NEW YORK (MainStreet) — We've heard about how education can affect our lifetime income, but what about the other side of the ledger? Can our educational attainment impact how much we spend? Perhaps so. By compiling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, researchers at Retale, a location-based shopping app, discovered "education is a key influencer of consumer behavior." The research finds those with the most education spend less on food, tobacco and alcohol, housing, healthcare and apparel -- but more on entertainment and "other" expenses.

Considering an average household's overall spending of $51,406 annually, the biggest expense is obviously housing – of which the typical household shells out over $17,000 per year; about one-third of their total living expenses. Drilling down, the statistics reveal an even higher percentage (39%) of total spending is allocated to housing by those who didn't graduate from high school.

Another big-budget item spins in another direction.

Transportation accounts for 20% of the spending for those who have an Associate's degree, the greatest budget allocation to transportation of all educational attainment levels. Those without a high school diploma spend the least, just 15.3%, well below the 17.5% average for all households – and just below the 15.6% budget of households holding a Master's degree. Public transportation accounts for the greatest amount of spending by those with a Master's degree (1.7%).

Vehicle purchases garner the greatest budget by those with Associate's degrees (7.8%), followed by some college (7%) and Bachelor's degree holders (6.3%).

And it seems, the higher the level of education, the lower the grocery budget. Those who didn't finish high school spend the most on food: 16.2% of their household income. That budget allotment gradually declines with each level of education: high school (14.3%), some college (13.6%), Associate's degree (13%), Bachelor's degree (12.6%) and Master's degree (11.1%).

Entertainment outlays see those both with or without high school diplomas spending the most (2.4%) on audio and visual equipment, while those with the most secondary education spend more on fees and admissions (Master's degree 1.9%, Bachelor's degree 1.4%).

The interactive graphic, "Degrees of Spending," can be found here.

—Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet