How Many Miles of Toilet Paper Do You Use Every Year?

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Toilet paper

I know, that’s not a headline you think you’d see on a personal finance blog, but I like to keep my readers on their toes.   🙂   That said, if you believe this infographic, we spend on average three years of our life in the bathroom, so it applies to all of us – right?! You can probably blame the selection on this infographic on the fact that both my wife and I have spent a lot of time in the bathroom the last few years as we’ve been in the throws of potty training the little Frugal Rules’ and you’d be amazed at how much of life can relate to all things toilet paper and potty training – heck I even wrote a post on it last year – How Budgeting is Like Potty Training. If you don’t believe me, then ask pretty much any parent of little ones and they’ll tell you that what goes on in the bathroom doesn’t necessarily stay in the bathroom. In fact, it can often have a funny correlation with many things in life.

There are a number of things that stood out to me with this infographic, mainly:

  • The majority of people prefer their toilet paper to go over and not under
  • 1 of 5 people get annoyed when it’s facing the “wrong” way…glad I am not the only OCD person out there 😉
  • 70% of houseguests snoop through the cabinets
  • Americans use 433 million miles of toilet paper each year
  • 85% of bathroom related injuries occur because someone has fallen in the toilet after the seat being left up…now that’s something I think I’d keep to myself


Silly Bathroom Facts
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


Ok, I turn it over to you now…what stood out to you with this infographic? Am I the only OCD one out there?

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • says:

    LOL. I don’t care if this post isn’t finance related at all – I love it! I’m just going to guess but I bet I’ll probably spend more than 3 years of my life in the bathroom.

    Why do people use their cell phone in the restroom? That’s just gross ….

  • ChanceCallan says:

    OMG, I need to DO my bathroom cupboards!!!!

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Looks like I need to organize my cabinets better! Great post for a Monday morning : )

  • Thomas says:

    Funny informative inforgraphic John! The one that gets me are the injuries! I guess now if my wifey sees this she has more of a reason for fussing when the boys leave the toilet seats up.

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Ok, am I the only one who thinks it’s completely unacceptable to be on your phone/laptop while in the bathroom? Please tell me I’m not. πŸ™‚

  • Matt Becker says:

    Haha, the snooping in the medicine cabinet reminds me of that Seinfeld episode. “I didn’t open! I just kind of nudged it.”

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    I’m a little OCD so the toilet paper roll has to go “over” at my house. I even change the roll at other people’s house if I notice.

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

    Really? Snooping through people’s cabinets? Maybe if I need a bandaid or something, but that’s kinda weird. I can definitely relate to the mobile phone use and droppage- though since i got a smart phone, I’m much more careful about it πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      I know Stefanie, that’s just wrong in my opinion. I’ve got too many other things in life going on than to snoop through someone’s cabinets.

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    I like how you posted this. It is a nice break from everything personal finance. I can say that I like my TP over and I fold. That is all I am going to say. Oh, I have also never been injured in the toilet.

  • Chantal says:

    If you have a cat who plays with toilet paper you had better have it going under!

  • Simon @ Modest Money says:

    Hhhhmmm, 70% of guests snoop in other folks bathroom cabinets and drawers…I wonder what they’d be looking for =D
    Thats a lot of phones down the toilet drain too!

  • John says:

    Lol, I do the same thing Kim. It drives me nuts…I know that makes me just a bit OCD. πŸ™‚

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    I’m going to make sure I don’t leave anything in the drawers if we have guests! I have to have the roll over as well or it makes me upset. I think our daughter uses way more toilet paper than most kids, but I guess it’s better than using too little?

  • Michelle says:

    I’m surprised that only 1 in 5 get annoyed when the TP is facing the wrong way!

    And haha Wes complains to me at least once a week about makeup on towels.

  • MonicaOnMoney says:

    John!! I love this article, it’s so much fun for a Monday morning πŸ™‚ I can’t believe that we spend 3 years in the bathroom, wow! That’s just crazy to me. And I’m NOT surprised that house guest snoop through the cabinets, that’s why I try to keep them clean.

    • John says:

      Thanks Monica, that was the hope! We try and do the same thing with our cabinets as well, but our little one is constantly rearranging it.

  • Mark Ross @ Think Rich. Be Free. says:

    Very great infographic John! Spending 3 years of your life in a bathroom is really a long time.

  • Budget & the Beach says:

    ha ha! I love that infographic. I don’t understand how people fall in the toilet. Don’t they look before they sit down? I mean I don’t just blindly sit on a toilet seat. I prefer my tp over the top too, and I crumple. Did you need to know that? πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      I know, I thought the same thing Tonya, what are these people doing to injure themselves by sitting on the toilet? Oh, thanks for sharing. πŸ˜‰

  • Jake @ Ca$h Funny says:

    Haha, great read for a Monday morning. I’m definitely in the 1 out of 5 that gets annoyed when the TP is under instead of over. It’s so much more work when it’s under. Some of these statistics are pretty staggering (like spending 3 years in the bathroom during our life!).

    • John says:

      Thanks Jake! I am one of the five as well as it just drives me nutty. Just wait til you have kids then you’ll definitely hit the year mark.

  • Kyle | says:

    Hahaha…I want to know how the dude in #8 hurt his nose by falling in the toilet??

  • Lance @ Money Life and More says:

    Haha this is hilarious! I’m not surprised by half of it sadly. I saw a funny bumper sticker recently on the subject. “If you object to logging, than try using plastic toilet paper”. Some food for thought.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    It always creeps me out a bit when I’m in a public restroom and someone is talking on their phone. First, I always think they are talking to me πŸ™‚ and then I’m just grossed out. I don’t want to be on the other end, hearing toilets flush or worse! There is a reason why we have VM! Do your business, then call them back. Trust me, everyone will thank you for doing that!

    • John says:

      Lol, I am glad I am not the only one who feels that way Shannon! I always could tell when clients were “in the office” and it was just plain nasty.

  • Girl Meets Debt says:

    People actually “fall” into the toilet and injure themselves??? Really? LOL I’m the biggest klutz I know but I have yet to fall into the toilet! πŸ˜›

  • Broke Millennial says:

    Haha this is awesome! I am the 1 in 5 who gets irritated if the TP is facing “the wrong way.” I always adjust it to be over instead of under.

  • debtfreeoneday says:

    I’m a folder!! Not a crumpler! How funny is that, I never realised that other people don’t fold their toilet paper. πŸ™‚ Can’t believe we spend 3 years of our lifetime on the toilet, that’s crazy!

  • Mackenzie says:

    Ha, this is too funny John! I hate when the toilet paper is facing the wrong way, as I am a little OCD about that as well πŸ˜‰

  • Travis @DebtChronicles says:

    I’m definitely a phone user when I’m in the bathroom…..I can’t stand to not mutli-task. I don’t make many phone calls in there though….and if I finish my “business” before the phone call ends, I’ll wait to flush until after I hang up. πŸ™‚

    • John says:

      Lol, well thanks for your honesty Travis. πŸ™‚ I am a big multi-tasker myself, but that’s a bit much for me. I think you could partially blame it on having a job that required me to be on the phone all day for four years and hearing people do their business while being on the other end with me.

  • Karen says:

    I’m definitely a crumpler!:) I crumple my napkins after wiping my mouth and I crumple my tp after wiping “that area”. Haha. I’m addicted to my blackberry but not to the point where I would use it while on the toilet.

    The toilet seat being up is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. One time I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, didn’t bother to turn on the light and just sat down on the toilet. I was barely awake, until I sat down and realized the toilet seat was up. :S

  • Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa says:

    Guess where I am reading this post from???

    My desk… I’m not risking joining 7 million others with toilet phones.

  • Chad | The Stock Market and I says:

    I guess I will be leaving a personal flotation device for my guests in the future…

  • Tushar @ Everything Finance says:

    That’s a pretty entertaining infographic. I couldn’t imagine using the phone while on the toilet to do anything, much less phone somebody. It seems disrespectful! And wow, I can’t believe that many people are snoops!

    • John says:

      I know Tushar, I would agree. In my past life I had a job where I was on the phone all day and you’d be amazed at how many conduct their business while doing their business. πŸ˜‰

  • Clarrise @ Make Money Your Way says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog plus the funny pictures! I must confess I can relate to Number 2, I love checking emails, reading Fb and Twitter and checking the news update. And about the bathroom related injuries really freaked me out! hahaha!!

  • dojo says:

    I really can’t understand why anyone would snoop through someone else’s stuff. Oh, well ..

    Really nice info though πŸ˜€

    • John says:

      I completely agree Dojo. There are much better things to be doing in life, in my opinion at least, than to snoop through someone’s bathroom cabinets.

  • Jack @ Enwealthen says:

    Now that explains why so many people need to know how to save their phone after its gotten wet…

  • Todd @ Fearless Dollar says:

    This is the exact type of info I want from my online reading!!

    If I could always have a laptop with me on the toilet I could gain 3 years of my life back according to this infographic.

  • julia @ says:

    Goodness!! LOL! That was a topic I had no idea was so well surveyed. It makes me wonder how they come up with the statisics on that? I’ve never filled out a bathroom survey. I’ll have to remember to put the paper in the right way now (I didn’t know there was a right way before I read this). But now that I think about it it is nicer if the roll is going over the top.

  • Charles@Gettingarichlife says:

    Hi John,
    I have had a bad habit at looking in people’s medicine cabinet, maybe that’s why people dont invite me over.. Sigh

  • Cara Lyn Erickson says:

    Haha! Thanks for sharing. I’m always curious to know if my bathroom habits are the “norm”. Thanks for submitting to the blog carnival hosted today at!

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