I was reading the post over at Echoes from the Geek Cave that Bighara posted about player character wealth and ways to deal with it - Cash or (In) Charge. That got me thinking about a number of things adventurers might do with their money or have done to their money.
Of course taxes were already mentioned along with buying big, expensive items like ships, but thinking about it, there have to be a ton of other ways to separate an adventuring fool from his or her money.
Nobles often need ready cash in their treasury for emergencies and day-to-day upkeep. Many would likely welcome expensive and rare gifts from visitors seeking an audience who are interested in currying favor. Others might welcome a deposit of coins in exchange for a writ allowing the bearer to recover most of that cash at a later date.
Characters might be able to buy titles of nobility or knighthoods. Perhaps the nobles require adventurers to buy the exclusive rights to claims with areas of their territory offering them favorable tax rates on anything recovered.
Merchants might likewise offer a writ in return for investing in their next big scheme or to pay for a long expedition to new markets, with of course a nice expected return on the investment in the future.
The PCs themselves might like to start or buy a business and hire people to run it while they're off killing monsters and taking their stuff.
Entering new cities and towns it often happens that parties of armed and armored adventurers won't know the local laws well regarding wandering about ready for war and frightening the local children. Here then is an opportunity to extort, I mean offer them a permit to wear armor and carry arms for a nominal fee, provided they are peace bonded, naturally. That fee should be high enough to cover the wergild in the event they happen to break the peace bond and incidentally kill or maim someone.
Should they decide they don't want to pay the fee then offer them the chance to store their arms and armor in a magically secured facility, for a fee to cover the cost of guards and the wizard casting the Wizard Lock and other protective wards.
And of course should they break any laws there can always be fines, and if it is heinous enough perhaps a court case resulting in the need to hire representation or to buy the judge.
During their long journey things are bound to wear out and animals might get sick or slain by monsters. There are the repair and replacement costs.
These are the tip of the iceberg. It shouldn't be too difficult to find ways to part them from their money. And they themselves might decide to go carousing and blow a bunch of money living high and having fun. Remember the scene in the Schwartzenegger Conan movie where he falls face first into his porridge after what could have been weeks of carousing night after night? He looked at that point to be flat broke having partied away his loot.
Reality is also full of other examples. (Automobile registration and emissions testing fees anyone?) Maybe the town dislikes animal droppings on the main street through town and pays cleaners thus requiring anyone with animals to pay fees or purchase permits.
The list could easily go on.