I am a big believer of spending money on things that make you happy. My entertainment budget is not very big, because my “fun” happens to be reading, writing, and spending time with family. Luckily, none of these hobbies tend to cost very much. However, if going out to eat with friends or going on all-inclusive vacations is your thing, I’m not one to judge. It’s fair game if you aren’t going into debt over it and if you are still able to put money aside for emergencies, retirement, and to meet your goals.
There are certain luxuries, however, that that just aren’t worth your hard earned money. Most of the time, they are more work than they are worth, or they cost more than most people think above and beyond the initial cash outlay.
Growing up, we always had a hot tub. We just happened to live in a suburb that had a lot of them, and as we moved from one house to another, they just all happened to have a hot tub.
I’m sure the previous owners had the best intentions when installing the hot tub, but we hardly ever used ours, and our neighbors never used theirs, either. It cost a lot to run every month when heating it, and the chemicals and cleaning of it took more time than we spent actually enjoying it.
Pre-Made Meals (All The Time)
I most certainly enjoy an already made meal every once in awhile. Sometimes, cooking seems like an insurmountable task – especially on a Friday evening after work. However, the spending money on meals that are already made for you is not usually worth it.
These meals, whether they are take-out meals or ones from the grocery store, are usually high in calories, fat, and sodium, and low in nutrition.
Sure, sometimes it’s okay to have a take-out meal or fast food meal to save your sanity, but eating out more often than not is a luxury that ends up costing more in the long run.
High End Cars
I know that this will make all of you luxury car lovers turn over in your graves, however, luxury cars are most definitely a waste of cash. They are purely a status symbol, and they limit you, as well. You wouldn’t drive a luxury vehicle to your parent’s house at Christmas for four hours in the snow. You wouldn’t want to take a luxury car to a routine Sunday grocery shopping trip.
Luxury cars don’t typically last longer than a regular car, and the parts and labour to repair them (not to mention the cost of insurance) make luxury cars a waste of money and effort.
The Latest Gadgets
I sit here, typing this on the newest generation of MacBook Pro, with an iPhone 5 next to me on the coffee table. I understand gadget hype. However, this is the first laptop that I have purchased in six years. I bought this laptop because my old laptop was not meeting my needs any longer. My iPhone 5 is my first upgrade since my iPhone 3, which was purchased almost four years ago. My newest phone was free as I was due for an upgrade.
Having the latest gadgets is exciting for a split second. Then you get over it. Upgrading every time Apple comes out with a new iDevice, or there’s a new gadget, is an unnecessary luxury that won’t benefit you. Upgrade your technology when it’s necessary, not when your tech company of choice comes out with a new product. New technology is a huge budget eater even if you only purchase it based upon need; it becomes unaffordable when you are buying every upgrade.
We all fall victim to buying into unnecessary luxuries. Which ones do you pay for?
Actually, I think a hot tub could be a good investment for some people. Hot tubs can provide relief from chronic arthritis pain, spinal injuries or bone conditions. Some studies show that it can be beneficial to people with heart failure and high blood pressure. I’ve even seen a study or two suggesting that regular hot tub soaks can be good for diabetics. If you’re in that situation, you can sometimes even get your insurance to cover all or part of the installation costs.
Of course, for the average person, it’s probably an unnecessary luxury. But others might get some legitimate medical need out of it!
You are right in that respect, but most people don’t have that type of pain. And baths can be effective too, but I’ve heard of insurance covering a hot tub every once in awhile.
I don’t fall much for gadgets or unnecessary items, but have had a few in the past, mp3 and portable movie players, that were so big they were inconvenient to carry, and now the ipod touch does it all and is much smaller. I wish I had looked into it more carefully and just bought one item, it would have been easier and cheaper.
I agree with you on that one. I guess the point is not to buy ALL of the gadgets, but buying one or two is fine!
I treat my family to have lunch out in a fast food chain once or twice a week. This is just one of our family bonding time. And you’re right sometimes is okay but not all the time because it’s not healthy at all.
Very true. Some people go out every day it seems.
I agree with you especially about the latest gadgets, since the speed in which our latest gadget becomes an older model and often times, they just change the look, add or change a feature and that’s it.
So true. There isnt’ drastic enough changes between most “generations”.
I totally agree with you on those. For me, the luxuries that are a total waste of money are luxury cars and trying to have the latest gadget. I’m okay with what you’ve done because you have a pretty good reason to buy those.
Luxury cars I think are the worst for it, though. They are money suckers!
Luxury cars are overrated. I really hate when people buy a luxury car, pay a high monthly payment and then never drive it. What’s the point of having it if you don’t drive it.
They definitely are – it’s funny because the payments can be more than a mortgage!
I pay to dine out which is definitely a luxury. I can’t stand higher end cars though, I won’t be buying one anytime soon 🙂
I dine out too, in moderation. It’s hard to never dine out!
Cars are definitely tops on my list of wasted money. Especially people with nice cars they are so worried people going to scratch it so they park so far away.
At least they are getting extra exercise, haha!
Hey Daisy Flower and thanks for an enjoyable read 🙂
I don’t fall for luxuries but I have eaten out a lot in the past and pre-made meals are something I am working – slowly – on changing out of my diet. Being a bachelor, pre-made meals are easy and there’s no clean-up!! Unfortunately, they are pricey and probably not to healthy either. I have begun to cook more at home as of late and I am feeling better for it while also feeling richer as well 🙂
Thanks again and take care.
I hear ya – my brother eats like a bachelor, too, because he IS one. But you’re right, they are pricey.