Blog - How Much Do You Spend On ... ?


Every year when Spectrem publishes the spending information for wealthy households, I hope to justify my credit card balance to my husband.  Unfortunately for me, wealthy people don’t spend as much as you might think they do and, as my husband would point out, I’m also not a multi-millionaire.  Double whammy.

So I decided I would compare myself to Millionaire households in various categories and see how I came out.  Below you will see Spectrem’s most recent research with households that have from $1 to $5 million of net worth.

Boats.  Ninety one percent of Millionaires spent $0 on boats.  I’m right there with them!
Automobiles.  A quarter of Millionaires spent $0 on automobiles while 40% spent $1 to $4,999.  Eleven percent spent $5,000 to $9,999.  A few spent more.  So I don’t really know how people answered this.  I presume those that spent over $25,000 bought a new car.  I don’t know how much it costs annually to lease because I’ve never done it.  I can say that I probably spent $5,000 to $9,999.  Not for a new lease or a new car…..for repairs on my 10-year old car. 
Jewelry.  Forty two percent of Millionaires spent $0 on jewelry.  I’m right there with them… is my husband.  Might be better if he was with the 52% who are in the $1 to $4,999 group (HINT..HINT). 
Clothing.  Two percent spent $0 on clothing.  I promise I’m not there.  I’m probably with the 88% who spent $1 to $4,999 on clothing expenditures.  However, because I have three young daughters (between the ages of 15-25) who are still dependent on me….we could have unfortunately slipped into the 6% that spent more than $5,000….but I will never admit it.  
Club memberships.  Fifty two percent of Millionaires pay nothing for club membership.  We belong to a little pool club and a health club.  For that we probably fit with the 45% who pay $1 to $4,999 annually on club memberships. 
Vacations/Leisure Travel.  Only 4% of Millionaires spent $0 on vacations and leisure travel.  37% spent $1 to $4,999 on vacations.  Thirty five percent spent $5,000 to $9,999.  I think we spent that amount last year because we didn’t take any big trips.  I know, however, that we have spent more than $10,000 in some years.  We have 6 in our family….when you combine airfares and hotels, it’s easy to spend that much.  I was just looking at trips for the holidays to a nice warm location …..and yikes! was well over $10,000.
Entertainment: Ballgames, etc.  Thirty-seven percent spent $0 on entertainment….must be boring individuals.  I think my family is with the 58% that spent $1 to $4,999.  It’s fun to go to a ballgame or other activity at least once per year.  Additionally there are costs associated with attending the games of my children and nieces and nephews.  Definitely I’m with the majority here.
Entertainment: The Arts.  Fifteen percent of Millionaires spent $0 on the arts.  The largest portion by far spent $1 to $4,999 on the Arts.  I know that I fall within that percentage.  We were lucky enough to see Hamilton last year!  (No…we didn’t go over $5,000 but the tickets were expensive!)

So, how did you do?  Did you compare yourself to the Millionaire households described above?

While it’s easy to believe that the word “Millionaire” connotes a life of luxury, in reality it doesn’t.  Even the research that we do with those over $5 million of net worth and $25 million shows that wealthy households are rather moderate in their spending habits.  We love to watch the Kardashians and other rich people that are definitely living a life of excess ... but that’s why they're fun to watch.  Most of us can’t relate.
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