Another glaring example of how superheroes waste money lies in the old superhero tradition of the headquarters. Every hero needs a lair and every team needs a meeting place. From this sanctuary the hero (or group of heroes) can rest and prepare to deal with the next threat.
I take no issue with this concept. Even superheroes need a place to rest and collect all their crime-fighting equipment. And not every hero can make due with the spartan settings used by the likes of Spider-Man (who uses a cramped New York apartment) or Wolverine (who seems perfectly content falling asleep in alleyways). Sometimes fighting crime requires some space to store your stuff. But sometimes superheroes take things too far.
The Teen Titans have a tower shaped like a "T." That just seems wasteful and somewhat architecturally unsound.
S.H.I.E.L.D. operates out of several flying aircraft carriers. I understand their need to be portable and react to emergency situations around the world, but do there also need to be offices and prisons inside of the floating fortress?
The X-Mansion is filled with high tech gadgets and expensive alien technology which is constantly being replaced after being blown up by Sentinels and evil mutants from the dawn of time.
DC's Justice League takes things to a new height of absurdity by having placed their headquarters on the moon. Thats right, the goddamn MOON! This hardly seems like the most effective base of operations for fighting crime unless your sole concern is preventing astronauts from stabbing other astronauts. Rather than taking whatever funds and supplies they have amassed to feed the hungry and house the homeless, the Justice League felt that the most efficient use of their resources would be to create a multi-leveled base of operations on a planetoid other than the one where they actually fight crime. Not only did they build this structure, they also took the time and money to bling it up with a trophy room and nifty teleporters so they can get to the actual planet they police. The money used to provide pressurization and air to the hall of justice alone would likely be able to feed and house a large portion of the homeless in New York City.
And you may argue that the Justice League needs to have a headquarters away from Earth in order to protect themselves. Well, that doesn't exactly work.
In my short duration as a Justice League reader, the JLA watchtower on the moon was blown up twice and attacked directly another time. In fact, the watchtower was even leveled at the beginning of Infinite Crisis. Well done, Justice League. I'm sure investing all that money into what is now a smoking pile of rubble on the moon was a worthy investment. Much better than say, curing cancer.
Superman as an individual however, shows great restraint in his headquarters. Though the "Fortress of Solitude" is a fairly pompous name, Superman was able to build a hero's home that is economical and useful. Built cheaply and easily out of Kryptonian crystal technology, the Fortress of Solitude houses species from Earth and different planets as well as advanced technology Superman uses in his never-ending battle against the forces of evil. Hell, I would bet that the Fortress of Solidtude could even be classified as green. Well done, Man of Steel, well done.