No matter how much money you make, we are all guilty of splurging on unnecessary expenses. However, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what items truly have a good value, and what isn’t. Many of our purchases today are motivated by comparing ourselves to people on Instagram or Facebook. So much money is wasted in order to “Keep Up With the Jones'”. Here at SelfMade, we have selected 30 expensive things in your life that are truly no worth the money.
30. Unlimited Data Plans
Most major phone carriers offer an unlimited data plan for $50 to $75, but this may be an extra service on top of the plan you are already paying for. If you are paying for all the bells and whistles, this means you’re paying over $1,000 per year for your cell phone service. In today’s world, there is free WiFi all over the place, and if you subscribe to Comcast Internet, your phone will automatically look for Xfinity hotspots wherever you go. This makes it unnecessary, except for using a your GPS, or in times where it’s truly necessary to look something up with data.
29. Gourmet Coffee
Going to trendy coffee shops and getting your favorite caffeine fix sounds tempting. And for busy people, they justify their coffee habit as a small way to treat themselves for their hard work. But if you spend $4 at Starbucks every single day, that’s $1,460 per year. Compare that to buying a bag of coffee and making it at home. Starbucks bagged coffee grounds or K-Cups are around $10 each, and it’s even cheaper if you find coupons or stock up during a sale. Let’s assume one bag lasts two weeks. That would be just $260 per year. You are still drinking the exact same coffee, but it’s a fraction of the price.
28. Luxury Watches
Some people see luxury watches as a status symbol. They really want a Rolex to prove that they have “made it” in their career. However, these watches are thousands of dollars, and all they do is tell time and shine on your wrist. There is a very small percentage of the world who actually cares about what watch brand you buy. So choose something classic, fashionable,and affordable, instead.
27. Extravagant Weddings
The average cost of a wedding in the United States is just over $35,000. Some people pay far more if they want to book an extravagant venue, or go overseas for their ceremony. For a lot of people, that would pay off their car loan, student loans, or serve as a down payment on a house. Before you get into debt over a wedding, remember that it is just one day, and it’s all over in the blink of an eye. And in the end, all that matters is that you and your partner have one another.
26. Designer Purses
There are plenty of women out there who believe that they need to buy a designer purse in order to show that they are successful. However, true designer handbags can cost thousands of dollars. Knock-offs are clearly fake to a trained eye, and they just look tacky. It is much better to find a simple, chic purse that is made with high quality materials. More often than not, everyone will assume it is a designer purse, simply because you wear it with confidence.
25. Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Robot vacuum cleaners are one of those items that sounds amazing in theory, but it’s not so great in practice. These little vacuums have very small containers, and they need to be emptied more frequently than a normal vacuum. They can also get stuck sometimes, and you have to sort of babysit them. It is actually a lot faster, cheaper, and more convenient just to get a stick vacuum for around $20, instead.
24. Brand New Smart Phones
Having a brand new cell phone every single year has become one of the top items that people lust after in the 21st Century. At this point, there are so many older models of smart phones that go on sale for hundreds of dollars off of last year’s price, and they still work great.
23. Fine Jewelry
There are certain jewelry pieces that women want to have with real gold and diamonds, like a wedding ring. This is understandable, since it is going to be on your finger every single day for the rest of your life. The metal on a costume jewelry ring would change color after just a few months of constant ware. But for every other kind of jewelry, it’s not really necessary to pay for the real deal, especially if it is only worn occasionally. Many people will not be able to tell the difference, anyway, as long as it looks good. For high-end costume jewelry, check out Nordstrom.
22. Cable TV Plans
Cable TV plans are expensive. Most people pay $50 to $100 per month for service, and they have to watch commercials! If you already have an internet connection, switch to a steaming service like Hulu or Netflix, where you can get countless hours of entertainment for just $10 a month.
21. High-End Skincare Products
Every year, there is a new skincare product on the market that promises to be the miracle anti-aging serum. In reality, a lot of these products work similarly to one another, and it is a total waste to spend hundreds of dollars on a face cream. Instead of splurging on these skincare products, try to do a combination of both internal and external improvements for your skin. Get more sleep, drink more water, exfoliate, and do some research on the best $30 cream, instead of a $300 cream.
20. A Dozen Roses on Valentines Day
It may be tradition to buy your loved one a dozen roses on Valentines Day, but it costs roughly $50 to do so. Yikes! These roses are just going to wilt after a week, so it becomes a huge waste of money. There are plenty of $10 to $20 bouquet options in every grocery store that have a few roses arranged next to cheaper flowers. Use the other $40 to $30 towards taking your date out to a romantic dinner, instead.
19. Heavy Furniture
Some people love the look of heavy wooden furniture, because it feels very expensive and regal. In some cases, you really should invest in real wood, because it will last longer than cheap particle board furniture. However, there are some people who go overboard by spending thousands of dollars on heavy pieces. You also need to keep in mind that if you ever move some day, you are most likely going to have to hire a crew of people to help you get the furniture out of your house or apartment.
18. Steak Dinners
For ravenous carnivore types, dinner at a steakhouse is a weekly tradition. While it’s a huge treat, it can be very expensive, especially if you buy a bottle of wine to go with it. Try cooking steak at home. If you don’t know where to start, check out Gordon Ramsay’s YouTube video where he explains how to cook the perfect steak. Combine that with a bottle of wine from your local shop, and you have a cozy night in at a discounted priced.
17. Loaning Money to Friends and Family
There is a fine line between helping a friend who is truly in need, and having someone take advantage of your kindness. Unfortunately, there are situations where we feel obligated to “loan” money to a loved one for the sake of maintaining the relationship. If there is a continuous pattern where someone borrows money from you and never pays it back, it’s time to put your foot down. Instead of giving them money, offer them help in some other way. More often than not, truly manipulative people will simply move on to the next person if you say “no”.
16. Purebred Dogs
Buying a purebred dog can cost over $1,000 for a single puppy. Not only are you paying a lot of money, but it means that you are turning up your nose to another dog in a pound who truly needs a home. If you truly have your heart set on adoption a certain breed, try to have patience. Many animal shelters will update their website or Facebook with incoming dogs and cats that are available for adoption, and you could jump on the opportunity to adopt the breed of dog you are looking for when one becomes available.
15. Trendy Baby Products
First-time parents never know what to expect when a little one is on the way. The baby industry is a multi-billion dollar business, so they profit on making sure new parents receive advice coming from left and right about what products and gadgets parents truly “need”. And yet nearly every parent ends up with products they hardly used when their child was an infant. Before you buy an expensive baby item, check out reviews from real people on Amazon and YouTube who are not being paid to promote the product, and ask your friends and family for their opinions.
14. Lottery Tickets
Buying a lottery ticket may be inexpensive in the moment, and you might pay between $1 to $5. Plenty of people justify this, because they believe that maybe one day, they will be the lucky one-in-a-million who will strike it rich. This becomes incredibly expensive once someone makes a habit of buying tickets on a regular basis. Just $10 per week on lottery tickets adds up to $520 per year.
13. Hardcover Books
Hardcover books are beautiful, and they look great on your shelf. Whenever bestselling authors like Stephen King come out with a new book, you always have the option between hardcover and paperback. Hardcover books are always twice as expensive as the paperback copies. If you only plan to read the book once, why waste the money? Consider buying the paperback or eBook copy instead, or better yet- borrow it from the library, so that you can read it for free.
12. Expensive Headphones
Beats headphones and Apple Airpods are really on-trend right now, but the sound quality is not that much better than cheaper brands. Unless you plan to become a professional DJ, you may want to skip spending over $100, and go with the trusty $10 pairs at your local Target or Walmart.
11. Drinks at a Restaurant
Ordering a drink with your meal can be fun, and if you show up at happy hour, you might get lucky with a $2 beer or margarita. However, most of the time, you’re paying $10 for a single cocktail. If you make a habit of this, it can seriously add up. Wait until you get home to drink, or invite your friends over to share a bottle of wine, instead of going out for drinks.
10. Luxury Cars
So many people fantasize about having a luxury car. But any owner of a high-class vehicle will tell you that they are not really sure if it’s worth all the hype. When something goes wrong, you can’t buy cheap stock parts. Every single thing has to be special ordered and dealt with at the dealership. You also have to pay for premium gas. Even with a Tesla, you will have to use up electricity in your home, or wait in line to use a free charging station. Basically, the grass is greener on the other side, and plenty of luxury car owners regret their decision and go back to a normal car.
9. Upscale Hotel Rooms
Luxury hotels are all over Instagram, TV, YouTube, and so much more. We imagine ourselves going on these posh vacations, but the price tag that goes along with it is staggering. In reality, you are only staying there one or two nights. And if you are on vacation, you’re most likely spending the majority of your time outside of the hotel room, anyway. Remember- it’s just a place to sleep. That’s all.
8. Name Brand Medication
Most over-the-counter medicine has a cheaper version of it made by the store. Target, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walmart all have knockoff pills of common medications. For example, Walmart has boxes of night time cold medicine for just $1, versus the $10 box of NyQuil Liquigels. If you are unsure, check the back of the box to look for ingredients in each of the products. Also pay attention to the milligrams-per-dose, if you are switching brands.
7. Upscale Gym Memberships
Sometimes, it can be worth it to upgrade your gym membership to a nicer facility. However, there is a dividing line between a “normal” gym that costs $10 to $30 a month, and a luxury gym that costs $75 to $150. The more expensive gyms are usually cleaner, less crowded, and give you carte blanche to take as many classes as you want. So, if you are already paying $30 per yoga class, it might be worth it for you. However, if you hardly go to the gym as it is, be honest with yourself, and go with the cheaper option.
6. Premium Gas
Buying premium gas is required for most luxury cars, but it is not necessary for normal vehicles. If you aren’t sure, double-check your new car’s manual. But more often than not, it is okay to fill up your tank with “regular” gas. In fact, according to an investigation by CBS News, AAA polled their customers and found out that tons of people pay for plus or premium gas when they don’t have to. Paying for premium gas isn’t even worth it, because it won’t make a difference in how your car performs. The price difference may only be a few cents, but over time, this will save you hundreds of dollars.
5. Fancy Hair Salons
Upscale hair salons look beautiful, and some of them may even boast having celebrity clientele. These places expect you to pay over $100 for a haircut. However, there are so many other talented hairdressers out there working for normal salons where you can pay just $30. It may take some searching to find a great stylist, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
4. Trendy Fashion
Every single year, there is a new fashion trend that quickly becomes outdated in just one to two years. If you buy clothes and shoes that follow these trends, you will find that your wardrobe needs to be updated far more frequently than someone who chooses to wear “classic” pieces that always look good. Build up a classic wardrobe, and keep your trendy items to a minimum. Over time, this can save you hundreds- if not thousands- of dollars.
3. Magazines at Newsstands
When you buy a magazine from a news stand, airport, or pharmacy, you will typically pay $5 to $10 per issue, depending on the publication. Compare that to the price of a year-long subscription, which is just $20 to $30 for 12 issues. If you already pay for Amazon Prime, you will be able to borrow magazines for free to read on your Kindle or iPad. Check out the Kindle app to see your options.
2. Miracle Diet Products
Most of the quick-fix diet products on the market do not actually work. In fact, many of them will advise you to combine their supplements with diet and exercise for the best results. Before you pay for anything, make sure if it is FDA approved, and take reviews with a grain of salt. Many online influencers are also paid to endorse a product, and will not actually tell you the truth. Even worse- some of these diet pills can be addictive. If you are trying to lose weight, do it the old-fashioned way. Eat more vegetables, drink more water, move more, and cut back on sugar.
1. First Class Plane Tickets
Paying full price for a first class plane ticket costs thousands of dollars. This is normally only attainable to people who are rich and famous, but every so often, there is an offer for an upgrade to First Class for an additional fee. If it is a short flight, the extra money is not really worth it. The only time you should even consider splurging for an upgrade to first class is if you are on a long international flight.