Why Do We Keep Buying These 10 Overpriced Items Again and Again?


Most of the world’s population is not made of money, but you wouldn’t know it based on the things that most of us own. Big houses, boats, luxury cars, vacation homes and closets filled with designer labels that make your local Saks look like a discount store; it’s all unimportant and irrelevant. These are items we don’t actually need, and they’re certainly overpriced. Yet we continue to make these purchases time and time again. Some people go into this mode of buying things they can’t afford because they want to keep up with the Jones’. Others can afford the things they purchase, but they certainly do not need them anymore than the rest of the world. Unfortunately, we are a nation of overindulgent, entitled, I-want-it-right-this-second people who just can’t say no to some things. I’m just as guilty of spending too much on things I know are priced too high and completely unnecessary – maybe more than others – and I know most of you are guilty as well. Let’s see what we’re spending too much money on (but probably won’t stop).

Greeting Cards

If we are honest here, we know why we encourage our kids to make cards for grandma and grandpa and daddy. They’re expensive! Spending $7 on a birthday card for someone is a bit excessive. I hate on Father’s Day when I have to go into the store to buy my husband a card from our kids, one from me, and a card for my dad that I spend more than $20 on paper. It’s certainly more than a bit ridiculous and we are all perfectly aware of this.

Movie Tickets

In the past movies did not come out of the theater and into your home for close to a year. Today, however, movies come and go as quickly as anything else and it’s not only a matter of a month or two before what’s in the theater is eventually on DVD and ready to watch at home. So why are we spend $100 just to go see a movie with the kids? We don’t know; but it’s absolutely pointless and ridiculous.

Extended Warranties

Let’s get this one straight; not all extended warranties are a bad idea or a waste of money. But an extended warranty on something such as a toy that your kids won’t even bother playing with longer than the original warranty is a bit much, don’t you think? I think the problem here is that we hear, “Would you like to purchase the extended warranty for $5?” and we don’t consider that much money, so we just nod. Let’s practice saying no.

Full-Price Clothing

Eventually, it will all go on sale. And really, the way designers are coming out with new items these days; it won’t take very long for that to happen. So let’s stop spending money on full-price items and let’s go ahead and wait for these clothes to go on sale. It’s probably going to hang in your closet with the tags still on it for months, anyway.


College students who are still buying their textbooks instead of renting them are, in my opinion, a bit silly. They should be renting these books for nothing rather than paying hundreds to hang onto them. No, you can’t sell back rented books at the end of the semester, but you can get more money in your pocket renting than trading them in at the end of term, anyway.

Luxury Cars

So you drive an Escalade and the Suburban is the same car; but you decided to spend tens of thousands of additional dollars. Why? Because it feels good to ride around with a luxury tag on your car. I’m so guilty of this one; I’ll pick the Lexus over the Toyota or the Lincoln over the Ford any day. However, I know it’s pointless and it’s stupid. But I can’t stop doing it. And neither can most people.

Bottles of Wine at Restaurants

Here is another one that I am personally very guilty of doing. When my husband and I go out to dinner we buy a bottle. Granted, we know a bottle is cheaper than the two glasses we’ll both have anyway, so that’s why we buy it. However, we are guilty of looking up our favorite bottle and going, “Oh! It’s so inexpensive to just get the bottle,” when we know that we can pick up that bottle at the store on the way home for less than 4 times the price we just paid at dinner.

Hotel Upgrades

Why pay for the upgrade right away when you can just ask for it when you arrive? This is one of those things that we all do at some point before we wisen up and make it a habit to stop. Instead of paying for it up front, pay the extra $10 upgrade fee at the desk or just ask for it and explain that it’s a special occasion to the clerk. It always works.

Brand New Phones Every 6 Months

Okay, another one I’m guilty of. So many of us do it. We try to wait for our contract to state we can upgrade for a discounted price, but then the iPhone 6 comes out and we have to have it, so we buy it. We don’t need it. It’s not that much different than the iPhone 5, but we buy it anyway. It’s just how we roll.

Vacation Homes

This is one I do not understand. When I go on vacation, I want to go to a luxury hotel and let someone else clean and cook and take care of me.  I don’t want to go to my own home and be responsible for these things. And I certainly do not want to feel obligated to go to the same places over and over again when I could go somewhere different. A vacation home is expensive. It is not worth the price if you don’t spend much time there, but then you’re left feeling as if you have to spend every vacation there when you’d rather travel the world.

photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images


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