Incredible wastes of money - personal examples?

I’m looking for examples of individuals (not institutions like govenments) blowing money. I’m going to give a presentation on financial matters and am looking for examples to use as demonstrations of wasted money and the effects they have on people’s financial well being.

One example I have as an example is I guy I knew who was leasing a truck. The monthly payment was $650. How this got very wasteful was that he wouldn’t drive it many places. He wouldn’t drive it to work or to anywhere he’d have to park it in a parking lot because he was afraid of “door dings.” So he had to buy another car to drive!

He eventually returned it so that he could lease another truck (so that the color would better match his new $30,000 boat - purchased entirely on credit with rates close to credit card rates). He had put very few miles on it. I calculated the amount he had paid per mile for the truck, not including fuel. It may have been around $1.65?

Whatever the $/mile rate was, I calculated that if he’d purchased a car, kept it for 10 years, put 100,000 miles on it, got essentially nothing for resale value, and had spent as much per mile, he could have bought a car woth $165,000.

When I showed him the calculation, his face lost color.

Anyone have other good examples?

As a teen, I remember several kids who would buy absolute piece-o-shit vehicles and spend thousands on their stereo. The funny part was, after buying their stereo they couldn’t afford to insure or drive their cars.

Happened all the time.

I knew a woman who bought the most expensive auto insurance available although she had an old Corolla, lived in an apartment and did not have substantial assests otherwise. Also, she rarely drove her car. I finally realized that maybe she just liked bragging about having bought this high-end insurance. :rolleyes:

There was a story in the Wall St. Jornal recently about people spending as much as $5,000 on fancy “rims” for their piece-o-shit cars.

The woman highlighted had spend almost this much on her car, even though she had a young child and was unemployed. Priorities.

I guess this is the modern equivalent of the “bitchin’ stereo” of our youth.

How about this?

Yes that’s right one little purse for $12,500. :eek:

I’m more of a $5 dollar purse gal myself. I pick up designer names at the thrift stores and such and save my money for things that matter–like food, mortgage, utility bills etc.

I mean she spent almost $5000 on her “rims” – car was worth only a few hundred.

The $5000 was on credit, of course. Boyfriend co-signed.

i have a garage full of motorcycles i don’t ride enough, tools i never have time (or skill!) to use, pinball machines (i do play these alot, but not enough to pay for themselves), a camper i never use, cars that don’t get driven much, sporting equipment, lawn machines etc etc etc.

screw it! i wanted them all and i can afford them! amazing the things you can afford when you don’t do dope!

She said she loved me like a brother, and thats great, cause she’s from Arkansas!

The couple that lives across the street from my parents. They have a 9 month old boy, and every month since he was 6 months or so they have taken him to an exclusive portrait studio. They always buy the most expensive (or, the last few times, second most expensive) package possible–an 8"x11", several 4"x6"s, and enough wallet-sizes to fill a pickle barrel. Including framing, each session runs into the $1000s. What makes this even more wasteful is the fact that the child’s daycare has a picture day each month, and the packages there aren’t expensive at all.

My parents took me to Sears for such pictures when I was little–heck, I don’t think I had any pictures taken in a portrait studio until I was in the 7th grade! Those pictures have held up surprisingly well over the years.

A friend of mine was purchasing a dining room table from one of those Rent-to-Own places and paying $20.00 a week. She told me when it would be paid off. I added it up, and the total was over $2000.00. When I saw the table, I was shocked, it was just a regular fake wood farm type table like you can get at a discount place for under $300.00.

I knew a guy who was retiring from the Air Force after twenty years of service, had no savings, and was bragging about how well he was doing because he was able to pay the minimum on his credit card bills every month.

I know 19-year-olds making about $1,000/month who buy thirty thousand dollar cars.

Much to my chagrin, my husband spent many thousands of dollars (before I married him) on Star Wars books, games, and figures. That’s going to be one expensive bonfire one day when he kicks the bucket.

Some people I know bought a million and 1/2 dollar home overlooking the ocean, and are planning to tear it all up because you can’t “see” the ocean from the front door. I guess tearing up the entire inside of a 3 level home just for a better view is what luxury living is all about! :rolleyes:

My future Sister-in-Law was talking about a friend of hers who sent her son to a “private” pre-school that costs $5,000 per semester. Unfortunately, his application was turned down for the “private” $5,000-per-semester Kindergarten, so he’s gonna take a year off and try again.



Correction: one expensive yard sale. Just make sure he kicks the bucket first.

We get the local paper at work…a paper which covers Rolling Hills and Rancho Palos Verdes (numbers 1 and 3 respectively in average house prices in the US). Last week they had a real estate section, and there was a full page ad where the cheapest house was over $900,000, and the most expensive was $13.5 million–and needed work! A $13.5 million fixer-upper.

Actually, there was a vacant lot listed on the page for $150,000.

I keep buying toys. I’m 21 years old. I have no children. I make very little (read: nothing.) I don’t play with the toys. Once they enter my home, I take no particular joy from them; they just collect dust. They’re just reminders that I once bought the full set of Wishbone stuffed characters or all of the Anastasia miniature action figures. I need to stop buying toys (Except for Kermit. I’ll collect Kermit forever), or at least start being more selective.

In college I knew a couple that had a very young baby (they weren’t ready for). Then, they found out she was pregnant again. This couple - we’ll call them Joe and Shauna - were lamenting to my friends about how they had no money, didn’t know how they could afford this baby, etc.

A week or so later they call my friends to help them move a TV. A big screen TV. When asked why they bought a big screen TV when they were so concerned about money, the response was, “It was on sale! We couldn’t afford NOT to buy it!”

Friends bought a house (that they could barely afford) in the mountains. But the Civic wouldn’t do the mountain roads. So they leased a Land Rover. Then he decided, “she has one, why should I drive this old pick up truck” so they buy another Land Rover (second hand). Then she stops working and decides to become an artist. And, since they haven’t been on vacation in a while, they should take a vacation (or two, since January).

The consequences: He hates his job, but its the only thing keeping their heads even remotely above water.

The thing I don’t get, they are so proud of the decisions they’ve made - “leasing is saving us a ton of money over buying,” “we got such a good deal on the second hand Land Rover,” and “we’d never be able to get a place like this close to town.”

Well, my dad just replaced a 10yo 27" tv with a $2,500 35" HDTV because it was marked down from $2,700 :rolleyes: This was 2 weeks after he bragged about getting a pair of sneakers for $10… I’ll never understand him.

I won’t even go into the “fancy” recycled barnboard flooring that got 1/4" splinter inducing gaps in it 1mo after installation, the italian marble floor tile in the kitchen that is cold, murder on the feet, and absorbs stains like a sonofabitch, or the new $5,000 Kawasaki Mule to help him caretake his whopping 1 acre of property.

I thought these were supposed to be personal examples? most of these sound like a little bit of jelousy creeping in. who the hell are you all to worry about how someone else spends their money?

just an observation…

I don’t understand why one would lease a pickup truck!

I USE my pickup truck. Hauling stuff, pulling stumps, pulling a trailer, etc With the abuse that it takes, it’d cost me a fortune if I’d have leased it… not to mention that the dealer probably wouldn’t take it back because of the damage/scratches/wear on it.

Well, DUH! it’s a TRUCK!

We’re not worrying, we’re snickering. At least I am.