10 Things That Are a Massive Waste of Money

Waste money? Couldn’t be me! OK, it could be me. Alright, it has been me. Guilty as charged. While everyone could rationalize just about any purchase, those who take cold, hard stock of their online banking activity or Amazon purchase history will know waste when they see it.

Urges for Splurges

online shopping
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We’ve all splurged on something we shouldn’t have. The key is—say it with me now— learning from our costly mistakes. 

If you have spent your hard-earned cheddar on any of these items, take solace in knowing that others did too. Then, vow never to spend money on them again.

1. Running the Smartphone Rat Race

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Upgrading your smartphone annually is downright dumb. How often will you succumb to the marketing appeal of Apple’s latest advertising campaign, convincing yourself that the upgraded camera lens or newfangled phone design is worth a new $1,000 contract with Verizon?

And how many times will you re-experience that sinking realization that it’s virtually the same phone you already had? Fool a smartphone customer once; shame on the manufacturer. Fool the customer twice; shame on the customer.

2. Non-Essential Designer Clothes

designer clothes
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The nature of fashion is that it’s trendy this Summer, played out by Fall. If you’re buying a bag, top, hoodie, or pair of shoes because they’re timeless and made with pristine quality, that’s one thing. If you’re merely riding the senseless fashion wave, you’ll regret it.

3. DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Other Food Delivery Services

uber eats food delivery man smiles and looks on a camera on a road in Kiev, Ukraine, 7 February 2019.
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No purchase is easier to rationalize than food delivery. I’m tired. I worked a long day. At least I’m not going out for dinner. I’ll short-change the delivery person and save a few bucks. 

Cut the delusion. You’re wasting money. Make a ham and cheese sammy and wait for the thank you from your future self.

4. Splurging On the First Date

Happy couple on summer evening having romantic dinner outdoor
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Would you agree to spend $1,000 on a puppy sight unseen? Would it make sense to purchase an expensive sports car without knowing what kind of vehicle you were buying? Then why would you take a completely unknown person on a date to a fancy restaurant?

5. Barbershop Beard Trims

barbershop beard trim
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Men deserve to splurge on a professional beard trim once in a blue moon. However, anyone spending even an extra $10 or $20 having a barber trim their beard is fiscally reckless. Buy a pair of beard-trimming scissors and save yourself a beardload of money over the long run.

6. Fireworks

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Fireworks are literally fire, don’t get me wrong. They’re awesome. But sparklers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles are rare purchases that will perish in front of your eyes.

In most cases, you’ll watch your money explode in mere seconds. Best case, you’ll get a few minutes out of it. Let’s compromise—What do you say we limit the fireworks purchases to once every few years?

7. College

Happy young university students studying with books in library. Group of multiracial people in college library.
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Hot take: The ship has sailed on college. Starting off your career already $100,000 (or more) in the hole? That doesn’t make much sense.

Even for professionals in STEM and white-collar professions, graduate school means more debt and a deeper hole to climb out of. Some careers will more than cover the cost of education. Most, though, won’t come close.

8. Mobile Games

mobile games
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Let me get this straight. You’re spending real, finite money in a digital world to gain an advantage in competitions that will grant you no real-world status? And please spare me the “I get joy from beating up on digital opponents” schpiel.

You could have put that money towards a house, car, or other tangible assets. What are we doing here?

Listen and listen good:

  • Put the debit card back in your wallet.
  • Play Grand Theft Auto V story mode for the fifteenth time.
  • Make adult financial decisions.

9. Purchases for the Sake of Impressing Others

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The Corvette, Gucci bag, or mansion will never sit right with you if you purchase them to impress others. Vanity is expensive and ultimately hollow. That’s deep.

10. Warranties

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Buying insurance for a flat-screen television, saw, or even a phone is often a bad deal. Even when you need the warranty, you’ll usually pay a deductible (best case) or find that fine print prevents you from collecting on your warranty purchase.

This thread inspired this post.

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