"The total, noncapital living expenses of 1,216 farm families enrolled in the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) Association averaged $44,475-or $3,706 a month for each family," says Dale Lattz, U of I Extension farm management specialist. "The sample farms, which were mainly grain farms, were located primarily in central and northern Illinois."

In addition to the living expenses, the average farm family spent $4,380 in 2002 to buy capital items such as the personal share of the family automobile, furniture, and household equipment, says Lattz.

"The grand total for living expenses averaged $48,855 for 2002 compared with $48,097 for 2001," he says. "This represents a $758 increase per family. "

Income and social security tax payments decreased in 2002 compared to the year before. The amount of income taxes paid in 2002 averaged $9,867 compared to $11,475 in 2001.

"The amount of taxes paid was at its lowest level since 1990," Lattz says.

Medical expenses were higher in 2002 compared to 2001. In 2002, medical expenses averaged $6,335.

"This is the first year medical expenses averaged over $6,000," Lattz says. "Medical expenses include out-of-pocket costs for health insurance along with doctor and hospital expenses."

The complete report is available online at: http://www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu/manage/newsletters/fefo03_09/fefo03_09.html.