5 Things Americans Spend a Ridiculous Amount of Money On

The average American isn’t rich by any means — they took home $44,569.20 in 2014, according to the Social Security Administration — but they sure do know how to spend.

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From weddings to rent to bank overdraft fees, Americans’ budgets take a hit in all sorts of ways. At first blush, you might even say we spend more to cover the basic costs of living than on recreation (you can go here for easy steps to get control of your finances).

Spending more than your budget can handle is never a good idea, as this kind of behavior can put you in debt and wind up hurting your credit score. (Not sure where you stand? You can view two free credit scores on Credit.com.) With that in mind, read on to see where our money is going.

With that in mind, read on to see where our money is going.

1. Planning a Wedding

Suffice it to say Americans spend way a lot on their wedding. And by a lot, we mean an average of $26,444. Pricey, right?

As we’ve reported, the average bride spends more than $1,200 on her wedding dress. Then there are the additional associated costs like tickets for bridal shows. Did we mention bridal gowns cost even more when they’re designer?

2. Making Rent 

For those who thought young adults were the only ones showing reluctance to purchase a home, think again: Americans in every age group under 65 are buying homes in dwindling numbers. Meanwhile, some young homebuyers are skipping starter homes altogether. Don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re saving on rent. As the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University reported, 11 million people devoted at least half of their income to rent in 2014 — a record high.