We human beings sure love a good bargain, don’t we? How much stuff do you purchase that you actually use or get fulfillment or results from?
The sad truth is, we live in a society where we spend a lot of money on things that are totally frivolous and we just don’t need. And businesses, advertising executives, and marketing companies use that to their advantage and make a killing on us poor suckers (and I do mean all of us).
Here are 6 things that are a total and complete waste of your money. Prepare to get depressed…
1. The Lottery
This should seem like an obvious one, but apparently, that’s not the case. Just look around you next time you go to the gas station or the grocery store. There are ALWAYS people buying lottery tickets. In fact, Americans spend more on the lottery than all other forms of entertainment combined every single year. In 2014, Americans spent more than $70 billion on lottery tickets, compared to almost $18 billion on sports tickets and $10.7 billion on going to the movies.
I’m sure most of us are guilty of this one, and why not? We’ve all dreamed about the winning millions, quitting our jobs, and living the good life on a pristine beach away from all the noise that makes up the everyday grind.
But the sad fact is, your chances of winning the lottery are low, REALLY LOW.
In 2017 when both Powerball and Mega Millions were both over $350 million, people flocked to buy tickets for both, hoping they could hit the ultimate jackpot. The odds of winning both at the same time? 1 in 75,648,252,765,957,300. That’s over 75 quadrillion, in case you were wondering. Said another way, you’re 6,000 times more likely to be struck by a meteorite than to win both Powerball and Mega Millions.
Hey, you never know, so you might as well try to win the lottery…but you’re pretty much throwing your money out the window.
2. Bottled Water
We’re all guilty of this one, at least on some level. You know people who have cases and cases of bottled water in their homes, and some just buy a bottle every once in a while, but either way, it’s a waste of cash. Humans drink over 70 billion gallons of bottled water every year.
In addition to adding a ton of plastic to landfills (and oceans and waterways), buying bottled water is pretty unnecessary. Roughly 40% of the stuff you’re dishing out your money for is basically glorified tap water that comes from municipal water sources and doesn’t even go through a filtration process.
Bottled water costs a whopping 2,000 times more than tap water. So you’re better off just drinking from the tap or using your Brita, and it’s free!
3. The Detox Craze
If you haven’t actually tried it, you’ve probably considered a detox or a cleanse at some point, to get rid of all the junk you consume on a daily basis. And there are all kinds of products and magic diets out there to supposedly help you do the trick.
There’s one problem with this whole concept: your liver and your kidneys already detox your body for you. And the whole detox business is a fad designed to help you part with your hard-earned moolah. And there’s no scientific evidence that proves any of these cleanses improve your health.
Taking good care of your body, eating well, and drinking a lot of water on a regular basis will help your body out far more in the long run than doing a trendy, temporary cleanse.
Your liver is the key to success here. It is the largest internal organ and everything you eat, drink, and breathe passes through it. Nutrients and proteins are secreted by the liver and the vital organ clears toxic substances from your body. The liver performs over 500 essential tasks that keep us healthy.
So, in short, your liver and kidneys are there for a reason, so don’t buy into the whole detox craze, because it just ain’t worth it.
While it’s important for some people to take certain types of vitamins, you really shouldn’t take multivitamins. Why? Because they’re useless. Research shows that multivitamins don’t lower the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes. In fact, decades of research show that multivitamins really don’t do you any good at all and might even cause you harm.
Bottom line: if you eat right and exercise on a regular basis, there’s no need to take a multivitamin. Take that cash and use it on something else! (Maybe a gym membership).
This one may seem obvious, but judging by the long lines at every single coffee shop I patronize, apparently people aren’t getting the message (myself included).
We spend A LOT of money on coffee at places like Starbucks, and that adds up in a big way for all of us. Consider this: buying a $4 coffee each day adds up to an incredible $133,000 over the course of 30 years if you instead invested that money at a modest interest rate. You could do a hell of a lot of cool things with that must cash.
But, we’re creatures of habit and we all love our daily routines, which, for many of us, includes stopping off to get a latte before we go into work. It’s a nice way to treat ourselves for all the hard work we do…but it’s still expensive and it accumulates over the years.
The best way to save? Make it at home! You might not get to say hi to your favorite barista and pet that dog that’s always sitting outside your local shop, but you’ll have more money in your bank account. One retired financial planner estimates that, if you buy coffee at the grocery store in 2-pound bags and brew your own at home, you would save nearly $300 over the course of 8 months.
So know you know what you need to do, coffee lovers!
6. Purebred Dogs
All dogs are beautiful creatures and they make great companions, but people spend insane amounts of money on purebred dogs for a variety of reasons (breeding, show dogs, bragging rights maybe?) instead of forking over much less cash to get a lovable mutt. And hey, everyone is free to make their own pet decisions, but it really is more financially wise to avoid the purebreds and get a dog that is a cross-section of the canine kingdom.
First, the obvious reason: cost. Purebred dogs cost more, and that’s a fact. If you get a mutt from a shelter, your new best friend will already have their shots and will most likely already be neutered or spayed. Typical rescue dogs cost anywhere between $50 and $300. Purebreds can go anywhere from $500 up to $3,000.
And if you do get a purebred pooch, you’re more likely to have to pay a lot of money to deal with their various health problems. A study showed that, on average, mutts are a healthier option as opposed to that purebred Golden Retriever or Cocker Spaniel.
And, hey, have a damn heart. If you go to a private breeder, you’re spending a lot of money on a dog that is probably be gonna be adopted no matter what. When you rescue a mutt, you’re literally saving a dog from a date with death. Each year, 670,000 dogs are euthanized in shelters in the U.S.
Now go get yourself a pound puppy so the two of you can live happily ever after. Here’s to saving money!