You know that feeling when you're trying so hard to save every penny and then you see other people practically tossing dollar bills down the toilet?
On Reddit recently, the question was asked: What do people waste money on that amazes you?
Here are the most jaw-dropping responses from Reddit readers.
1. Stupid about smartphones?
New phones. I mean, I can understand if your phone is busted or outdated, like you've got the iPhone 4 and want to upgrade to the iPhone 7. I just don't get why people get the iPhone 7 and then immediately get the iPhone 8 a year later. And don't get me wrong, I'm not ragging on Apple users specifically, that's only an example. People to do the same thing with any line of popular smartphone. It seems like a total waste of money to me, especially considering the differences between Generic Smartphone 10 and Generic Smartphone 11 are pretty minimal.
A new cellphone EVERY FREAKING YEAR.
2. Kids on the best-dressed lists
Expensive designer/brand clothes for toddlers. My boss just got his 3-year-old a pair of Nike Air Max. The kid's gonna outgrow them in like a month, and he doesn't give a [expletive] about brands. He's 3.
3. The real horror at the movies
Used to work in a cinema and it amazed me how much stuff people would leave behind once the film was over. I'm talking the vast majority of a large popcorn or large drink. Sometimes a Baskin Robbins tub would still have most of it in, melted obviously. There would also be full unopened packs of chocolate, sweets, crisps, sometimes unopened drinks. One of the reasons people preferred working on floor rather than concessions was you'd often find stuff to eat when you were cleaning the auditoriums between performances.
Having worked there for years, I definitely learned to respect why prices are high so I have no problem with people paying cinema snack prices, but so many people seem to just buy certain snacks when they clearly don't want them. If you've had about three pieces of a large bag of popcorn, you clearly didn't really want popcorn and just liked the idea of having popcorn. Same goes for people who turn up with bulging bags full of snacks. You're watching a two-hour film, not camping in the woods for a weekend.
4. Buying when they could be brown-bagging
Eating out for lunch for most of the work week.
A modest bought lunch is maybe $10 but usually more like $15+ once you add on a drink and whatever else.
I can literally make an entire week's worth of lunches for two people with that. I calculated that the hearty vegetable barley soup I made comes out to maybe $1.50 a lunch when I make a giant pot of it and we eat it everyday. It's a little hard to calculate because I don't use the whole bag of celery, only a few stalks, etc etc. but it's waaaay cheaper than buying lunch.
And then my co-workers complain they are broke.
I get a feeling of shame when poor planning leads to me needing to buy a lunch...
5. You mean credit cards aren't free?
Credit card interest! I know a bunch of people who are SO SHOCKED by their high interest rates. They thought it was like an interest-free loan to yourself and then are surprised when making teeny payments doesn't do anything.
6. Ignoring College Costs 101
College when you don't know what you wanna do at all. "Woah, Idk what I wanna do. Might as well get some debt! Wooo"
I had lots of people in my life tell me "just get that paper". I went to college despite not having the slightest clue what I wanted to do, had panic attacks and severe depression with suicidal thoughts, and eventually dropped out because I never figured out what I wanted to do and ended up $16,000 in debt after just two years. My dad was cool about it but my mom thinks I'm a failure and my stepdad completely shunned me and won't speak to me or even be anywhere in the same room with me.
Oh well, I'm down to $8,000 and my mental health is much better now. But it was still a huge waste of money and time when you couldn't decide on a major.
7. Addicted to cigarette lighters
I have seen how difficult smoking is, so I won't go there. BUT, the thing I noticed in college is how many times my friends and roommates didn't have a light, and yet seemingly I would ALWAYS find lighters left all around our rented apartment or house. So I decided to do a bit of a social experiment. One year, about mid-year, I decided I'd start picking up all the lighters left about the house and just put them in my sock drawer. ... If you left one on the coffee table for more than like an hour or two, it was going into my stash. And I had made the concious decision that if ANYONE ever asked "Is someone stealing my lighters?" I'd fess up immediately and the experiment would be over.
So for about four or five months, this continued. And it astonished me that my smoking friends never batted an eye or had a second thought to the idea that their lighter was gone. They simply go borrow a lighter, use the stove or matches or pick up another lighter while at the store. Just throwing that money away.
So at Christmas that year, we as roommates decorated a bit and put up stockings for each of us, and I split the roughly 70-80 lighters I had accumulated into my three roommates' stockings. They were beyond excited at this "gift," and even when I tried to explain it wasn't really a gift because I had only picked up their lighters, they didn't seem to care. I came to realize that part of the cigarette addiction really was just making peace with the concept that you have to buy lighters a bunch also. What a waste.
8. Forgotten memberships and subscriptions
Not keeping track of or not using monthly paid subscriptions. Spotify account that you forgot you had, gym membership that you used once, etc. It's unbelievable to me that people just aren't aware of something they're being billed for on a regular basis.
9. And the most amazing of all ...
A thousand-dollar tin can.