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How much do friends cost? Curious which country loves lingerie the most? How about the proper spacing between strangers' beach towels? Survey says...

Money Talks News is always looking at surveys for information that can make people richer or life more rewarding.

Sometimes those surveys aren’t directly about money, but still potentially useful to our readers – stuff like 12 Totally Ridiculous Resume Mistakes and America’s Most Popular Zoos. Other times they’re just, well, interesting enough to share. Here are some surveys we ran across recently that aren’t worth a full write-up – but may be worth a laugh…

1. Friendship is priceless – except when it costs too much

Harris Interactive asked more than 2,200 people about how much their friends cost, and it turns out money can buy happiness – for your buddies. “Nearly one-third (31 percent) of U.S. adults spend more money on their friends than their friends spend on them in a given year,” says survey commissioner Coupon Cabin. Nineteen percent also said they spend an average of $500 a year on gifts – possibly the same people (20 percent) who “said they have had a ‘friend breakup’ over a money dispute.”

The study found many people refuse to be in a friend’s bridal party because of the cost – 22 percent of adults and nearly 4 in 10 adults under 35 had.

But time is more important than money, right? Maybe not. Forty-seven percent said they spend 1 to 15 hours a month with friends. (There are 720 hours in 30 days.)  A lonely 7 percent said zero hours, while 13 percent spend more than 51 hours – unemployed insomniacs?

2. First Lady is the first roommate

Of 1,500-plus people surveyed by, 18 percent “voted First Lady Michelle Obama to the top of the list of celebrities, historical, fictional or political figures Americans would most want to room with on their next vacation.” Least popular? Lady Gaga, who was “voted an undesirable travel mate by all age groups” and 24 percent of respondents overall – worse than Spiderman (?) and Ryan Seacrest. Was it something she said, or that raw meat dress?

The survey also examined most and least desirable traits in a roomie. Guys first look for a sense of humor, while gals want somebody they can trust. Men are not interested in sharing a room with a cat-lover, while women ranked smoking the least welcome trait.

3. This seat is taken – forever

TripAdvisor asked 1,400-plus people about beach and pool etiquette, including the appropriate amount of space between strangers’ beach towels (3 feet if crowded, 20 feet if not). The most obnoxious first-world pool problem? Survey says: chair hogging, at 29 percent. And even if most people don’t rank it the worst, almost everyone agrees it’s annoying.

“84 percent get agitated when others save beach or pool chairs by leaving belongings on them,” TripAdvisor says. More than a third would like a 30-minute time limit, while 19 percent say you shouldn’t do it at all. On the other hand, 14 percent believe you can reserve a chair for a buddy indefinitely.

Other top pool peeves include loud music (11 percent) and smoking (10 percent).

4. Most people on earth like sexy underwear

European underwear seller Bjorn Borg commissioned an international survey of 1,700-plus people under 30 to pose the eternal question, “How important is sexy underwear?” Answer: “almost 2/3 find sexy underwear important.”

The study looked at sexy underwear attitudes and habits in nine countries. Although both sexes were covered – “2/3 of German boys do not wear sexy underwear,” but only 18 percent of Chinese boys don’t, according to page 11’s chart – the results emphasize the ladies.

Women in Spain are most likely to wear sexy lingerie (99 percent!), while the Chinese are relatively meek (79 percent). The French (95 percent) and Americans (79 percent) are most likely to wear sexy undies on a date – and all the time, for that matter – while the Chinese (18 percent) and Brits (39 percent) are much more conservative.

German women like their underwear plain and simple, while Chinese women prefer “flirty” and “romantic” styles, which two-thirds say are to boost self-confidence rather than impress a partner.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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