Money

Apple products, rent, college and 12 other things Americans say cost too much

General view during Day 2 of Music Midtown Festival at Piedmont Park on September 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Scott Legato | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
General view during Day 2 of Music Midtown Festival at Piedmont Park on September 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Americans are willing to pay for quality. But a lot of them also resent the fact that so many things in life are so much more expensive than they could be.

Consumers complain about the high cost of luxuries like concert tickets and cable, as well as necessities like health insurance and rent, which they say are overpriced almost all of the time, according to a recent survey of 2,000 adults from the deal-sharing site Slick deals.

Here are the top 15 things respondents say cost more than they should.

13. TIE: Weddings

13. TIE: Plane tickets

13. TIE: Cable

50 percent of respondents agree

11. TIE: Rent

11. TIE: Apple products

51 percent of respondents agree

10. Car insurance

52 percent of respondents agree

9. Cigarettes

53 percent of respondents agree

8. Movie tickets

55 percent of respondents agree

7. Car repairs

57 percent of respondents agree

4. TIE: Tickets to sporting events

4. TIE: Gas

4. TIE: Movie theater popcorn

58 percent of respondents agree

2. TIE: Health insurance

2. TIE: College tuition

60 percent of survey respondents agree

1. Concert tickets

69 percent of survey respondents agree

The majority of Americans who feel like they're paying too much for expenses like rent, health insurance and college tuition are right that prices today really are higher than they were 10 or 20 years ago, and not just because of inflation. This American Enterprise Institute chart, based on 2016 BLS data, makes the difference clear.

College costs, including textbooks and tuition, have risen the most dramatically. In 1971, a year of tuition at Harvard University cost $2,600, for example. For the 2016-2017 school year, that amount had risen to $43,280. That's a mark-up of more than 1,550 percent.

Now that higher education costs so much more than it used to, student loan debt is so high that it has become a major barrier to homeownership and prevents many people from saving for the future at all.

How Americans like to spend

Americans generally agree that some pricey things and experiences are worth splurging on, the survey finds. Over half of people are willing to invest in more expensive items that will last longer, while only 21 percent are more likely to purchase cheaper, trendier stuff.

High earners are even more inclined to keep value top of mind. While just under 40 percent of those earning $50,000 or less say they'd be likely to invest in an expensive item, nearly 70 percent of those earning $70,000 or more say the same.

Meanwhile, those who do skimp on price often end up regretting it: 79 percent of respondents say they've bought something on the cheaper side that they later wished they hadn't after realizing it wasn't up to their standard of quality.

If you're on the fence about where to invest and where to save, check out 18 things that are worth paying extra for and five items that you should never pay full price for.

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