16 Big (And Little) Money Wasters That People Indulge Anyway!

16 Big (And Little) Money Wasters That People Indulge Anyway!

Americans have several collective addictions, and wasting money is among the nastiest. Yet, for some reason, we forget how hard we worked to earn the money when it comes time to blow it.

If you're ready to stop wasting money, rid yourself of these popular ways to donate your hard-earned moolah to undeserving recipients. Here's our list of the top 16 big money wasters.

This Reddit thread inspired this post.

Extended Warranties

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Having a cashier try to upsell you a warranty is widespread among larger retailers, particularly if you're purchasing anything electronic — the more expensive the product, the pricier the warranty.

And as one individual points out, companies that force their workers to sell these items are stressing their workers so badly that one cashier was trying to sell a warranty to them when a customer had already decided they wanted one.

Edible Gold

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There are some differing opinions about whether or not edible gold is over-indulgence. One person claims it's less expensive than most restaurants want you to believe.

Yet another observer makes a good point that you're still, technically, flushing literal gold straight down the toilet. Still, it would make a special occasion extra-fancy if you sprinkled a little bling-bling on the food.

Get Rich Quick Scams

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Tempting as they might be, especially for anyone struggling, the craze over get-rich-quick and multi-level marketing schemes does nothing but take the money you already can't afford.

By promising a profit for completing a certain level of sales or signing up x-amount of people, these shysters get you to invest your hard-earned dollars in a pipe dream while they pocket all the cash.

Big Life Events

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When discussing significant life events, like weddings and funerals, there's a temptation to splurge on unnecessary items.

For instance, a casket costing $2500 works just as well as a $10000 casket. Unless you have to line it specifically for where you live, the need to purchase extravagantly.

And renting a wedding dress over purchasing one doesn't make a bride less beautiful on her big day. That doesn't, however, stop people from spending exorbitant amounts of money on everything from venues to flower arrangements to food.

Brand New Vehicle

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The average depreciation of a brand-new car, the minute it leaves the dealership, is around 10-15%. Depending on the make and model, it can be even more, and regardless of the make and model, you're still losing money on your investment.

Either way, your return on your investment is seeping money out with every day that passes and likely isn't worth it when you turn around to sell it unless you're making serious upgrades to the model you bought.

The Lottery

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That long-held dream of winning millions in the lottery is easily one of the most recognizable long-term places to bet your money.

While you're not likely to see a return on your spending, you're buying into the hype of the possibility of winning that massive Powerball or Mega Millions payout. Unless, of course, you're just looking to support public schools.

Modern Art

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We're not talking about Picasso or even Banksy, but rather that style of art that doesn't fit into any art category and is only art because some “wannabe artist” who dreams of a breakout piece deems it to be.

A better splurge of your money might be a lesson to tell the difference between real art that's worth paying for and everything else.


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Those mini-purchases for items like the latest Fortnite battle pass or your favorite free-to-play game can suck the life out of your money.

As we all know, free-to-play games only get you so far before you wait for the next character drop or your preferred event to start.

By buying those small micro-transactions, you advance faster in the game, and before you know it, you've spent your discretionary funds on that ‘free-to-play' game.

Recreational Vehicles

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Much like a brand-new car, spending money on a recreational vehicle (RV) can backfire if you only use it once or twice a year.

These mobile homes lose their value so quickly that even six months after purchase, you'd have to drop your asking price by thousands to get anyone to bite on taking it off your hands.

Bottled Water

Woman with bottled water
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You know that's just tap water, right? Buy a high-quality, portable thermos, and stop handing your paychecks to Big Water. Of course, the occasional Fiji is a delightful treat that you deserve. Whatever you do, though, don't make a habit of buying bottles.

Designer Clothing

Man in designer clothes
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Do you know what doesn't go out of style? A nice polo shirt. Or flannels in the winter. Nice blue jeans and a classy T-shirt.

That Balenciaga t-shirt you spend $1,300 on? The only people who would appreciate that shirt are the same ones who will mock you for wearing it once it's out of style (in T-minus 1, 2, 3…).

The Penny

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This one is aimed at the United States Mint. It has to cost more than a penny to produce a penny, right? So what are we doing here?

We stand at a moment in American history where it's imperative that Americans save whatever change they can scrounge up and that the country follows suit. Abolishing the penny might be one of several belt-tightening measures necessary to get the country out of its massive debts.

Political Donations

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Do you think your politician of choice will look at your $50 donation and say, “Thanks, Brian? How would you like me to vote on healthcare or immigration policy?” How confident are you that the campaign will spend that donation—which might have gone towards the kid's college fund or credit card debt—wisely?

A politician might vote the way Walmart or other corporate donors want, but little old you? You're best served to hang on to that 50 bucks.


Woman gambling
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Whether you're hitting the tables in Vegas, stopping by 7-Eleven for your daily scratch-off, or wagering on the night's slate of basketball games, you're wasting your money.

You spent minutes, hours, or years of your life making that money, and you're going to spend it wishing on the New York Knicks?!

Premium Coffee

Starbucks coffee
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Swapping Starbucks for Folgers is one of the most obvious ways to grow your nest egg. You can even buy your own caramel and dump it in the cup of home-brewed coffee. You'll hardly notice the difference.

Anything That's Not Bringing Value

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