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5 Things You Spend On, Then Never Use

Exercise equipment
In basements all across suburbia one can find the most expensive clothes racks ever produced. You'll find winter coats on rowing machines, dry cleaning slung over Soloflex gear and holiday tablecloths folded on the steps of a Stairmaster.

Last year the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association estimated that exercise equipment was on track to be a $4.4 billion business, with treadmill sales accounting for nearly 25% of the category. After treadmills, the next two largest fitness categories were elliptical machines ($913 million in sales) and exercise cycles ($442 million). Consumer/retail spending for exercise equipment accounts for nearly 80% of the entire exercise equipment category.

That's an awful lot of money spent on equipment that, for many, will be forgotten with New Year's resolutions. A study some years ago in the Journal of Clinical Psychology showed 25% of New Year's resolutions -- with better exercise habits being among the most common -- don't make it past the first week, and 54% fail after six months. That sounds like $2.2 billion wasted on exercise equipment each year. How much was yours?

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