8 Things You Could Buy … That Aren’t Worth the Money

We all have our bad spending habits: a $3 latte in the morning, an expensive taxi fare now and then, a cheap piece of jewelry when we're down in the dumps.

We're all for splurging, especially if you do it right. In other words, go ahead and buy the things that make you happy, as long as those small purchases motivate you, and you plan them out for maximum enjoyment ... rather than simply throwing your money away.

For example: You buy yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers at the end of the month as a reward for staying on budget. Let's say that costs you $20 a month, which adds up to $240 a year. That might sound like a lot, but if it motivates you to stay on track with your budget, you're probably saving yourself way more than $20 each month. So we call that a good splurge.

But $20 a month could also go toward a lot of stupid stuff that won't make you happier, won't improve your life and won't motivate you to achieve your financial goals. We just call that silly.

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  • Guest

    Thanks for mentioning public libraries! I use mine all the time, it’s great. 

  • Stepho92620

    What investments give you an 8% return?  I’d like to know so I can move all my money to that investment.

    • Krafty_momma7

      Me too, me too! Thanks for asking Stepho92620.

  • I have been doing #7 a lot lately. Books can get get expensive, and there are so many on my shelf that I haven’t even read. Also, you can rent DVD’s for free at the library!

  • Calista

    it’s even cheaper if you buy the kindle version if it’s available.

  • goofyjj

    E-readers are a great investment.  Especially the Kindles.  You can not only get books for cheaper via Amazon (and highlight/note), you can borrow books from the public library and you can also stream Netflix.  The initial investment is worth the payoff

  • Carolyn

    Totally agree, especially on the DVDs and the Books. Yay for sharing – Netflix, Kindle, local library, and swapping with your friends.

    • Irrevernt1

      Hey, it’s a lot cheaper than buying books at a store or going to a movie theater to buy used books and DVD/Blu-Ray stuff on Amazon for a few bucks from third-party resellers. Lots of books and movies can cost a dollar or less (I limit my search to items under $5) plus maybe $3 shipping.  For movie faves that I view over and over, or books that i re-read or use for reference, buying them cheap is really the best way to go, and you can recover a big chunk of the cost at a garage sale or whatever, to say nothing of gifting them to friends.

  • thepixinator

    Lunches are killer.  Sometimes I ask myself, “Where did all my money go?” and then I realize I ate it.  It was tasty, but it’s gone now.

  • Carol Thornton Curtis

    Guilty of a few of these things…LOL

  • Chardae Davis

    This is an excellent list. I visit the public library all the time and rarely step foot in a brick and mortar book store. I rarely buy DVDs, unless it’s a movie I’m going to watch over and over, like my childhood faves. Luckily I love to cook at home, so takeout lunch isn’t a big problem. You just really need to plan for it.

  • Amber

    Thanks for sharing. I get about 80% of my books from the library. I’m a huge water drinker and don’t spend money on water bottles. I just drink from the tap and I also bought 2 Brita water bottles that are good for about 300 refills for only $8 each – good for on the go. It’s really the little purchases that add up quickly. $4 here and there might not seem like a lot – but it makes a huge difference.

  • Betty

    If you already have lots of book consider using titletrader to get some different stuff.

  • lullabell1976

    How many times have I heard one of my friends say “my service lost the movies i have downloaded or recorded” .  I am a collector and will not ever give up my physical media.  I can buy a movie once and watch it over and over instead of paying for movies over and over. I love being able to look at my collection of DVD’s. I understand the economics of #4, but just like an e-reader can’t take the place of a real book (Yes, they do take up space and yes I do read them), so to an electronic storage system can’t take the place of a collection of DVD’s, vinyl, etc. We collectors are emotionally attached to that physical entity.  I also love libraries. 

  • Tojada

    I like flavored water, like Sobe.  I had some of those bottles so I started filling them from my Brita pitcher and adding the Wal-Mart brand water flavoring. I use the same three bottles all the time. I’m saving money and the environment. I take my lunch most days and go to the park. Besides saving money, I’m saving my sanity with the quiet of my car. While in my car, I sometimes watch something on Netflix!  I’ve never been one to buy DVDs because I’m watch once kind of person.  I have bought box sets of TV series for sentimental reasons.

    As far as ATM fees go, I rarely use an ATM. I will make a needed purchase at Wal-Mart and get cash at the checkout. I rarely need more than the limit allowed through that kind of transaction.

    I do love having books on my bookshelves.  However, I find many second hand.

  • MelanieWadkins

    I love fresh flowers and consider the expense worth it on occasion. But tell me where I can buy “a bouquet of fresh flowers” that last for more than a couple of days for $20.00? Even in my small town, a decent bouquet is more than $20.00. On the other hand, dumpster diving behind a florist’s for discarded fresh flowers is absolutely free–and I’ve been known to do just that.  

    • KatyD

       I don’t know if you have a Trader Joe’s or a Fresh & Easy in your area, but if so, you can get very nice bouquets of flowers for under $20 in both places. Check them out if you can (both have very reasonable prices on groceries as well!)

      • MelanieWadkins

        Thanks for the tip, but I reside in a small town in the South. About the best I can do is cut flowers from Walmart, which don’t last long.

  • Pam

    For watching movies, you can also rent them from Redbox.  A regular DVD rental is $1.20 per night and a Blu-Ray rental is $1.52 per night (that’s including tax).  There are a ton of Redbox locations around me, so if I want to rent something, I use that instead of paying a monthly fee for a subscription service that I may or may not use.