We’ve all done it… spent money on something we just absolutely had to have, then ended up completely wasting our investment by hardly ever/never using it. Its called “Impulse buying” and its what makes you buy that candy bar as you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. You didn’t have “candy bar” on your shopping list when you went into the store, but sure enough, there is a candy bar in your hand when you leave.
The folks at financiallyfit.yahoo.com came up with a list of 5 things you spend big money on… then never seem to use afterwards.
1) Exercise Equipment
Of course you get it with the best intentions! The thinking is probably something along the lines of, “I know I’m not working out right now, but if I buy a (insert desired exercise equipment here) and have it in the house, THEN I’ll definitely start working out.”
Unfortunately the reality is… you end up with a very expensive clothes hanger/dirty clothes hamper/place to stack piles of things.
For many people, their fantasies about starting to exercise come around the beginning of the year with their New Year’s Resolutions. But according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 25% of New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past the first week. And 54% fail within the first six months.
That totals to $1.2 billion wasted on exercise equipment each year. Wow.
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2) Swimming Pools
Having a swimming pool is GREAT… if you actually use it. Unfortunately, many people either get too caught up in the daily routine to take the time for a swim or they just eventually lose the desire to get in the pool when they DO have the time.
Let’s say you do decide to get a pool. Are you going to get more enjoyment from an in-ground pool rather than going with the much less expensive above-ground version? Its something to seriously consider before signing on the dotted line.
3) Wine Cellars
So you love your wine, eh? So do millions of other Americans. In fact, the U.S. surpassed France last year as the world’s largest wine-consuming nation, growing 2% to a total of nearly 330 million cases.
A “passive” wine cellar is no big deal, just find a suitable closet in your home and place your bottles on the shelf. But if an “active” wine cellar is what you desire, that may take remodeling and electronics to maintain the proper temperature and humidity levels that your fancy wine requires.
Even electric “wine cellars” that you plug into the wall (that hold around a dozen bottles) can run anywhere between $200 and $600 (not to mention the extra strain on your electric bill).
This one is kinda like a swimming pool. If you actually use it, its great.
4) Outdoor Kitchens
Most folks love to grill out, especially on the weekends or holidays. But if your desire to be a grill master gets out of control, you could wind up “investing” in elaborate outdoor kitchens. A simple grill on wheels won’t do – you’ve gotta have the jumbo grill with eight burners. Eventually there’s marble counter-tops, built-in coolers/refrigerators, full ovens, custom stonework and more surrounding your outdoor kitchen.
Are you certain a nice portable grill won’t do?
5) Espresso Makers
Espresso, you either love it or hate it. Those that love it and are dedicated to their love of coffee might benefit from buying an espresso maker for the home. But if you go top-of-the-line, you could be spending up to $2,000 on some of the fancier models.
True, in the long run it is much cheaper to invest some cash into an espresso maker that will keep you from having to spend $5-$10 a day at the local coffee shop.
But unfortunately in most people’s kitchens – the espresso maker sits collecting dust “after the honeymoon ends”. You can also lump ice cream makers, fondue sets, chocolate fountains and counter-top rotisseries into this category.
Hey, its your money. Just try not to fall into the trap that so many before you have or you’ll look back and think, “Why did I convince myself that I needed this (insert waste-of-money here)?”