published 2022-06-18 13:00:00 2,5 Useless Purchases You Should Stop Making /content/thumbnails/p-17-useless-purchases-1-small.webp useless-purchases-you-should-stop-making Every day we are persuaded by advertisements or peer pressured into doing or buying something. We are rarely convinced, but sometimes we are, and spend money on things that we think matter but are actually useless. Here is a list of some of them.

Useless Purchases You Should Stop Making

Every day we are persuaded by advertisements or peer pressured into doing or buying something. We are rarely convinced, but sometimes we are, and spend money on things that we think matter but are actually useless. Here is a list of some of them.

Premium Gas

Some drivers hope that "premium gas" will help their cars last longer or that higher octane fuel is more efficient and will save them money. It is "premium" after all, right?

In practice, premium gasoline does not make your car run better nor increase gas mileage. Your car engine is designed for a specific octane rating and the owner manual of your car will tell you what fuel to use for best performance. For most vehicles, it is "regular" or gasoline with an octane level of 87. The extra money spent on premium for each fill-up is simply wasted. Source: American Automobile Association1.

Detoxes and Cleanses

Your body has all the necessary mechanisms to "detox" itself. The digestive tract, liver, and kidneys are responsible for breaking down the toxins and excreting them through urine, stool, and sweat. All those drinks and powders, herbal supplements, colon cleansers, and whole-body detox kits are a concept that is designed to cleanse you out of your money. There is no conclusive medical evidence that they work. Source: Cleveland Clinic.2

Luxury and Designer Brands

Sure, designer clothes sometimes are made from higher-quality materials and have superior craftsmanship. But not always. Inexpensive clothes from regular brands are made from materials not inferior in quality and often more durable. Regardless, spending ten times more on apparel doesn't mean it will last ten times longer. People buy designer brands because they want to communicate their economic or social status. If your financial goals are more important than showing your status to strangers, you should stop wasting money on luxury brands.

Stop Wasting Money on Clothes

Weight Loss Sweat Clothing

Yes, sweating out liquid will cause you to lose weight. But all you lose is water, and it's only a temporary loss. Once you rehydrate you will quickly regain the lost water weight. Sweating alone doesn't burn calories, and abdominal wraps, sauna belts, sweat suits, spa corsets, and other fat-burning clothes don't work.

Multivitamins

Americans spend $12 billion on multivitamins each year, hoping to improve their health and prevent chronic diseases. But some studies suggest that multivitamins are not only a waste of money, but certain vitamins may do more harm than good. It might be better for healthy adults to follow a healthy diet and spend money on nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Source: Johns Hopkins University.4

Air Fresheners

Most air fresheners don't eliminate odors but simply mask them with other scents that are pleasant to our senses. Air fresheners and deodorizers last about a week and need to be refilled or replaced regularly, which makes it a lucrative business. Air fresheners and deodorizers are a multi-billion market in the U.S. alone.

Opening windows to let fresh air inside may be not only cheaper but also healthier. Air fresheners, even ones called organic or green, can discharge potentially hazardous chemicals. Source: Science Direct.3

Antibacterial Soap

Antibacterial soap is no better at preventing the spread of germs than regular soap. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)5, there is no scientific evidence that antibacterial soaps and body washes are more effective than plain soap and water. The word "antibacterial" is just a marketing ploy, and there is no reason to spend extra money on these soaps.

Bottled Water

Bottled water costs thousands of times more than tap water. Municipal drinking water is subjected to more rigorous and frequent safety testing by the federal government than bottled water. Generally, bottled water is no cleaner, safer, or healthier than tap water (Source: Food & Water Watch). You are paying for the plastic bottle and the profits of bottled water companies.

Fireworks

Besides that fireworks are a neighborhood nuisance for many people, a potential source of trauma for pets, and a very dangerous activity that causes injuries - they are a waste of money. Some may argue that fireworks are a good investment when seeing how much fun their kids have. But consider that your kids may appreciate a 529 plan much more. A 529 plan is a state-sponsored tax-advantaged investment fund that lets you save money for your kids' education expenses.

Americans spend an average of $200 per family a year. Instead of blowing up your money, you can invest $200 each year and take your kids to a free fireworks display. In 15 years of a conservative 7 percent annual return, your kids will have $5,376 for something truly important. Or if you invest for 30 years in a row with a 7 percent annual return, you will have a nice addition of $19,658 to your retirement savings.

Holiday Decorations

Christmas decorations are an essential part of the holiday, they are cheery and bring us joy. But most people have too many or at least enough.

Still, people get sucked into thinking that they have to have the next best theme, and after years of frivolous buying, they end up with totes full of different themed Christmas items, which are never used more than once. So many are spending so much time decorating rather than making time to enjoy the decorations.

You know what? Having the same decorations every year is completely fine. Declutter your stash of Christmas decorations and stick with what you love and those special and "heirloom" ornaments.

If you don't have that many, instead of buying new decorations - craft your own. It is not only a good way of saving money but also a fun family activity. Find DIY Christmas decoration ideas online for repurposing materials you already have around your house. That can turn into your new holiday tradition.

How to Save Money on Holiday Decorating

If you exclude certain expenses from your budget that aren't worth your money, you will have more money for things that matter.

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References

  1. American Automobile Association. https://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/12/dont-fueled-premium-not-always-worth-price/
  2. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-you-planning-a-cleanse-or-detox-read-this-first
  3. Science Direct. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132316304334
  4. Johns Hopkins University. https://hub.jhu.edu/2013/12/17/vitamins-might-be-harmful/
  5. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-issues-final-rule-safety-and-effectiveness-antibacterial-soaps

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