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spend_money_shopping(MCT)—Even with the added cost of smartphones and other technology, American families spend less of their total income today than 40 years ago, according to new research.

But people aren’t saving that extra money.

The average person spends 81.2 percent of his or her post-tax income on food, housing and other expenses, according to ConvergEx Group, a New York brokerage.

That’s down from the 85 percent that Americans shelled out for mandatory and discretionary items in 1973.

The analysis doesn’t fully explain how and where Americans spend their money. It’s based on a consumer expenditure survey by the Labor Department that doesn’t capture where every dollar goes.

The roughly 14 percent of unaccounted-for income today may go toward expenses such as debt, but it’s impossible to be sure, said Sarah Millar, the author of the report.

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