Budget Breakdown: 15 Expenses People Overwhelmingly Consider Money Down the Drain

They say you get what you pay for, and in many cases spending a few extra bucks gets you a higher-quality, longer-lasting product. However, spending extra can also mean wasting money.

We want you to put money towards your dream home, kid's college fund, or something that will bring you joy. Start by avoiding these expenses that are equivalent to lighting your cash on fire.

1. Funerals

People hugging outside at a cemetary
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Who are we trying to impress by dropping $15,000 on a funeral? The guest of honor is dead!

2. Warranties on L0w-Value Items

Hand blender and accessories with sliced fruit on a wooden background. Top view.
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How could I not purchase three-year coverage for that new dog collar? What if it breaks?! As a general rule, avoid warranties unless you have an overwhelming reason to believe it's worth the money.

3. Annual Cell Phones

child on phomne
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You know what they say: A new phone a year keeps bankruptcy near.

4. Get Rich Quick Courses

hate my job
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If you're considering paying for a video course where your favorite influencer discloses their secret to success, let me save you the $59.99. They get rich by scamming suckers like you into paying $59.99 for platitudes about “hustling,” “grinding,” and “living your best life.”

5. Gambling

Gambling, Poker
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As online casinos and sports betting have become increasingly mainstream, more and more gamblers think nothing of throwing tens, hundreds, and even thousands down the drain every week. Whether you're playing the lotto or betting the spread on Celtics-Hawks, you're wasting money.

6. Smoking

No Smoking Sign
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Whether you are smoking real-deal Marlboros or have embraced modern methods, you can literally see your money going up in smoke.

7. Expensive Accessories

woman holding purse
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If you're going to tote around the $1,200 purse every day, then maaaybe you can justify the purchase. But $1,200 for a Coach bag you break out twice a year? That's like $600 per appearance, and it's out of style by next season! Not a great return on investment.

8. Lavish Weddings

Just married. Stylish happy bride and groom showing hands with wedding rings at wedding reception outdoors. Gorgeous wedding couple of newlyweds having fun
Image Credit: Bogdan Sonjachnyj.

While your wedding day might be one of the happiest days of your life, is it really worth spending thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars on it? In the end, it's really just a big party for you and your favorite people.

9. Food Delivery Apps

food delivery driver giving bags to customer
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Between the service fees, product markups, and tips, services like Uber Eats and DoorDash are draining countless Americans' already meager paychecks.

And spare me the “I can get so much more one when someone brings me my food” spiel. Suppose you're not curing cancer, finding the solution to world hunger, or negotiating an end to the Ukraine-Russian conflict. In that case, you probably can't justify the added cost of food delivery apps.

10. Name-Brand Drugs

Pills, Drugs, Medication
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Who pays for the brand-name drug when an equally effective, off-label alternative is available? If all is well and safe with the generic option, there's no need to pay for status at the pharmacy counter. The Walgreens employee isn't impressed by your name-brand Wellbutrin prescription.

11. Modern Art

a couple looks at art on the wall of a gallery
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Here's a hack. Instead of spending $2,000 on that modern art piece you've been coveting, purchase a blank canvas. Buy a can of Spaghetti-O's, then open it. Toss the contents onto the canvas. Scrape away the pasta. Let the canvas dry.

There's your modern art on a budget. Be honest. You don't even notice the difference, do you?

12. Campers

RV by mountain and lake.
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Remember the mid-pandemic camper boom? Anyone who actually purchased a camper quickly realized how small they truly are and how much upkeep a camper requires. RVs are a super expensive item that is far greater in theory than practice.

13. Designer Children's Clothes

child shopping
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The thought of spending so much money on designer clothes for your kids, when they'll just grow out of them seems like a waste of money. Why pay $200 for a sweater they'll get dirty and grow out of in a week?

14. Cable TV

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Cable TV used to be all the rage, but more and more, people are cutting the cord and not watching cable anymore. Instead, people are opting for streaming services to fill the void.

15. In-Game Purchases

Man playing video games, gamer, gaming, relaxing, hobby
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Spending real-life money in a video game seems really odd when the item only exists in the game itself.

Source: Reddit.

Sam Mire is a freelance writer who has manned a variety of beats over nearly a decade in the literary biz. He has spent weeks in the Alaskan wildlands, immersed himself in the world of Florida's homeless population, covered live sporting events, and served as a linchpin for media outlets in the legal, tech, and entertainment spaces. Sam has been published in Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, AP News, Fox News, and, most notably, Wealth of Geeks. In his free time, he enjoys boxing, woodwork, petting his dog, and reveling in good company.