How millionaires are spending their money

We tend think of millionaires as the big spenders—diamonds, handbags, watches and yachts.

But the new CNBC Millionaire Survey shows that the seven-figure club are far more practical when it comes to their luxury spending.

The poll surveyed 514 Americans with investable assets of $1 million or more, which represents the top 8 percent of American households. The respondents came from around the country.

The online survey was conducted in March by SpectremGroup on behalf of CNBC. The overall margin of error was 4.3 percentage points.

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When it comes to their purchases over the past 12 months, the biggest spend was in home improvement and vacations. More than half of millionaires spent more than $2,500 on home improvement in the past 12 months. On vacations, more than 60 percent spent more than $5,000.

Among the wealthier millionaires, or those with more than $5 million in investible assets, the majority spent more than $10,000 over the past 12 months.

As for the future, vacations and home improvement will continue to dominate the millionaire spending, along with cars.

Read MoreMeet America's millionaires

A third of millionaires plan to increase their spending on travel and vacations, followed by home decorating (28 percent) and autos, with 20 percent planning to spend more on their ride.

Women millionaires are even more likely to increase their auto-spend this year than millionaire men.

Read MoreCNBC survey: Rich want higher taxes to fix inequality

Granted, the survey measures millionaires by net worth. Their incomes are mostly above $125,000, so we're not talking about the top earners, who may spend much more on fashion and jewelry.

But when it comes to attracting the money of millionaires, it's better to be a luxury hotel or furniture maker than Tiffany or Coach.


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