Gas. politics and Broadway. The year 2012 looks like it's going to feature record level of spending for all three.
Gas supply problems in California over the summer and damages and outages caused by Hurricane Sandy pumped 2012's yearly average sky high.
According to GasBuddy.com, last year, the average price of gas was $3.51 a gallon. We're definitely on track to beat that unless gas somehow drops well over a dollar a gallon for the final days of 2012. There's not much you can do to save money on gas, but taking advantage of grocery store fuel points and putting your gas spending on a rewards credit card can help.
The 2012 presidential election was by far the most expensive on record. Over $2 billion were spent by the candidates and outside groups, with hundreds of millions in TV ad buys coming from super political action committees. Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam personally donated over $92 million to SuperPacs. Most of his candidates lost, but in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said "I don't cry when I lose. There's always a new hand coming up."
Finally, a record amount of money was spent in 2012 by Broadway audiences. According to the Broadway League's Demographics Report, ticket sales topped $1 billion, with tourists accounting for over 63 percent of ticket sales.
Revivals like “Death of a Salesman” with Phillip Seymour Hoffman pulled in solid audiences, and “Book of Mormon” continues to play to sellout crowds, even as the original stars have left for starring roles on sitcoms.
Part of the reason Broadway shows are making so much money is because they charge so much money. Premium seats for “Book of Mormon” cost up to $477 each. Even long running show “Wicked” has been killing it as it recently had its highest grossing week ever.
In addition to the classic ticket booth, it's possible to save money on Broadway shows through using discount codes found on sites like broadwaybox.com. Also, day of "student rush" lotteries aren't always for students. “The Book of Mormon” sells $32 rush tickets for every performance, but honestly, your odds of winning the real lottery might be higher.
Unfortunately, ticket prices, and gas prices likely won't be much cheaper in 2013, but at least we've got a break from the election.