SealA large part of me is pure nebbish – plain, dull, uninteresting. There’s a more flamboyant part, too. Obviously.” — Barbra Streisand

Jeanine has been on a bit of a concert-buying binge… Saturday night we saw Seal; September is Cheryl Crow with John Mayer and in November: we see the diva of all divas — Barbra Streisand.

I have to admit that I’ve only been to about 10 concerts in my entire life… and that includes the 3 times I saw Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith as a born-again teenager and the last 2 Melissa Etheridge concerts I missed because of work travel. Actually, I’ve never seen Melissa in concert which is somewhat of a rite of passage for every gay woman.

Personally, I’m more like a gay man… Cher & Madonna would be on my list before Melissa, so hence, the tickets to Babs. Jeanine really didn’t have to twist my arm for this one… even at $200 a seat and another $20 for the VIP parking pass. Well, I did think about it for about 2 seconds before hitting the “buy” button on Ticketmaster, but it’s her final, final tour, you know.

However, at my core, I’m really not all that into music… unless it’s the techno/electronica dance stuff downloaded on my iPod. And the only reason I have this is to keep me motivated for 40 minutes on the treadmill at the gym. Or I like to listen to it while I’m driving fast on the tollroad. But really, how fast can you go in the Volvo?

Anyway, my point with this ramble on is that it made me think about how people spend their disposable income. If someone is forty and they’ve seen 3 concerts every year for the last twenty years X an average ticket price of $69, well, that = $4140 spent on concert-going bliss for the “average” American. That’s a lot of money. And in my opinion, it certainly was “wasted” money on the Seal concert. Even Jeanine concurred. Some people just sound better in the recording studio.

Most people spend some money on “entertainment” and it’s probably going to be on something that is important to them. It’s a challenge for me to watch our money be spent on stuff like this. These types of purchases are liabilities. The only thing that lasts is the memory. Good or bad.

Annelena Lobb at CNN Money writes, “The amount consumers spend to keep themselves amused varies more than most categories (w/r/t spending & expenses). It all depends on what you choose to include. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics entertainment figures, which do not include the cost of meals out or alcohol, about 5 percent of consumer expenses goes to entertainment categories like vacations and movies.”

“Counting restaurant meals and alcohol, that figure jumps to 11 percent. But it varies by age bracket — consumers under 25 are the biggest party animals, spending some 13.5 percent of their income on those three categories. They’re followed by consumers aged 35 to 44, at 12.2 percent.”

PlanetOut takes it a step further with shifting from the present to the future with regards to entertainment purchases and consumer goods:

“As we know, single gay men and lesbians are given many opportunities to mismanage their money. Living in a culture that encourages consumption, and without kids to force us to budget and invest, we often spend more than we save, or — worse — more than we have. Stereotype? Not really.”

“The good news is that it’s never too late to shape up. Taking control of your budget, paying off those credit card bills, and shifting from the present to the future tense will not only be good for your bank account, it will give you a real sense of empowerment.”

I see we’re not the only ones spending disposable income on concerts. And after our disappointment with Seal, it brings new meaning to “disposable” income. We’ll stay home next time. It’s more fun and less money to have a few friends over with Seal playing in the background as dinner music.