21 Things You Should Stop Wasting Money On

In a world where consumerism is more prevalent than ever, it’s easy to fall into the trap of unnecessary spending. But what are those things that we are spending on that might not be worth it?

People share what they believe to be a waste of money. Here’re some of the top responses:

1. Fast Food Mirage

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“Due to recent inflation a lot of fast food. The lines never end.”

Fast food is no longer “fast” or cheap. With the rise in online orders and staffing cuts, the drive-thru lines have become endless, and the prices have soared. It seems the golden age of fast food is behind us, and it might be time to reconsider this convenience.

2. New Phone Syndrome

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“A cell phone can be used for five years without any negative effects. Then the downfall begins: accumulator deteriorates, no more updates, purposefully worsening by the manufacturer. So you’re absolutely right. There’s no need to buy a new phone every year. Buy one every fifth year and save 80%.”

Every year, a new phone model hits the market, but do we really need to upgrade? Many believe that the phone they got last year still serves them perfectly well, making the new purchase a potential waste of money.

3. Illusory Sales

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“Those fake sales where they jack up the price before the sale.”

Fake sales where the price is jacked up before the sale are a common grievance. It’s advised to use tools and communities online to check the price history and find genuine deals, steering clear of deceptive sales tactics.

4. Pickup Truck Dilemma

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“I have a friend whose dream car is just like a normal-sized 90s-era red pickup. She got one a couple of years back and she’s never used it for anything that would require a pickup truck. It doesn’t even have AC. But man does she love that thing so more power to her.”

Huge pickup trucks might seem like a symbol of strength and utility, but for those who never haul anything bigger than groceries, it might be an unnecessary expense. It’s time to question if the grandeur is worth the price.

5. Fast Fashion Trap

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“I’ll only buy something now if I know I’ll love it and it’s staying until it falls apart, I also generally go to charity shops.”

Fast fashion’s allure lies in its affordability and trendiness. However, buying clothes that you’ll wear only once is not just a waste of money but also unsustainable. It’s high time we opt for quality over quantity.

6. Green Lawn Mirage

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“Watering my lawn in a high desert (Idaho) climate. Waste of money for purely aesthetic benefits.”

Maintaining a lush green lawn, especially in high desert climates, is not just heavy on the pocket but also unsustainable. Many argue that it’s time to let go of this aesthetic pursuit for more eco-friendly and budget-friendly alternatives.

7. Political Campaign Donations

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“Man, I’m cynical AF lately. Donations to anything seem like a scam. Would you like to round up to the nearest dollar for such and such so we can get a tax write-off? No, I would not.”

While many agree in private, the trend of donating to political campaigns continues unabated. Millions are poured into campaigns every election cycle, and some people are beginning to question the efficacy of these donations.

8. Satellite TV Conundrum

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“My grandparents have had cable since they started offering it. They’ve had many rate increases. They pay about $350 for cable and internet. They watch one channel each. Hallmark and history.”

In the age of streaming platforms offering curated content, the large packages of satellite TV with 100+ channels, most of which remain unwatched, seem like a relic of the past. It might be time to cut the cord and embrace the new age of entertainment.

9. Car Buying Cycle

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“My former boss did this, traded in his car every 3 years so he didn’t have to get an MOT done. £60 for a test (which a very lightly used Range Rover should definitely pass) or £20k+ in depreciation. No brainier right?”

Why swap cars every few years when a well-maintained one serves for longer? This cycle is a financial sinkhole, with each new purchase bringing steep depreciation costs.

10. Diamond Dilemma

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“Pawn Shops will offer to take the diamond out of a wedding ring, the diamond is worthless, they only pay for the gold.”

Diamonds, a symbol of luxury and love, come with a hefty price tag. However, their actual value and utility don’t match the cost. Opting for alternatives can save you a fortune without compromising on the sentiment.

11. Coffee Shop Expenses

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“Like, once in a while, fine. But daily, or more? No thanks.”

Picture this: a daily $5 coffee totals $1,825 annually. Brewing at home is a fraction of the cost, saving you a considerable sum in the long run. It’s time to rethink that coffee shop habit.

12. Wedding Industry Woes

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“The entire wedding industry is such a huge waste of resources. People spend thousands of dollars, families go into debt, for a party.”

A grand wedding drains finances, often for a fleeting joy. Many argue for a modest celebration, focusing on the essence of union rather than a lavish party. Save for the future, not just a day.

13. Food Delivery Fees

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“I looked the other day at getting something for the first time and saw it would cost me almost 30 dollars for a 7-dollar meal. I was like no I’ll just make something.”

Consider this: those delivery fees and tips quickly add up, escalating your meal’s cost. Why not pick it up yourself or cook it at home? It’s both economical and often faster.

14. Branded Clothing

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“And the people who try to follow high fashion and Balenciaga [stuff]. They are selling you sweatshop quality clothing for such an absurd mark-up and then it’s not even popular in 6 months.”

Branded clothing often means paying extra just for a logo. Is it worth it? You’re essentially a walking advertisement. Opt for quality and comfort over brand names, and save a bundle.

15. Misguided Gift Buying

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“Buying gifts for people whose tastes you don’t know well. I think in this case it is better to give money so that the person himself buys what he needs. In any case, it will be better than a gift that no one will use.”

Gifts that miss the mark end up unused, collecting dust. Instead, offer a monetary gift, granting the recipient the freedom to choose. It’s thoughtful and ensures value for every penny spent.

16. Designer Bag Debate

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“I make and sell handbags. I know a lot of talented handbag makers who struggle to get sales. It makes me sad that people will spend thousands on something that was likely made in a sweatshop over something that was meticulously sewn by somebody passionate about what they make.”

Designer bags: a status symbol or a financial trap? These high-priced accessories often come with a cost that outweighs their utility.

17. Tanning Salon Troubles

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“Tanning salons. Basically paying to get skin cancer.”

Tanning salons, offering a quick route to a bronzed complexion, harbor hidden dangers. According to the CDC, indoor tanning can cause skin cancers including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

It also increases the risk of cataracts and cancers of the eye. The World Health Organization classifies tanning beds as carcinogenic to humans, placing them in the highest cancer risk category.

Moreover, the American Cancer Society warns that indoor tanning can lead to premature skin aging, altering the skin texture and increasing the risk of potential skin cancers. It’s a perilous beauty shortcut, with risks far outweighing the aesthetic benefits.

18. Gambling Risks

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“I have so many friends that are like ‘We get free rooms because we gamble’ and ‘We get free drinks on cruises because we gamble’ like uuuuuuh you’re just paying for your room a different way. They’re making WAY more on you by giving you free things. Why else would they do it?”

Gambling can be a slippery slope to financial instability. It’s a risky endeavor where you are more likely to lose money than win.

19. Eyelash Extension Expenses

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“Eyelash extensions. You pay $200 for a set. Then if you shower, exercise or wash your face they fall out and then you need ‘fills’ $$$$ every few weeks to keep them looking good.”

Eyelash extensions: a beauty trend draining wallets. The initial set is pricey, and maintenance costs spiral with regular fills. Consider affordable alternatives like mascara or eyelash serums for that beautiful flutter.

20. Tithing Troubles

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“I grew up with just the basics and sometimes my parents couldn’t do basic [stuff] or buy us clothes bc they gave 10% to the church their whole lives. Imagine saving 10% of your money for 50+ years. They could have retired, but no, still working for the church.”

Tithing, or donating a part of your income to the church, can be a significant financial burden over time, with some arguing for a more personal approach to financial management and charitable giving.

21. Smoking and Vaping

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“I vape and I literally hate it, I want to stop but it’s really addicting. Wish I never started”

Smoking and vaping are not just a drain on your wallet but a serious threat to your health. According to the American Lung Association, e-cigarettes contain and emit potentially toxic substances, leading to irreversible lung damage and diseases.

Moreover, secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes are laden with harmful chemicals, posing risks to both the user and the bystanders. The financial burden is equally significant, with smoking-related illnesses causing substantial economic losses. It’s a perilous path with health and financial repercussions that are too significant to ignore.

With so many consumer temptations, it’s important to discern the necessary from the superfluous. From avoiding the trap of fast fashion to rethinking our daily coffee habits, small changes can lead to substantial savings. Let’s strive to make informed decisions, keeping both our financial health and well-being in mind. The true value lies not in owning the most but in needing the least.

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Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/DepositPhotos.
  1. who.int/publications/i/item/9789241512596
  2. cancer.org/content/dam/CRC/PDF/Public/6930.00.pdf
  3. lung.org/quit-smoking/e-cigarettes-vaping/impact-of-e-cigarettes-on-lung
  4. cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/cost-and-expenditures.html
  5. reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/14v3lil/whats_something_that_you_think_is_a_waste_of/

This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.