7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Unhappy shopper
Photo by WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock.com

Spending money on expensive things you don’t need is a surefire way to deplete your bank account and lower your net worth. Many big-ticket purchases are made on impulse or otherwise represent poor judgment.

If you truly can afford to buy a costly status symbol, go right ahead. However, if you want to get the most out of your money, there are many expensive items that you can and should live without.

Here are several examples of big expenditures you shouldn’t make:

1. Timeshares

Unless you know exactly what you’re getting into, you should avoid the complications of buying into a timeshare vacation home.

A timeshare property has divided ownership or rights of use. Nowadays, timeshares commonly take the form of vacation interval plans. These arrangements entitle “owners” to points they can redeem for stays at various properties — but generally still require owners to pay ongoing property maintenance fees that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars annually.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it tends to be much harder to sell a timeshare than it is to buy into one. As Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson notes in “Is Buying a Timeshare Ever a Good Idea?“:

“I’d bet timeshares are the source of more questions I’ve gotten over the years than any other. I can’t count the number of emails I’ve received from desperate owners looking to unload.”

2. Recreational vehicles

The idea of taking a vacation in a home on wheels may sound enticing, but consider what you’ll do with an RV once the trip is over. How often will you use it?

Some communities have laws against parking RVs on streets or in driveways for prolonged periods. If you have to rent storage space for your RV when you’re not using it, you’ll have an ongoing expense — on top of unavoidable ongoing costs like gas and maintenance.

Unless you plan to do a lot of traveling on the highway, renting an RV is probably more practical.

Services like RVshare let you rent an RV directly from its owner. And it’s possible to rent one from an RV company for as little as $1 a day if you have enough flexibility in your vacation plans to take advantage of what’s known as relocation deals.

3. New cars

New cars start losing value the moment you drive them off a dealership lot. Typically, they depreciate by 20% during the first 12 months of ownership, according to Carfax, which records automobile histories.

If you buy a used car, you let someone else absorb the loss from the initial depreciation.

4. Designer clothing

When you spend big bucks on designer clothing, you’re paying for the brand name and the bragging rights that go along with wearing something exclusive. You’re probably also trying to impress others.

When fashions change, your designer clothing probably will gather dust in your closet.

It makes more sense to buy quality clothing at reasonable prices and invest the money you save.

As Stacy notes in “The Golden Rules of Becoming a Millionaire“:

“Diverting your investable cash into things like cars, clothing, vacations and houses you can’t afford will make you look rich now, but prevent you from actually becoming rich later.”

5. Cutting-edge technology

Technology companies depend on the public’s appetite for new devices to fuel their sales. After all, it’s fun to have the latest gadget. But if you wait a while, you usually can buy the same item for a reduced price.

So, before you make a purchase, you should ask yourself if your smartphone, tablet or laptop is obsolete simply because there’s a new model available.

It doesn’t make sense to buy a new version of a gadget you already own, unless there is improved functionality, says Eric Tyson, author of “Personal Finance for Dummies.”

“People who get caught up in cutting-edge technology get it in their head that they need a specific model,” he tells Money Talks News. “Are you really getting extra value for your money?”

6. Toys for grown-ups

You can spend a bundle on grown-up toys that end up sitting in your garage for long periods. Snowmobiles, Jet Skis and all-terrain vehicles can be fun, but they require big cash outlays. They also may require periodic servicing by a mechanic.

If you rarely use them, your money will be wasted. So, before you make a purchase, be honest with yourself about how much use you’ll get out of items, suggests Tyson.

“It’s important for people to think through how often they are going to use such things,” he says.

7. Watches that cost a bundle

Because you can buy a reliable timepiece cheaply, there’s no need to purchase an expensive wristwatch.

“For well under $50, you can get a watch that keeps time perfectly well,” Tyson says.

If you decide to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on a high-end watch, you likely will be buying it for prestige.

Have you ever made a big-ticket purchase that you regretted? Share your experiences or thoughts with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
The 5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
The 5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

The 2 Biggest Retirement Fears of Baby Boomers
The 2 Biggest Retirement Fears of Baby Boomers

Boomers have a lot of worries as they age, but two stand out.

15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home

These free movie streaming sites offer thousands of movies and TV shows, including recent releases and beloved classics. If you love free movies, online sites are where you need to look for the best list of features that are just one easy click away.

10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors
10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors

These schools let retirement-age students study, tuition-free, while earning college credit.

8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will
8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will

Here’s why the last decades of life are harder now than they used to be.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination
This Simple Mistake Might Weaken Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Avoid doing this before you get vaccinated.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.