You’re probably aware that the world’s richest millionaires have been racing to make trips to outer space. Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, made successful launches in 2020 while most people in the world were locked down at home. Many saw the launch as nothing more than a waste of money when the world struggled. People are dealing with financial, social, and emotional grapples, in addition to the growing perils of climate change.
Then in 2021, Jeff Bezos used his massive wealth to launch into space. He had recently become the wealthiest person in the world while also facing backlash for horrible working conditions at Amazon warehouses. The rich have been wasting their money with profligacy long before these historic, private flights made out of the earth’s atmosphere, and they will continue doing so for the foreseeable future. Read on to learn some of the ways that the rich have been wasting money.
15. Buying An Area Code
For most people in the United States, ten-digit dialing is something they never even think about. How much time has passed since you memorized a phone number? There is no need to nowadays However, for those of true wealth, just any old phone number will not do. Area codes are akin to zip codes. The most desired area code among the super-rich is Manhattan, the center of New York City.
The only problem is that the original area code for Manhattan, 212, ran out years ago. Manhattan residents and businesses now utilize many more area codes, and the 212 area code has achieved its own elite status. If you want to make yourself look like you belong among the rich and famous, then a 212 area code is non-negotiable. People have been known to fork over as much as $30,000. Keep in mind that for someone earning minimum wage, $30,000 is about twice as much as they bring home in an entire year.
There’s a trend among the rich to buy and raise chickens. They pay upwards of $300 per when you can buy chicks at the local animal store for just five dollars. The reason is to collect the eggs, but again, you can get eggs just by going down to the store. The real reason for the chicken frenzy among the rich is that they see raising their own birds and eating those eggs to connect with nature. Most people go for a hike to connect with nature.
However, the gourmet chicken eggs don’t stop there. At least one person has reported having a personal chef for her chickens. Another waste of money comes from chicken coops. They are often made of the highest-quality redwoods and replete with solar panels and automatic doors. That means that these chickens live better than most people in the United States. The resulting eggs would probably cost two dollars apiece at the nearest natural food store. Therefore, you really can’t say that anyone is getting their money’s worth.
You’re probably aware that the rich often have their own yachts. Yachts are basically expensive status symbols. They are the ultimate means of proving to everyone that you made it to the top. As things get bigger, super-sized yachts are in. But are they worth the cost? According to GoBankingRates, one 300-foot super-sized yacht runs about $275 million. Consider the cost of maintenance over the lifetime of the yacht, and buying one is signing up for many zeroes to be forked over, all to impress people you probably don’t even like.
However, do you need a giant superyacht to impress people, or are rich people just wasting their money? Having enough material wealth to be comfortable is undoubtedly something that many people desire. Nevertheless, many people are impressed with kindness and genuine friendship more than they are with having the biggest toys. You can do so for much less than $275 million. The super-rich wasting their money on giant boats need to remember that the best things in life are free.
Plenty of people like going to a nice sit-down restaurant once in a while. But wealthy people can afford to do so regularly. They want the best service, no matter the price. According to Huffington Post, nothing says first-class service quite like picking up the bottle service tab. You get a private table with a white tablecloth and a high-class waiter. Ordering a glass of wine at a restaurant tends to be much more expensive than pouring a drink at home. Getting the whole bottle is where you start running into big bucks.
In Las Vegas, most clubs charge between $350 and $575 for a bottle of wine. And it is not at all uncommon for them to require you to buy at least two bottles. Without even considering the cost of food, the wine alone can run well over $1000 in just one evening. You can buy the same bottle at a liquor store for a fraction of the price and use the leftover funds to help design your own in-home lounge. But many Americans are struggling to keep up with the monthly payments on their homes and could scarcely imagine such a luxury as an in-home lounge.
Owning your own home is the quintessential American dream. Many people spend years hoping and planning to buy a home that they can raise their children in before living out their golden years in the same place. Buying a home is far from a waste of money. According to GoBankingRates, homeownership is a significant investment that can last for life. The rich are not necessarily wasting money when they buy an opulent home as long as they plan to use that home. The waste is when they buy a home that they never even go to or use to turn a profit. The house or other property sits there, costing money every month with no payoff.
And on that note, some super-rich celebrities get so tired of being trailed by the paparazzi that they buy their own private islands. In 2007, Eddie Murphy paid $15 million to purchase Rooster Cay out in the Bahamas to serve as his own personal getaway. In 2005, Mel Gibson paid $9 million to buy an island in Fiji so that he could travel there whenever he wanted to. Everyone needs the chance to go somewhere to get some rest and relaxation. However, does anyone need to buy their own private island in a different country?
Some parents have earned a reputation for forking over lots of money for extravagant gender-reveal parties and birthday parties. Moreover, the cakes involved can be quite fancy, sometimes on par with a wedding cake. The ultra-rich have been purchasing these hyper-extensive cakes for years. The award goes to an unnamed customer who, in 2015, purchased a birthday and engagement cake that cost $75 million. To date, that is a record for the price of a cake. Many people would love to make a fraction of $75 million in their entire lives, much less be able to spend that much money on a cake.
The theme of the cake, which measured six feet long, was a fashion party that featured a runway and numerous characters, each hand-sculpted with fondant. And to top everything all off, the cake was littered with diamonds. Millions of starving children could eat like royalty for the price tag of that one cake. Next time you hear about a gender-reveal party that seems to be a bit over the top, you can lighten up a bit about how much the parents are spending, as long as they can afford the price.
Parents want the best for their children and often put their children on sports teams. Practice sessions and games are great exercises. They are also a tremendous opportunity for kids to make friends. However, some parents have unhealthy dreams for their kids to excel in these sports. Possibly one day, they hope their children can become pro athletes. The rich often want their children to excel playing sports. The difference is that they have the money to do whatever they want to, or at least whatever money can buy.
That money can buy a lot of training for kids to play sports, thousands of dollars a year to join exclusive clubs. Sometimes, they pay tens of thousands for private lessons. Many wealthy parents think that they are launching their kids off into a career in sports where they can play professionally. The problem is that kids are, well, kids. What they like one day may change the next. Just because they enjoy playing tennis when they are 10 does not mean that they will play professionally. Consider how many times you changed your mind about what you wanted to be when you grew up.
Plastic surgery can be life-changing for people with malformed features or experienced accidents that left them with disfigurement. Scars from severe burns and cleft lips are conditions that can be alleviated through plastic surgery. Wealthy people who have the money may use their excess funds for procedures that are altogether unnecessary, such as a nose job or breast augmentation. Not only can these procedures cost enough money to feed an entire third-world country, but they do not make people look any younger or prettier. Instead, these procedures make people look like someone who needs plastic surgery to feel good.
Plastic surgeries can give rich people the illusion they can buy anything. That even means people’s admiration and love. The fact is that real love and genuine admiration are things that cannot be bought. These essential things have to be acquired by doing the hard work of developing healthy relationships with people. Focusing on loved ones and intentionally developing your character is more important than bigger lips. Living out your values is much more important than being able to get expensive plastic surgery. The rich would be much better off if they embraced their flaws.
Plenty of parents want to buy their kids a car when they are old enough to drive. They may not be able to get the best car on the lot. The brain is still developing until a person is in their twenties. Thus, the ability to make split-second decisions – a necessary driving component – is hindered for teenage drivers. Many of the accidents that young drivers get into are caused by not having fully developed brains. Kids do not need a luxury car with all the bells and whistles; in fact, these extra features can distract them and lead to accidents.
One way the rich waste money is buying their kids the most expensive luxury cars on the market, brand new instead of used. Brand-new cars begin to depreciate the second they are taken off of the lot and continue losing value every year. And while many people expect that today’s luxury car will be a classic in 50 years, buying these cars for kids is all but a surefire guarantee that they will not last long enough to become classics. Kids get into accidents because they are inexperienced drivers. An accident will significantly depreciate the value of a car, sometimes to just pennies on the dollar.
There are several different directions to go with clothes and jewelry if you have an unlimited budget. You can spare no expense to buy classic pieces that will never go out of style. You can renew your wardrobe every year with the latest offerings from fashion shows in New York, Paris, Milan, London, and Los Angeles, no matter if you like the styles that you are buying or not. Because if you have money to throw away, why not buy clothes just because they are the latest and greatest? Furthermore, you could go straight to the bottom for looks that have quickly moved from classy to trashy.
A general rule of thumb is that if you are trying to show off how much money you have, you have moved from classy to trashy. This goes far beyond paying $300 for a pair of jeans that look like you just got attacked by a bear. Wearing expensive clothes (and non-flattering) makes people look like they are working too hard to impress others with their wardrobes. The guy wearing an outfit that costs $75 and is driving an old Corolla is probably much richer than the guy who paid $1500 for what he is wearing and is flying in a brand-new Porsche. Buying tacky clothes and jewelry to show them off is a big way the rich waste their money.
Conspicuous consumption is buying things simply for the status symbol. Not because you like them, not because you want them, not because you plan to use them. You buy the Rolex watch because it is a Rolex. You drive the Aston Martin, not because it is your dream car but because you want to impress people at work. Every year, rich people waste millions of dollars on conspicuous consumption to impress people that they may not even like and who probably do not even like them. However, conspicuous consumption does not make you look wealthy or classy. It makes you look shallow and materialistic.
What do you even stand for when your whole life is about getting the next thing? Just to show it off to your friends? Most people would rather receive gifts of time, friendship, and kindness. They don’t really need the latest iPad. Filling your world with things that matter and that will outlive you. Try volunteering in the community, spending quality time with people when you are not tapping away on your phone. These actions are a far better use of your time and money. That brand-new Porsche began losing value the second it left the dealership. However, gifts of time and friendship only grow in value.
There is nothing wrong with spending a few hundred dollars on a good electric toothbrush that will help improve your oral health. Nevertheless, can you imagine using a toothpick plated in gold in-between the courses of a meal? A gold-plated toothpick serves absolutely no purpose and is a complete waste of money. Millions of people worldwide are at risk of water-borne illnesses caused by not having toilets that do not flow into the local water supply. The money used to make one gold-plated toilet would go far in preventing thousands, if not millions, of illnesses each year caused by poor sanitation.
Do you remember the story of King Midas from Greek mythology? The king, obsessed with gold, received the magical gift that caused everything he touched to turn into gold. He could not have been more delighted at the immense and unlimited wealth that was his. However, then, being a father, he touched his daughter, who also turned into gold. He realized that she was worth far more than all of the gold in the world, but his selfishness and greed caused him to lose her completely. If you ever feel jealous of the person who has a gold-plated toilet or uses gold-plated toothpicks to clean their teeth, take a step back and remember King Midas.
Many people have some items around that will come in handy during an emergency, such as a first-aid kid or a generator. Those measures are entirely reasonable, but what is not appropriate is pulling out all the stops to prepare for something out of The Walking Dead. Some rich people have thrown away over four million dollars to buy a doomsday condo. These doomsday condos have everything you could want if the world should end and ensure that the rich who own them will be comfortable.
Amenities include complete water and air filtration system, which borders on normal to a little bit eccentric. However, they go on to have things like a general store, a lounge, a bar, a personal medical center, even ridiculous items such as a home theater. These doomsday condos are such utter wastes because there is a very real doomsday upon us caused by climate change. Yet the private jets, private yachts, and other forms of conspicuous consumption engaged in by the super-rich are fueling the very apocalypse they are trying to hide from. That goes double when that money could develop green energy and make it more accessible to people worldwide.
If you have your own private plane, private yacht, private doomsday condo, private home theater, private bowling alley, et cetera, why not go all the way and get your own private hospital? No one wants to have to wait in a crowded emergency room. You are surrounded by people who may have contagious illnesses. Moreover, there’s a good chance you will get sick. Stay in a five-star hotel inside your own home, instead. Some rich people have thrown away upwards of a million dollars to have their own private hospital inside their mansions. They come complete with an emergency room and an on-call doctor. At least they probably don’t have to worry about out-of-network fees with their health insurance.
On the same level of ridiculousness and wastefulness of money is buying a second mansion, not for your guests but for your horses. In Florida, one exclusive community for the super-rich boasts mega-mansions for horses. Besides, stables are for the horses of the poor. And it is not uncommon for rich people to throw down $100,000 to have a closet put in that is large enough to be a house. But then again, they do need somewhere to store the hundreds of pairs of shoes and thousands of clothing items and accessories they’ve accumulated. Nobody on earth needs these amenities, especially not when there is so much homelessness and hunger in America.
Buying a plane ticket is nice, and getting a first-class seat is nicer. They can cost thousands of dollars more than a regular seat, all for a bigger seat that reclines. That glass of wine that you get in first class ends up being one of the most expensive glasses of wine ever. But why bother flying first class when you have a private plane? Actor Brad Pitt has 19 vehicles in his garage, ranging from multiple motorcycles to cars to a private plane. Moreover, since he could pay for it, he got the private plane he wanted, a World War II-era plane he learned to fly himself, a Spitfire.
Nevertheless, why stop at a private plane when your fiancé decides to buy you a helicopter? In 2013, Angelina Jolie bought her husband a private helicopter, complete with private lessons so that he could learn how to fly it. There is no need for anyone to have a private helicopter, especially if he already has a private plane that he can fly whenever he wants to. A massive waste of money? There is no doubt that the power couple could afford the extravagant garage, but there’s no need.