Even as adults, we tend to spend money on ridiculous things. When all the necessities are taken care of, we have some money left over, burning a hole in our pocket. From weird stuffed animals to totally pointless items, these are some of the dumbest things people spent money on.
I actually spent $40 on one of those amusement park booths where you had to throw darts at balloons. For some reason, I picked out this really ugly seven-foot-tall frog stuffed animal. It’s in the corner of my closet and still scares me when I’m half-awake in the morning. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking.
I once bought a “make it yourself” music box, with a series of cards to punch out the notes and then insert so you can play whatever tune you want. I thought I could make my girlfriend a special gift, then I realized that I cant read music. So, when I tried to punch out some music by ear, it sounded bloody awful.
I once went to a novelty shop that had a ton of random stuff. I ended up spending $10 on a framed picture of Count Dooku, Darth Sidious, and Jango Fett from Star Wars since my girlfriend thought it was funny. The frame recently broke and I found out, after seeing the back of the picture, it was from a calendar when Attack of the Clones came out. Someone just cut this picture out of an old calendar, put it in a frame and my idiot self voluntarily spent $10 on it.
I’d had a few drinks (TGIF) and wandered into a Williams Sonoma store in a state of euphoria. I saw a special edition Kitchen-aide stand mixer made in bronze that was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. It was on sale for $999.00. Naturally, I bought it. But because I’m a single guy who doesn’t bake, it’s just taking up much-needed counter space.
There was this guy named Don Lapre who sold money-making kits. They were like the “how to make money with classified ads.” I think I “invested” about $350 and received literally nothing of value. I was young(er) and being stupid. So, I looked him up to remember how to spell his name. Turns out, he took his life while locked up in 2011.
I bought a pager back in the day. The clip snapped not too long after my purchase, so I took it to where I bought it. The person at the counter said, "We only cover the pager, not the case.” So, I walked outside right in front of the window and spiked it super hard. I then walked back inside and said, "My pager is broken."
I was 11 years old and my dad was kind enough to give me 50 bucks to spend at the mall. So, I wandered into a gift shop and spent it all on an electronic vibrating oinking pink pig. I never played with it after I brought it home. Once I realized how dumb it was, I tried to return it, only to be offered store credit.
The most expensive dumb thing? A Mercedes 500SEL. I literally bankrupted myself buying parts and gas for that land yacht. I sold it for half what I paid and felt lucky to be rid of it. The dumbest dumb thing? A metallic gold-laden painting of a Pontiac Firebird. It oozes white trash and I had planned on putting it in a family gift exchange as a joke, but didn't end up going. So, I got stuck with it. It's currently hanging in a storage room, like all classy paintings do.
When I was 19, I got a construction job that paid fairly well. Stupid me got all hot for a fun car. I signed up for a five-year loan after test driving the first one. I ended up having engine failure almost two years later. Because it was a used car and from a shady used car dealer, the warranty was well expired. I couldn't afford to get a new engine for it, so I ended paying over three years for a car that I wasn't driving.
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This past Christmas Eve, I was doing some last-minute shopping and came across a wine glass shaped like Buddy from the movie Elf. Of course, it also had Will Ferell's face on it. With everything being out of order with the holiday rush, I didn't know how much it cost, but I bought it on pure impulse because I thought it was funny.
It wasn't until I left the store and looked at the receipt did I realize that it cost 22 dollars, which is way more than it's worth. To remind me of my mistake, I now drink out of that glass exclusively and have been for the past five months. I have to wash it like twice a day but I won't stop using it until I feel like I've gotten my 22 dollars worth.
I bought a cat eye stencil off Amazon that's supposed to help with liquid eyeliner application because my hands are shaky. Well, I didn't check the reviews. It's a terrible piece of plastic shaped like a cat that breaks really easy, apparently. I wouldn't know yet. I bought it a week ago and it's shipping from China with an estimated arrival of July 27th.
My friends and I randomly decided to get into paintballing one year. My first visit to a paintball shop, I apparently felt like flexing my brand new "I have a job and no bills because I live with my parents" income. So, I dropped about $400 on a paintball shooter that looked like an AK-47 (the way a Nerf pistol looks like a Glock.)
We did a few practice fights with each other, then went to a paintball field that weekend. The bell rang, and the fight started. I ran out, aimed at a guy, my shooter jammed, and I got shot in the head, just above the part my mask was covering. That thing never fired again and I ended up replacing it with a cheap Tippman 98 Custom, which is the vanilla sherbet of paintball guns. It worked, but we stopped paintballing forever after like two months.
I, for some God-forsaken reason, bought myself a tiny alarm clock. It’s literally smaller than my hand. It actually functions pretty well though, so it’s a good travel alarm. As long people don’t get suspicious about the ticking noise coming from your bag. Also, it’s a great way to hide the sound of the bomb inside your bag.
I absolutely loved her, but the Great Dane I had was dumb. I'm talking so irredeemably dumb that she would regularly smash face-first into walls chasing flies. If that wasn’t enough, she’d also run right into a closed door (not see-through) when I asked if she needed to go out. That said, she was a sweet, loving good girl.
The Uber eats delivery fee for an entire dozen cookies from Great American Cookies. I live less than half a mile away but I was lazy and I wanted those stinking cookies at like 10:00 p.m. They were glorious and I don’t want to think about the calories I consumed that night. But, it was still really dumb when I think about it.
This thing Susanne Somers was pitching on QVC at 3:00 a.m. 15 years ago to help avoid getting wrinkles on your face. I was up all crazy hours with a newborn at the time, so I was a bit delirious. It was some electrical impulse mini machine for approximately $150. Suzanne looked fantastic and said she hadn't ever had plastic surgery. She had just used this little machine on her face her whole life. I believed it, spent the money and when it arrived three weeks later, I never even took it out of the box to use it.
I dropped $1,000 on my Nazi German Shepherd puppet from the TV show Danger 5. I got it at an auction the producers of the show put on a couple of years ago. I don't think a lot of people would be dumb enough to drop a grand on a puppet. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it's a hilarious Australian comedy about a group of spies who are trying to take out Hitler, but the show (at least the first season) is shot like it's from the 1960s.
I once paid $59.00 on a strapless adhesive bra. It wasn’t really a "bra," but more like two silicon cups with a sticky side. Most of those are worth $10 or 20. Mine was really sticky, but it offered absolutely no support, so it makes the bra absolutely pointless. You suck, La Senza. Expensive bras for cheap quality.
I bought a Kirby vacuum. They got me hook, line, and sinker. I've wasted money before, but this is one thing I always go back to and I'm actually ashamed of. Like, I fell for their whole sales pitch. It was $2500 bucks for a vacuum. I was on a payment plan for a vacuum! They have a shampooer attachment, but it blows as a shampooer. You can take the handle off and use it on the stairs, yet it’s still heavy and annoying.
It has a transmission that makes it easier to go across the carpet, but when it decides not to play nice, it takes eight times the effort to get a room done. Oh, and the way the attachments work is a whole annoying ordeal. Please, for the love of everything holy, go to Walmart and get a vacuum. You can replace a lot of carpet for what one of those Kirby abominations will cost you.
I legitimately just spent $250 on the 1989 Batmobile Lego set, which arrived today. Part of me is excited to build it. However, the other side just thinks, "What are you doing? You're literally a 27-year-old man spending money on Legos.” What can I say, though? I’m still pretty excited to get building tomorrow.
A sword cane with a snakehead on it. The blade wasn't sharp and I never used it. I just bought it to essentially look cool. I will say, though, that I bought it from a legitimate and legal magazine. But, I bought it not only because it looked cool but because I wanted to look cool like Lucius Malfoy's wand cane. Now I can't find it.
One of my closest friends is a “radical minimalist” and a zero waster. She believes in owning as few things as possible, and, as best as she is able, existing outside of consumer culture. Last summer, we lived together in New England and she decided she needed a new wardrobe. She wanted to donate her current clothing to purchase one or two items of clothing she would wear.
I figured she’d go for some thrifted items, but oh no. She decided to spend upwards of $150 on a custom recreation of Maria’s habit from The Sound of Music. None of us thought it was a good idea. It was a black, long sleeve dress, and it was regularly upwards of 90 degrees last summer. She didn’t heed our warnings and donated all of her other clothes. She was convinced that the dress would change her life.
The dress arrived. She put it on and her face immediately crumbled. It fit, but it looked so stupid. It was obviously a costume and was made out of this heavy, wildly impractical fabric. She couldn’t return it because it was custom. I’d like to reiterate, she donated all of her other clothes, but she was unwilling to wear it from the shame. So, she spent the rest of the summer wearing nothing but pajamas and borrowed clothes. Thankfully, she’s started growing out of that particular brand of insanity. But, I don’t think I’ll ever see someone waste their money like that ever again.
A piano. The whole thing was dumb, stupid, costly and near worthless. But the ex-wife wanted a real piano for the children because they would then practice on it. Yeah, that didn’t happen at all. I spent $3500 on the piano and somewhere close to $4,000 in lessons. All for teaching them to hate playing the piano.
In elementary school, a kid called me pale. So, I went to Walmart and bought spray tan. My dad thought it was sunblock. My sister knew what it was but didn’t say anything because she was just going to sit back and watch how it played out. I went in and out of the bathroom multiple times that day, continuously reapplying before my sister decided it was time to tell my dad. I went through half the can in a day and was more orange than an Oompa Loompa.
A distant relative and his wife (both in their 70s) sent a certain African prince several thousand dollars to insure a shipment of 45kg of gold he was receiving. He promised to triple their money once he got it. He gave no reason as to why they were chosen for it. They didn’t think it was a good idea to tell anyone else as they were worried we’d try to take their money from them.
I bought my first stick shift, not knowing how to drive a stick shift. After I bought it, I tried to start it up and could not do so. I called the mechanic and he was going to charge me $200. I told him that was fair because I had no idea what's going on. He got in, stepped on the clutch, and started the car. He charged me $100.
Secondly, I had an old breaker panel in my childhood home. One of the breakers tripped. I thought they fixed the problem and went to the panel to trip the breaker back. But nothing changed. I was also in a weird place in life and so really wasn't paying attention. But when the electrician showed up, he still charged $100 for just pushing that breaker a little bit further than I did.
A multi-level marketing product. I actually knew the girl and I knew she was in need of money because she had just had a child out of high school. It didn't look like she had the best life money-wise. I don't know if it was bad since I gave her money, but I think she only sold for a month or two. Multi-level marketing items are the worst.
My cat. She’s the sweetest girl in the world and I spend so much flippin’ money on her to make her happy and feed her good food. But good Lord, she is unbelievably dumb. She actually got stuck in a cardboard box today. It didn’t close. She just didn’t know how to back up and it was too narrow to turn around in.
Google Glass. My wife laughed so hard she wet herself when I first tried them on. I didn't care, I had Google Glass. I wore them outside, wore them to classes, I wore them everywhere. I stopped wearing them when I random stranger berated me for recording her and then called the police. They came, I showed them that I had no footage of the woman in question. I never wore them again because I didn't want to deal with a situation like that again. That smug witch’s face, when the cops told her off, was pretty great, though.
I (an unemployed, completely broke part-time college student) had to pay $300 to my college for a class called "computer literacy.” In addition to this, I had to pay an extra $100 for an online service that replicates Microsoft Word (even though I already have it.) This class is necessary to get my degree. Now I know what you're thinking — everyone should know how to work a computer, this is a good thing. This is true, and I completely agree!
However, if you were in grammar school anytime after the year 1994, you already learned the $400 information my school is deeming necessary before the fifth grade! This class highlighted topics including, and narrowly limited to: how to plug in a USB, how to use WordArt on Microsoft Word, how to insert a table into Microsoft Word, how to change font size, and color. My final exam took me 15 minutes, and the assignment was to create a flyer with a colorful, centered WordArt title, and a page border! It was something I've known how to do since age seven and have yet to use in the 14 years following this knowledge. In this day and age, you can just Google how to use Microsoft. I definitely didn't have to pay $400.
My daughter was about two months old and suffering from reflex. Every time you fed her, you had to keep her upright for 45 minutes so she wouldn’t throw up. So, after a couple of consecutive 2:00 a.m. feedings and holding her, I was delirious. The baby was asleep in my arms, my wife was asleep and I thumbed through TV channels.
I stumbled onto the Knife Show. Basically the QVC of knives. I watched for 20 minutes and boom. The “Deal of the day” was 150 assorted knives for $100. Yeah, I bought it. They made it seem like I would “make my money back” and “friends would love the gifts.” Ha, the stuff is cheap junk. But, I brought a box of knives to work and the guys grabbed a bunch for their camping, fishing, hunting. So, it worked out, but it was a waste of money. It’s been six years and I just found some left over. My dad and buddy got some.
Very expensive meals, very expensive hotels, and overall things I bought where I didn't read the fine print. Once, at Disneyland, I was getting dinner with family in the park and I paid almost $70 for a (supposedly) vegan meal. I even asked the waiter if the dish didn't have dairy (I have an allergy). He said it was completely dairy-free. When I got my dish, I took a couple of bites before my throat started to close up. The employees were very kind and offered a refund for the dinner.
I went on a cross-country car trip with my family when I was 17. We hit Nashville, Tennessee heading out and I knew we were going through it again on the way home. While browsing through a store, I saw this hat. It was a black, mesh, top hat with red flowers and fake beads on it. It was used, dusty and I absolutely had to have it.
But we were near the beginning of the trip and I only had $50 in spending money, so I didn't want to waste my money. I didn't stop thinking about it, though, and when we got back to Nashville, I'd saved $10. I went into the store and bought this dusty, stupid hat. I was so happy that I wore it every day for the rest of the trip. The day after we got home, my dog chewed it to shreds.
Chef Boyardee beefaroni. One summer, because I was bored, I bought some Chef Boyardee beefaroni and put it in my friend's mailbox as a prank. He didn't find it but his parents did, and they asked their neighbors who did it. He suspected me at first, but I managed to get him off of my tail. Now our neighborhoods were fairly close to each other, so I could be over there in a 50-minute walk.
Every night, I walked up to their neighborhood and put a can of beefaroni inside their mailbox. After about a month, they called the police to find out who was putting beefaroni in their mailbox. Luckily, the police really didn't care that much and just told them to get a camera, which they eventually did. Meanwhile, my friend told me all of this from his perspective, so I usually knew what they’d do before I stuck.
I started covering my face and pretended to hunch over. I had no idea where this camera was, so I could never be too careful. They called the cops again and gave them a profile. Now the cops were looking for a crippled beefaroni bandit. After a solid three months, one of the baggers at the store gets word somehow and started getting suspicious because he saw me buying tons of beefaroni.
He confronted me, I told him the truth, and I kid you not, he started helping me. We put it all over, hiding it in the lawns, porch, fence, you name it. Halloween rolled around and I dressed up as Chef Boyardee. I went to my friend’s house and said, "Your daily subscription to Chef Boyardee beefaroni has ended. Would you like to renew?"
I heard laughter in the background and it was the store clerk howling away. Turns out, he recently started dating best friend's sister and that's how he heard. Truth be told, I don't think I've ever been punched harder than when my friend found out it was me. Good times. We still laugh about it from time to time.
My elderly great aunt who never married and spent her entire life working spent all her life savings on a scam. My uncles and their cousins finally had to step in and take control of her finances. She was furious because she was 100% convinced that just a little more would release her money. Now she doesn’t even have enough money to live on her own. It’s incredibly said and infuriating that they prey on old people like that.
The worst pay- to-win phone game. You could only do like one level per day with how slow the "lives" regenerated. There was a less than one percent chance of getting free currency randomly with no way to earn it. Every chest took 60 or so currency to open and you start with 100 free. I frustratedly bought currency to open the chests, which let me unlock more things, which I needed more currency to open. I uninstalled after a week because it upset me so much.
I bought a four-foot-tall lava lamp (it was called The Colossus, you can look it up). It was $700. Luckily, it didn't work and after several failed attempts to fix it (as instructed by the company — fishing out the metal spring inside the wax and cleaning it so the wax would wet it better), they ended up refunding me my money.
I went on eBay 20 years ago and found this Acura Integra with all sorts of mods. I thought it would impress my friends and would be a cool thing to own. The description said it had all sorts of racing mods and customizations. It was listed for $8000. My idiot self pulled the money from my savings account and went to check out the car.
It was a pile of trash junkyard find that was repainted white. It had hood pins and the interior was painted white with spray paint from the smell of it. None of the things I hoped it would have were on it. The seller said, “Oh yeah. I sold the one in the listing, but this is the same model car.” So, like an idiot, I offered $5500 and the dude was like, “Sold!”
The car stopped running about two days later and the guy never answered my calls. I took it to a shop near me and left it there for months. They kept telling me they were working on the car. Eventually, I took the car back and had it towed to where I lived. For almost a year, I towed the car from one place to another.
At one point, it got broken into but there was nothing of value in it. I talked a guy into buying it for $300. I think he took the car because one morning the car wasn’t outside anymore after I got the money. I still think about that huge financial blunder every now and then and cringe, but it was definitely a gigantic step towards making me the financially responsible adult I am today.
A class ring. It cost over $500 and I only bought it because I thought it would make me feel more like one of the popular kids. But, I was born ugly and awkward into a poor family and don't know why I would want a reminder of my miserable childhood. Let alone why I would spend a sixth of my life savings on a garbage piece of jewelry.
My ex-fiance. It’s a long story, but she got off her bipolar meds and canceled the wedding four days before. I was out a bunch of money because the event didn't happen, but I was still on the hook for paying for the facilities we rented. So, I figure it was my biggest waste of cash ever. Plus, add the cost to my self-esteem of having to call my friends and family to tell them it was canceled. Not to mention, having to explain that 40+ times. It definitely had a high cost to my self-esteem.
An Olympia 35mm camera with a sticker gun with a $299.99 price tag on it. The guy sold it in a parking lot. I agreed to buy it, had him follow me to an ATM (I realized now this wasn’t smart). I still continued because I was afraid to back out. Then, I handed the guy the $40 asking price to bring it home and discover that the well-known camera maker is actually Olympus. It ended up in the trash right along with my pride.
When I was 12, I got an iPod for my birthday. Because I was an idiot, I bought songs on iTunes to put on it. If I remember correctly, every song was like $1.29 or something insane like that. I probably spent a couple hundred dollars buying late-90s songs before I realized that it was a complete waste of money.
A weighted blanket. I got it from one of the "better" places, so it was pretty pricey ($280). I also had it tailored to my size, weight and sleep style, but it was just too heavy to sleep under. I wonder if they sent the wrong weight as on adverts. You see these small women easily holding them around their shoulders. But, this thing takes a lot of effort just to lift and I'm not a small dude.
I spent 20 quid on a black pebble in Dublin when I was 18. It was my last 20 too as the rest was nicked by some gypsies on a boat. The pebble was meant to be the best Hash in Ireland. It was supposedly fresh from India. I tried to smoke it, convincing myself that the best stuff was always really hard. Eventually, I had a hole drilled through it and wore it on a chain.
I gave a bus company $20 at the Thailand-Cambodia border to drive us back to Bangkok a week later. Of course, the number on the receipt didn’t work and the bus company on the receipt was different. It wasn’t a lot of money and my thought process was that we literally know they have a bus and drive back and forth. But, why take $20 and drive someone when you can take $20 and fill that person’s seat with someone else who will also pay you?
A Kirby vacuum. My brother, who’s four years older, and his wife convinced me to get one. I was young and didn't realize that we were on two different paths in life. My brother got married at 21. He's almost 30 with three kids now. His wife is a SAHM who cleans and takes care of kids (hence her being so passionate about a dumb vacuum).
When I was 21, I was bartending, just living life and having fun. I'm still only in a casual relationship, have just my cat and love to travel. I have no use for a vacuum. But no, I spent $1200 on that vacuum. I'll be moving again soon. I'll probably just give it to a pawn shop for $100 or something. I've used it only a handful of times. The guy was a good salesman…
Toupee or hair solution. My hair started falling out when I was still in high school. By the time I was 25, I had a full blow cul de sac. I saved money for over a year, intending to get the follicle replacement surgery when I finally felt I had enough. I went to the hair place only to find out one treatment would cost more than I made in a year and I would need several treatments.
So, they offered me a cheaper solution for a hair product that only cost half of my savings. I was desperate to have hair, so I ordered one. I found out when I went to have it put on that it was just a toupee and it only lasted about three months. I'd still love to have hair again but I'm not going to pay for it.
An engagement ring. Diamonds are overpriced not to mention very unethical (didn't realize this before purchasing). Most engagement rings are custom made, which means once you purchase it, the ring’s value diminishes immediately after you leave the store. Not to mention, these stores are all overpriced. If I were to do it again, I would either pick a ring without diamonds or even better, buy second-hand. They have some beautiful rings at pawn shops and online that aren't only affordable, but are eco-friendly.
The original cat ear headphones. I bought them before they got widely popular by YouTubers. They're a novelty and a fad that passed away hard. Plus, they were known to have issues with the ring lighting. It was a complete failure because people could get them cheaper than the initial backing price. They also had a white model announced and they never surfaced.
Nail clippers. I thought I lost the pair that I had and I needed to trim my nails. So, I went out and got another pair. Once I got back, I trimmed my nails with the new set and there was no problem. Then the next day, I found the old pair. I wasted time and money on unnecessary nail clippers. I'll never forgive myself.
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