At Ally Bank, we’re all about helping our customers make good financial decisions. One key to making those decisions is knowing exactly where your money goes. This week, we’re looking at consumer spending to see what the average American spends on everyday expenses like coffee, dining out and clothing — and where in the U.S. these expenses cost the most and the least.

We kick things off by looking at gasoline. Household gas costs have jumped in recent years, from an estimated $173.80 a month nationwide in 2009 to $368.09 in 2011, according to CNN. In April of last year, CNN reported, the average U.S. household spent 9 percent of its income on gasoline, more than double what it spent two years prior.

Mississippians have it particularly rough. According to CNN’s report, gasoline in Mississippi cost its citizens $434.52 in April – just over 14 percent of their average monthly household income. Compare that with what citizens spent in Colorado, Arizona and Nevada — accounting for slightly more than 7 percent of the average citizen’s monthly income, well below the national average.

The report’s numbers from last April show that while New York State doesn’t boast the nation’s lowest gas prices, New York City’s reliance on public transportation helps Empire State citizens spend relatively little of their monthly incomes – an average of 5.5 percent – on gas.

If you’re looking for a way to save on gas and other great car tips, take a look at our recent blog post on mobile apps that can help you save money on your vehicle. Apps like iGasUp and Car Care help you save at the pump. And since money saved is money earned, you might consider putting it in a savings product to let it grow, and benefit you down the road.

How much do you spend on gasoline each month? Have gas prices influenced the way you live your life?