There are some items and experiences that are worth paying a little extra for, while others are simply not worth it.
When deciding whether to spend or save, it’s important to figure out if the more expensive option is really the better one. Here are 10 things that aren’t worth the money.
A high-end designer handbag can set you back thousands of dollars. A Hermes Birkin bag recently sold at auction for $379,261, an amount that could buy an entire house in many U.S. states. While high-end bags can serve as a status symbol, your money is better spent elsewhere.
Buying a purebred dog from a breeder can set you back thousands of dollars, while the cost of adopting or rescuing usually ranges between $25 and $300.
In addition to saving an animal’s life, there are added benefits to adopting. Most rescue dogs are mixed-breed, meaning they are likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills than a pure-breed. Purebred dogs are more likely to develop health problems, such as breathing difficulties and hip dysplasia, which can be expensive to treat.
With the many affordable streaming services now available, more and more people are opting to cut the cable cord. The average consumer spends $103.10 on cable per month, according to the Leichtman Research Group, while subscription streaming services cost significantly less.
Netflix and Hulu can cost as little as $7.99 per month for each. Amazon Prime Video is included with the $99 yearly Prime membership fee — just one of many benefits of a Prime membership — or it can be purchased for $8.99 per month. Subscribing to all three will cost you $24.70 each month, which will save you $940.80 each year compared to the average monthly cable fee.
ATM withdrawal fees are usually between $1.50 and $3.50 if you’re not that bank’s costumer, and while that amount seems minimal, it can add up. It’s also a fee that can be easily avoided by only withdrawing from your own bank’s ATM, or opting to get cash back while at a grocery store, drugstore or another retail establishment that offers the option.
While it might seem tempting to spend two bucks for the chance to win millions, the odds are not in your favor, and those dollars are better off in your savings account. Your chance of winning a Powerball grand prize is only about 1 in 292 million. To put that in perspective, your odds of being killed by an asteroid impact are about 1 in 700,000.
Buying books is arguably a waste of money, as you can likely borrow the same books at your local library for free. However, if you insist on buying, it’s better to opt for the paperback or e-reader version, which cost much less.
For example, Amazon sells “A Game of Thrones” for $30.80 for hardcover, $9.99 for paperback, and $6.99 for Kindle. At those prices, you can buy two Kindle versions for less than the cost of one hardcover.
Going out to lunch
Going out to lunch every workday is a costly habit. If you pack lunch instead of buying it every day, you can save $5 to $15 per meal — which can save you more than $100 each month.
Buying bottled water is bad for the environment because it consumes resources and creates waste. And it’s also bad for your wallet. Purchasing one bottle of water daily, even at only $1 per bottle, will cost you $365 for the year. You can easily buy a reusable water bottle for less than $10, and fill up daily with tap water, which costs an average of 49 cents per year.
There are some pros to buying a luxury car, but they don’t outweigh the costs associated with owning one. Most luxury cars are made with higher quality materials, have better handling and might provide a better ride than a mid-level car. However, luxury models of mid-level brands often come with the same bells and whistles as a luxury car for less.
For example, a Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Tahoe share many mechanical components, but the Escalade starts at $73,995, while the Tahoe starts at $47,215. There are also additional increased costs that come along with having a luxury car. Most require premium gas, come with higher insurance rates, and have more expensive replacement parts and repair costs than a standard vehicle.
Pricey hotel rooms
If you’re looking to save, skip the five-star hotel. This holds especially true if you’re going on a vacation where you’ll be spending more time out exploring than in the hotel. If you just need a place to sleep, opt for a lower-tier location to save some serious cash.
For an illustration of the cost differences, compare average hotel prices for three- and five-star hotels in London: a three-star hotel costs an average of $115 a night, while the average five-star hotel costs $300.
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