8 Common Things People Waste Money On

Connie Riet
by Connie Riet

I have become very observant of things people waste money on. As I have been living a minimalist lifestyle for over 14 years, I've wasted less and less. I am intentional about what I spend my money on.

I don't like to waste money. I have found that the best way to save money is not to spend it on things I don't love, I don't need, or things that don't add value to my life.

Some of the things I'm going to list may not align with your goals, which is completely understandable. Money is a very personal thing. Each of us will spend money differently based on our goals, lifestyle, and values.

If you're looking to save money, hopefully, these tips will give you a fresh insight into some money-saving ideas. The combination of endless marketing and pressure to keep up with strangers on social media has never been more influential. Scrolling on social media can spark a feeling of lack, like what I have just isn't good enough. This feeling of scarcity leads to unnecessary upgrading.

1. Upgrading

Knowing this saves me so much money. I'm content with my older furniture, some of which I've had for over 25 years, and I give it a new look with some paint and hardware to update it. My yoga mat is over six years old.

Upgrading new shoes

I have boots that are twelve years old. 

If any item I own still serves its purpose and isn't broken or worn out, I don't replace it.  

2. Cars

I buy used cars because the inflated price for a new car smell just isn't worth it to me. A new car loses 20% of its value in the first year and 40% in four years. By buying cars that are at least five to six years old, the previous owner has absorbed that 40% loss.  

Buying a new car

My current car is 13 years old and going strong. 

An older car gets me where I need to go just as well as a new car.  

3. Sales

I don't buy things just because they happen to be on sale. 

Buying something on sale

Buying something because it's 30% off isn't saving me money if I spend 70% on something I didn't need. 

If it was something I had already planned on purchasing and I happened to find it on sale, I'd be thrilled to pay a lesser price. 

4. Gadgets and gear

Clothes, new gadgets, and gear of any kind can be pretty exciting. It feels exciting to get the latest trinket, from technology gadgets to outdoor gear. It's the equivalent of a shiny new object. 

Buying new gadgets and gear

 The basics work pretty well for me. 

Like with most elaborate accessories, I don't really need them. If the added gear improves my productivity or enhances my life, then in that case, it's definitely worth my money. 

5. Specialty appliances

Your specialty appliances could include anything like pasta makers, bread makers, juicers, and banana or apple slicers. Most specialty appliances are a one-time purchase or gift that is now buried in the back of my cupboard.  

Using basic kitchen appliances

If it's an appliance I frequently use, like my hand mixer or a pastry blender or rolling pin, it's worth it.

Each of us knows what is useful to us and that we use the most often versus those impulse buys that are merely collecting dust. If I can achieve the same end result without a specialty appliance, then I pass on a specialty appliance. I don't need an apple slicer because a knife works fine for me. I enjoy making bread from scratch. 


6. Fast food

I stopped eating fast food over 25 years ago. Fast food has a high price tag, both financially and for my health. 

Prepping a healthy lunch

I enjoy packing a healthy lunch for a fraction of the cost.

7. Accessories 

I keep my wardrobe simple, and because of this, I don't need a lot of accessories like purses or hats, or shoes. I have two purses, one of which is over twelve years old. 

Simple accessories

I own one wide-brim hat, one sun hat, and one beanie.  

If I had a corporate job and required several styles of purses and heels for different occasions, then that would be one thing, but my daily life is basically the same casual look day in and day out.  

8. New phones

Newly updated phones come out annually, and there isn't usually a huge improvement from the year before. I don't feel it necessary to upgrade my phone yearly. 

Things people waste money on

I use my phone until it doesn't accept upgrades anymore. 

When it is time to buy a new phone, I buy it refurbished or used.  

Things people waste money on

I'm intentional with my money, and I try to be a good steward of my money as well. I purchase things I need, love, and improve my life. What are things people waste money on, in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Margaret Margaret on Jul 30, 2023

    I agree. I have a 2007 SUV to avoid cost of deliveries and a 3 cylinder 2014 car for work and most trips.

  • Ilo29175184 Ilo29175184 on Jul 30, 2023

    Love the idea of minimalism on life, buying the needs not the wants. I love multi-tasker, mix-match clothing and accessories as well as vintage pieces that never go out of style!