cash

Seeing Green in 2019

Planning for your future and setting new goals? Before you overhaul your budget, take a peek at the big financial waves in 2019.

No More Bank Accounts

Zelle, Venmo, PayPal— as we inch closer to a cashless society, many millennials are feeling less of a need to go to the bank.

Work Perks Priority

Sure, salary matters in 2019, but people are making hard calculations as to exactly how all those “bonus” work perks affect their bottom line.  We’re talking about options like working from home, ample maternity or paternity leave (four months or more), paid meals, worksite coffee house, company daycare just to name a few.

Buying your Second Home

Thanks to the increase of median home prices in major US cities, some folks are buying in the country, while maintaining rentals in the urban areas where they work. Why? Cheaper taxes and monetize during vacation months.

Me-time Budget

Americans are spending more time with those they love, which is their top priority, followed by exercising and carving out more “me time” for themselves. What does this mean for your budget? People are actively making self-care (massage, yoga, community face masks, etc.) a monthly budgetary item.

Spending Wisely

Louisvillians love to shop local and spend their money on experiences,
things and everyday living. Here’s a breakdown of where the money goes
on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.


$11.00 - Basic lunchtime menu (including drink)

$7.00 – Fast food combo meal

$4.68 – Boneless chicken breast (1lb.)

$.99 – Quart of whole fat milk

$3.07 – One dozen large eggs

$4.13 – Tomatoes (2lbs.)

$5.89 – Local cheese (16oz.)

$3.12 – Apples (2lbs.)

$1.48 – Potatoes (2lbs.)

$3.02 – Domestic beer (16oz.)

$12.00 – Red table wine

$1.82 – 2 liters of Coca-Cola

$2.15 – Bread for 2 people for 1 day



$1219 – Monthly Rent (900 square feet), expensive area

$813 – Monthly Rent (900 square feet), average area

$164 – Utilities one month, 2 people (gas, electric, heat…)

$44 – Internet one month



$41 – One pair of jeans

$42 - One summer dress

$88 – One pair of sport shoes

$117 – Men’s leather business shoes



$20,968 – New economy car

$2.15 – Gallon of gas

$51 – Monthly public transportation

$17 – Taxi trip (5 miles)


Personal Care

$8 – Cold medication

$17 – One box of antibiotics

$108 – Short visit to a doctor

$3.65 – Deodorant (1.5oz)

$4.79 – Hair Shampoo (12oz.)

$3.27 – Four rolls of toilet paper

$2.50 – Toothpaste

$17 – Standard men’s haircut



$40 – Dinner for two at a local pub

$22 – Two movie tickets

$121 – Two tickets to the theatre

$78 – Dinner for two at restaurant (appetizer, main course, wine and dessert)

$8 - Cocktail drink at a downtown club

$5.28 – Cappuccino in expat area of the city

$4.17 – One beer at a local pub

$47 – Gym membership

$5.69 – One pack of cigarettes

Posted on 2019-02-06 by Statistics from Forbes Magazine & the American Banking Association