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Last year, I spent the most on ...

Displaying poll results.
  16125 votes / 65%
Travel / Recreation
  2006 votes / 8%
Medical expenses
  799 votes / 3%
Toys (incl. electronics)
  1968 votes / 7%
Charity of some kind
  258 votes / 1%
Something not here listed
  3581 votes / 14%
24737 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Last year, I spent the most on ...

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  • Had to go with "housing" on this one.

    After all, there are only so many video games one person can buy....
  • Looking at Mint - after housing I spent the most on food. I guess you could say that's medical though. Seems like a fairly big category for most people.
  • I bought a house (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by davebarnes (158106)

    In 2011, we bought a house. For $482K cash.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:27AM (#39019321)

      In 2011, we bought a house. For $482K cash.

      Dude, I hate to be a grammar Nazi, but you force me to be. That post needs to be properly punctuated at the end with "BITCHES!" as follows.

      In 2011, we bought a house. For $482K cash.



      • We built a custom house. Put $600K cash and mortgaged the remaining $300K.

        Getting the mortgage was almost as hard as dealing with the builder, and the builder was an ass.

        • Right. (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          We built a custom house. Put $600K cash and mortgaged the remaining $300K.

          I was happier then and I had nothin'. We used to live in this tiny old house with great big holes in the roof.
          House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, 'alf the floor was missing, and we were all 'uddled together in one corner for fear of falling.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:22PM (#39023823)

      Well that was pretty foolish of you. Mortgage rates are crazy low right now. With that sort of money on hand, I have to assume that you have good credit. If you have good credit, you could have gotten a mortgage with a fixed rate around 3%. Maybe even lower, if you shopped around. You surely could have found an investment that gave better than 3% returns - heck, my credit union pays 2% on my checking account. If you could make even 8% (a fairly conservative number), then over the fifteen year term, you just threw away over half a million dollars.

      So, uh, congrats...?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gamerSRC (1663813)

        Money on hand DOES NOT correlate with having good credit... if anything, it's the opposite.

        I 'bought' my house at age 23, cosigned by my father and with a down payment provided by my uncle. I've made the payments myself. And 5.5 years later, I still can't get a credit card because I _only_ have one line of credit.

        My uncle paid cash for his house and cars, and had something like half a million dollars in his bank account when he died. He deposited money (which earned interest!) with the DMV instead of paying

        • Re:I bought a house (Score:4, Informative)

          by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:23PM (#39034585) Homepage Journal

          " It rewards irresponsible spending."

          A common misconception. It rewards long term evidence they people, pay off debt they incur.

          Now, without proof you can't do that, then yeah your rate will be higher.

          I'm not sure why you can' get a card. You have a home, at the very least you should be able to get a 250 card from your bank.
          Us it to pay a bill you would pay anyways, and pay the card company immediately afterwords.

          Yeah, parts of it are screwed up, and I could go into a lot of detail.
          I actually created some of the formulas for TRW.

    • 1. Property taxes are $1700 USD per year. Not $5K.
      2. Yes, we could have borrowed at 4% and invested the money, but for us, a house is a place to live and not an investment. I like waking up in the morning knowing that we have no mortgage. Whether or not that is an economically rational thought is irrelevant.

      • by metlin (258108)

        2. Yes, we could have borrowed at 4% and invested the money, but for us, a house is a place to live and not an investment. I like waking up in the morning knowing that we have no mortgage.

        What? That is just downright stupid.

        It doesn't matter whether or not the house was an investment -- over a period of 15 years (assuming you took a 15 year mortgage), you would easily come out on top with the returns on just TIPS and muni bonds. Hell, even tracking to an index will get you out on top. You could let that mo

  • by UnHolier than ever (803328) <> on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:44AM (#39019591)
    Anyone who clicked "Medical Expenses" should seriously consider moving to a civilized country where getting unlucky will not make you bankrupt.
    • by tverbeek (457094)

      The bill for my medical expenses was easily more than I spent on housing last year. Fortunately only a minority of that came out of my pocket. The majority was paid for my insurance... which I also spent a substantial amount of money on.

      • by ISoldat53 (977164)
        My insurance costs more than my housing. God help me if I had to pay my health costs out of my own pocket.
    • by b_dover (773956) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:18PM (#39020941)
      Testify....Went from working, home owning tax payer to apartment dwelling with half a million in debt with one extended hospital stay. Exceeded the lifetime maximum of my employers insurance. Everyone should really check the lifetime maxium on their insurance...these days it doesn't take much to max it out...then its all out of pocket. (and no...a million two is not enough)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rgmoore (133276)

        Everyone should really check the lifetime maxium on their insurance

        Soon, though, you won't have to worry about it. One of the major provisions of PPACA (that's Obamacare to haters) is the elimination of lifetime caps on coverage.

      • by tompaulco (629533) on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:26PM (#39023867) Homepage Journal
        Exceeded the lifetime maximum of my employers insurance.
        Clearly your insurance company has misunderstood the meaning of the word insurance. The whole idea is that you pay for everything out of your own pocket, but you have an insurance policy which covers you in case something horribly expensive happens. That is what insurance is.
    • by rgmoore (133276)

      In which case the category that's likely to be your largest expense is "taxes". That's not to say that the health care situation* in the USA is worth emulating. We would probably spend a lot less to get equal or better care if we had a centralized, government managed system, but that would still have to be paid for by taxes.

      *I refuse to call the way we handle healthcare in the USA a system. We don't have a healthcare system here, we have a whole bunch of overlapping ways of providing care and payment t

      • by sasha328 (203458)

        Actually, I come from a country (Australia) where we have what you Americans call socialised medical care.
        I am on the high pay bracket, so I pay a lot of tax, but that is only about 35%ish. My contribution to health is an additional 3.5% (plus I have private health insurance in case I want to go private which is on $900ish a year).
        So, assuming I earn $100000 (easier to work number, but I don't earn anywhere near that)

        I would pay $38000 tax, so my take home is $62000
        I have a $220000 mortgage, with a loan rep

        • by Cimexus (1355033)

 might want to go and read about how marginal tax rates work and come back and re-calculate all that!

          You don't pay $38k in tax (even counting medicare levy and other health-related contributions). Not even close to it.

          At $100k income, you might be in the '38% bracket' (it's actually 37%, but I digress), but you aren't paying that on your entire income! You are only paying that rate on the portion of your income above the previous bracket (which is currently $80k).

          To make it easy: http://www.ato.go []

      • by xaxa (988988) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:07PM (#39027485)

        In which case the category that's likely to be your largest expense is "taxes".

        That depends how much one earns.

        Minimum wage in the UK works out to about £12,500 a year.
        A teacher starts work earning about £24,000 a year.
        Someone earning £100,000 is doing well -- a lawyer or doctor etc.
        And let's have a footballer earning £2,000,000 a year for comparison. (It's apparently difficult for them to fiddle their taxes and pretend it's offshore income, or whatever people do.)

        £12,500 a year person pays 13% tax on their income, £1640. They almost certainly spend more on housing, and perhaps food.
        £24,000 pays 22%. £5320 in tax. If they live somewhere expensive (London), or are paying for a lot of house (e.g. for non-earning dependants i.e. children) they're probably spending more on housing.
        £100,000 pays 35%. Now we're probably at the point where the largest expense is tax.
        £2,000,000 pays 51% (wow!).

        All of these people pay 20% VAT on most things and services they buy, although basic food doesn't have this tax -- and the poorer people spend (proportionally) more on food. There's also a local tax, between around £500-£2500 a year per house, depending on the size of your house.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If that person on minimum wage in the UK has a couple of children, their actual take home is likely to be about £25-£30k once tax credits are factored in.

          The absurdity of our country at the moment is people who do not work and have never worked still get the tax credits - hence it being easy to pass £26000 in benefits (the proposed cap). Add to that the reduced council tax, free / subsdised other public services and the fact none of this is taxed and you have a ridiculous sitution where s

  • Taxes! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Income, Property, Payroll - all together, my biggest category by a large margin
    • by spitzak (4019)

      If you read the comments, a lot of people consider property taxes to be part of housing expenses, so you can't count that. It kind of makes sense because the amount of property tax is something you can control by getting a cheaper house or none at all. Also sales tax is likely included in the expense of any purchased item.

      Income taxes is certainly the largest for almost anybody who has a job. I'm guessing that most people, myself included, thought that the word "spent" in "I spent the most..." somehow exclu

  • Student Loans (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lastrogue (1773302) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:49AM (#39019669)
    Student Loans hit me the hardest, more than my mortgage. Suppose that's my own fault for trying to educate myself though. Funny world we live in, Eh?
  • Children (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scottme (584888) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:55AM (#39019753)

    Care, feeding and education of. They have been my largest single expense since they were born. Fortunately I can think I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as their undergraduate courses are nearly finished.

  • I was born with multiple disabilities and I have many problems. For example, I pay over 600 bucks for Kaiser, still have not gotten my new analog bone conduction hearing aid reimbursements from November 2011 (they keep messing up), etc. :(

  • by mengel (13619) <> on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:29AM (#39020283) Homepage Journal
    "When you have kids, they get all your slack." -- Book of the SubGenius

    'nuff said.

  • by The Yuckinator (898499) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:37AM (#39020365)


    • Spent mine on cars. It'll be a sad day when medical science finally recognizes it as an unhealthy addiction.

  • Precious metals.
  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:06PM (#39020765)
    A few important missing options, I'd say. Food wasn't listed, and it was my No. 1. And Transportation, also not listed, was No. 3. I assume that "travel/recreation" doesn't include getting to work, school, shopping, etc., but rather travel away from home for business or pleasure.
  • Gas was my biggest expense.

  • My housing budget covers far more than merely paying off the loans on my house. It includes property taxes, home-owner's insurance, maintenance and repairs, and utilities. Actually, those combined cost more than my loan payments; and loan payments include principle, which means they increase my equity.

  • by realsilly (186931) on Monday February 13, 2012 @01:45PM (#39022427)

    .... so I can spend less on Housing and more on having fun whether it is travel or electronics, toys, or just saving some damn money.

  • by jimmerz28 (1928616) on Monday February 13, 2012 @01:46PM (#39022451)

    Would be what I spent the most on last year. Not complaining, it was worth more than I could ever pay and made me a better person; but damn expensive!

    They really need to up the deduction amount on your income tax for qualified student loan interest, $2500 for a whole year is a little outdated imo.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      I think we have to re-examine the costs of education these days. If you come out of school with $100,000 in debt, do you really expect to make enough over the remainder of your lifetime to pay that back, with interest? Keep in mind that you could have also been working the last 4 or 5 years while you were getting your education, and unlike professional jobs, skilled and unskilled labor jobs tend to at least get annual raises or at least cost of living adjustments.
      I have a bachelors degree, but when i gradu
  • Not for long though, got 41 tobacco plants growing in the garden
  • Education: mine, my kids and my wife. Spent about half my income on education (live in Brazil).

  • I bought a couple of rental properties last year. I listed it as 'other' since it is not housing for me.

    Housing in my area is low relative to rent, so these properties are cash flow positive by a lot. My payments (mortgage, tax, insurance) are less than half the rent I get. I figure rents will go up about the same as inflation while my payments stay relatively fixed. In 30 years the mortgage goes away and I'll be able to retire.
  • Taxes - roughly 72 cents in every dollar
  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @01:46AM (#39029659)
    Student loans crush me so bad. I'll have them paid off by the time I'm 50 if I'm fortunate.
  • by afc_wimbledon (1052878) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @02:53AM (#39029987)
    Well I am in my mid 50's, and I want to retire at some point!

"Who alone has reason to *lie himself out* of actuality? He who *suffers* from it." -- Friedrich Nietzsche


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