60 Things That People Online Regret Spending Their Money On

Have you ever bought something and started feeling buyer’s remorse sometime later? Or maybe you purchased something for a new hobby that you forgot about a week later, rendering that purchase completely useless?

A 2019 survey by Ladder and OnePoll revealed that an average American spends $1,497 per month on non-essential items, so you probably have. The researchers also found that people make approximately five impulse purchases a month.

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All this data might make it seem that we’re an extremely consumerist culture. But maybe it isn’t always like that? Curious to know stories about people’s most regrettable purchases, one person asked online: “What is the worst purchase you’ve ever made?”

Bored Panda had a conversation with the person who started this thread, user u/lilsparrow18. They kindly agreed to tell us more about their worst-ever purchase and what they think about consumerism and the oversaturation of things.

#1

I once bought a bed for my cat, good bed, comfy af, that mf didnt even used it a single time and slept in the box of the bed

Image credits: Gaara34251

u/lilsparrow18 tells us that their thread was inspired by a bad purchase they made. “For me, it wasn’t so much of a terrible purchase as it was bad timing. I bought a car when I didn’t have my license yet, and due to different circumstances, I didn’t have much opportunity to drive it for a while, and then, the petrol that was left in it went bad, and it created a bunch of problems.”

The Redditor then put the whole ordeal somewhere in the back of their mind. “I believe everyone has what I’d like to refer to as a mental ‘vault,’ where all the things you really don’t want to think about or pretend don’t exist go. That whole car situation is in my vault because I may as well have burned the money, and for some reason, that day, the vault started to come ajar.”

#2

Got really into bowling, watched all the videos, practiced my form, etc.

Went and bought bowling balls for me and the gf, had them fitted and drilled, bags to carry them, bowling shoes. All in all, it came out to $1200.

We went to our local bowling alley on a Monday night and the place WAS PACKED!!

So, we start talking with people and find out the reason that its so busy is because today is the last day it is open before the building was scheduled to be demolished.

Next closest bowling alley is like 3 hours away. So we played two games with our new fancy bowling gear and it’s been sitting in my garage for 4 years now.

Image credits: lostsparrow131986

#3

Double-Fisted Cheeseburger Ruffles.

I have never returned a bag of chips before in my life *ever.*
I opened the bag walking through the parking lot and ate a chip.

The pungent taste of vomit immediately filled my senses. It stopped me dead in my step.
I did a complete about face and walked right back into the store to the returns dept.
I explained the situation and convinced the girl to try one of the chips. She spit it out.

Worst Ruffles flavor **ever.**

Image credits: ImportantComb9997

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The netizen tells Bored Panda that they experienced a lot of distress and cringe due to that unlucky car purchase. “I felt I needed to make a post, even though I didn’t share my own story,” they explained. “I thought it may be a topic most people would be able to relate to at one point or another, and seeing other people’s mishaps, while not pleasant for them, can be somewhat cathartic when you have an experience of your own.”

“But bad spends are just one thing that can go in the vault – anything can go in the vault if it’s something you need to deny the existence of to feel better,” the Redditor explains their theory.

#4

Garments that didn’t fit me but I bought them because I was going to lose weight.

Image credits: terransLoc

#5

I’d say 20 or so funny dinosaur hats when being super drunk. But then again, I unexepectedly received a package with 20 funny dinosaur caps, which was kidna awesome.

Image credits: Jeggster

#6

A Samsung fridge. Thought it was so pretty. Didn’t make enough ice, melted all over the inside of my fridge multiple times. Then I found out I was lucky because other people’s caught fire. I have a Bosch now. Much better. And I have ice more often than twice a week.

Image credits: MarlenaEvans

We chatted with u/lilsparrow18 about how buying an excessive amount of stuff is becoming more and more normalized. They say they don’t really feel affected by it, perhaps only when socializing. “Consumer culture maybe only impacts me in the sense that when I’m out with other people, I do tend to enjoy buying things more, and it is strangely part of the social experience.”

“But I’m also autistic,” the Redditor opens up. “So there are social challenges involved in that – like how many people rely on alcohol to socialize, I find it’s easier to socialize when in a stimulating environment, such as a shopping center where there are many things to look at and purchase, to fill the silence and act as a crutch of sorts. That being said, I still don’t tend to do this too much, even though I do enjoy it.”

#7

An HP printer that, if you put in the ink that CAME with the printer, it locked you into their ink subscription service so that you could not even use /legitimately purchased actual HP ink/ that was not purchased via the subscription. Which means that if you need ink but don’t want a subscription, you have to buy fake ink. But using fake ink completely invalidates the warranty, so they won’t even help you fix any future problems with your printer.

I threw it out even though it technically still worked, because I didn’t want to put another user through the b******t of trying to hack your own printer to use LEGITIMATE INK, and bought a Canon with ink tanks. No regrets.

F**k HP. I am never purchasing any of their products ever again. As far as I’m concerned they owe me $200.

Image credits: smuffleupagus

#8

A used FIAT. Big mistake.

Image credits: WheeZee65

#9

Infomercial at 2am. Brand new credit card at age 18. Ended up ordering 200+ pocketknives, two sets of samurai swords, and a large fantasy sword for a very persuasive salesman from that commercial.

Image credits: The_CDXX

u/lilsparrow18 is an Aussie, and they say that consumer culture is perhaps more of a problem in the United States. “While it’s definitely prevalent [everywhere], I think it’s known to be more culturally relevant to the US than here in Australia.”

“People from the US have a strong presence in media, including places like TikTok, and I think a lot of people would associate consumer culture with the US primarily. For me, other than maybe going out with some friends to go out shopping once in a blue moon, I don’t think it’s very relevant to me.”

#10

Well I just came back from my first backcountry ski trip with my new backcountry skis, skins, backpack, poles, transceiver.

Turns out I really really hate skinning up hill.

Image credits: MastodonPristine8986

#11

University tuition , biggest waste, should have just learnt dropshipping / ecom or something online instead of studying health sci and paying thru my a*s for it

Image credits: Rhaynier

#12

A wedding ring

Image credits: RedOktbr28

The Redditor tells us they’re not easily influenced by what they see on social or any other media. “What people put online or what may be popular at the time doesn’t really have an impact on my purchasing habits, and I tend to only buy what I want to or I feel is actually necessary, regardless of anyone else.”

“I know as far as advertisements go, they don’t seem to influence Gen Z as much as some other generations, and the autism, as I mentioned earlier, may make me especially disconnected from this sort of culture.”

#13

Probably micro transactions in video games. I’ve wasted a lot of money on games that I don’t play anymore. I really wish I could refund them all and get my money back

Image credits: Daito_Anonymous

#14

I would have to say an RV trailer we paid about $26,000 for. It still is a great trailer but if we added up all the days we stayed in it and then multiplied it by $300 (for a fancy hotel room a night) I doubt the total would be over $26,000. Plus generators, gasoline, miles per gallon, etc..

Image credits: DebianDog

#15

My first car. A ’99 Kia Sephia. I was 21 & went into the dealership alone as a young unexperienced woman. Got totally screwed on the financing but I didn’t know any better. Found broken glass all over the backseat the next morning. Alignment was all messed up. My mom went down & raised hell at the dealership. I had one issue after another with that car. I ended up suing Kia & won a settlement. Best day ever was when I got rear-ended & the car was totaled. It was a minor collision but the car was worth so little it was more cost worthy to just total it. Went & bought a Toyota. These days I drive Subarus. I will never purchase a Kia again.

For those who want to become more savvy consumers, u/lilsparrow18 advises people to do research. “I know anything regarding money is easier said than done because it takes time to change habits, but I think the most important thing is research. Whether it’s researching whether you can get the same product on special, or if it’s a larger purchase, researching the quality of the product or getting second opinions.”

#16

I paid ten grand for the full self driving module on my Tesla model 3.

#17

A Simpsons magic 8 ball. I keep it on a shelf as a reminder that I can be really stupid and not to be so wasteful.

Image credits: Potential-Tone-3628

#18

A wedding.

Getting divorced costs more, but I consider that money well spent. 

Image credits: matandola

“Also keeping any receipts on larger items and being aware of any possible warranties can save people a lot of money,” the Redditor adds. “And if someone is particularly prone to impulse buying, it may be worth reflecting on why that is and if it’s worth investigating by seeing a mental health professional as well.”

#19

I paid a whole bunch of money purchasing and training a service dog for my disabled daughter. The dog is very nice, but does not perform any of the tasks that he was trained for. The trainer had the dog full time for almost 1 year and the total cost was over $20,000. My wife wants to send him back for more training, but I’m wondering if it is just a sunk cost fallacy at this point.

Image credits: cptjaydvm

#20

Months of health insurance at $1,288 a pop that I don’t even use most of the time; just have it in case something does happen so maybe I won’t go bankrupt.

Image credits: No-Two79

#21

A piano. I couldn’t play then, and I can’t play now.

Image credits: quoththeraven1990

#22

Expensive mandatory school books that you never end up using for the entire course.

Image credits: UselesslyDiscrete

#23

Tattoos

#24

I bought a deli slicer for the house when I don’t actually buy bulk deli meats and cheeses.

Image credits: vetheros37

#25

A Treadmill. If you’ve purchased exercise equipment, you know exactly what I mean. Not only was it hella expensive, it sat there unused, collecting dust and taking up valuable real estate in the guest room. It’s a pain to move and even more of a pain to try to get rid of.

Image credits: hereforthegangbangg

#26

I accidentally over drafted at Starbucks when I was working in retail. That cost me damn near $40 for a salted caramel Frappuccino.

Image credits: Rachael1188

#27

Sea Monkeys, me and my brother saved up for weeks.

#28

Bought a $200 travel backpack to use for my trip to Japan. Unfortunately the backpack didn’t hold much space and when I was caught in the rain with it, the black colour from the zips leaked out onto the bag.

#29

Anything from Kickstarter. I’ve backed a handful of projects, half of them never delivered, the other half didn’t work like they said it would or broke right away. Stay the hell away from Kickstarter

Image credits: yazmanderfaz

#30

All around the same time all the housewives were planning their retirement around beanie babies. Had to have that plastic protector for the tags too. The 90s were f****n weird

#31

$1000 worth of arcade credits to play the same 6 claw machines for 2 hours. I only won 15 s****y plushes and gave them all to my little brother and goodwill. It was the first summer of the pandemic and I was in a manic episode after going cold turkey off my mood stabilizers. The realization later sent me into a downward spiral.

#32

I needed some bonding material added to my 2 front teeth, as they were losing enamel. The dentist talked me into adding 8 crowns (upper) instead so everything would match. He then proceeded to drill down my teeth, too much. They looked more like tooth PICKS by the time he finished drilling… 6 1/2 hours later. Then temporaries, then ‘permanent’ crowns. The crowns keep popping out, there’s not enough tooth underneath to hold the crowns. This craziness cost $15,000 plus he insisted I do ‘crown lengthening’ (miserable and unnecessary periodontal procedure) for another $2,500. The worst purchase from hell. He now has the audacity to act like he’s doing me a favor when I return to have him recement these crowns.

#33

Purchasing c**p versions of items and then having to go and buy the expensive version eventually. Done it on loads of items l.

Image credits: Difficult-Set-3151

#34

My daughter’s favorite stuffed animal when she was about 18 months was a Garcia bear beanie baby that we bought for her when they were new and before the whole collectability thing kicked off. It was always kind of fun seeing the look of horror by the serious collectors who recognized it while she was happily sucking on its ear or nose in her stroller

Image credits: NightGod

#35

Some dumbbells that I ended up never using.

Image credits: Vinny_Lam

#36

Yeahhhhh subscription on tinder (gold), I am one of those fools.

#37

A $90,000 pontoon boat that we only use about 5 times a year.

#38

Beats headphones. And this is coming from someone who also bought a ZUNE!

#39

A Kirby vacuum. It hurts me to even remember.

#40

Zune. The bloody thing cost me twice because I couldn’t sell it and I replaced it with an iPod classic

Image credits: Ulfgeirr88

#41

Beats Solo 3. Certified POS within 1st year, with part of the band separating and then soon after that, one side’s speakers c****ed out. Wish I had read the reviews and teardowns, which revealed a cheap build…including metal weight pieces added to give it “heft,” supposedly equating it with quality.

#42

A timeshare.

#43

A Chevy HHR

Image credits: EmbarrassedBook6122

#44

Shake weight is most useless purchase I made. I lost a lot of money on the stock market as well

#45

Fjallraven Kanken were very popular in my school and I begged my dad for one on bday. So he spent $120 on original, waterproof Kanken backpack just for me. It got dirty extremely quickly and it couldn’t be cleaned. Not worth it. I have it for 3 years and it looks worse than my $25 school backpack that I used for over 4 years.

#46

An oralb io series 9 electric toothbrush, I didn’t like it and wasted 299$ on it, sold it for 100$, never again

#47

Condo in April 2006. Happy wife happy life is not always true. Still dealing with that POS condo.

#48

I still remember one of my aunts gifting me a beanie baby for Christmas or my birthday or something and I immediately pulled the tag off, I thought she was going to have a stroke after.

#49

Bought a custom cargo trailer; baths/showers are hard to find for a cargo setting (race type) trailer. It was $40k built, 18.5 x 24 with a 96 interior height; took 6 months for delivery and it was an absolute piece of s**t as I discovered more issues every time I used it, and still am. I’ve had to rebuild several areas. I couldn’t sell it for $30k 2 years later. Absolutely do not use Reknown in PA for your cargo trailer needs.

#50

Back when Diablo 3 was coming out, Blizzard did a cross-promotional thing where you could basically commit to paying for WoW for a year, and you’d get D3 for free. They didn’t ask for the whole year up front, you just locked your account in so that you couldn’t cancel the sub for a year. I stupidly thought, “Well, I’m playing WoW obsessively, I don’t see myself not playing this for the next year, this is a great deal!”

By month 2, I think I was already losing steam on continuing to play WoW. Month 3, I logged in maybe 2-3 times a week, played for an hour, and logged off. I think month 4, I logged in once just to be able to say that I had technically gotten my money’s worth and paid for D3 with the subscription. Then I paid for WoW for 8 months without opening it.

So if I really break down the math on it, I paid $135 for the standard edition of Diablo 3 and a fancy mount.

Image credits: Locclo

#51

Had always been very conservative about investing. Didn’t trust the stock market. Earned a good bit of money and friends and family convinced me to invest in real estate. Bought a condo in a resort (not a time share) that had done very well over the years. Heavily rented out and good appreciation. Also we used it for our vacation a few times a year. That was 2006. We all know what happened two years later. Place depreciated and people stopped vacationing for a couple years. Oh, and I was laid off. Just had to walk away from it, since we had to use our savings to hang on to our home and pay normal bills. If I’d done the same thing at any other point in my life we’d have done well. I happened to do it at the worst possible time.

#52

Sony led TV. Broke and unrepairable about a month after the warranty expired, with very little use.

#53

The HD-DVD player for the Xbox 360. Yeah…

#54

A blu ray drive for my Macintosh. Turns out Apple provides exactly zero MacOS support for blu ray so if I want to actually use the drive I’ll have to purchase a separate program to play them. (And there will be some discs that just won’t play)

#55

We came into a small inheritance and a friend sold us in a $4,000 “discount card” MLM, that never worked anywhere.

#56

Ecco shoes. F**k you Ecco!

#57

In my 30s, I decided to buy a brand new Peugeot. I’d had a few dud cars and wanted something trouble free. Utter fail.

The first thing that went wrong was the engine chipset. Faulty. Replaced. Then months of things not working, leaking, knocking.

I found out that car owners could do very little if sold a dud. Eventually I got so annoyed I looked on the Peugeot website, found all the email addresses I could, and put them as ‘To’ and sent a message with ‘unhappy customer’ as the subject heading.

I listed everything that had gone wrong and demanded they fixed everything once and for all.

Got an appointment. When I drove in, there were some very annoyed people. Everything got fixed for free.

Still had a faulty life.

#58

Bought a used 2011 Yukon Denali right before a long moving trip. The transmission fell apart halfway through on the side of a road in PA.

#59

Come with me back to a golden age, the age of: Pogs.

Young me saved, then paid, $199.95 at the height of pogmania for an investment grade signed limited edition cardboard sheet of un-punched-out and pristine gold leafed pogs. *Each* was hand-signed in gold ink by (hold on to yourselves) the man, the myth, the legend… Kyle “Poggy” McMalister, the undisputed best pogger in the known Universe and a name that will be remembered down through the ages ^(he doesn’t even show up in Google now, I think he’s in jail)

Within 2 brief years my investment had catapulted in value to $1.95 and a half-eaten ham sandwich.

#60

An oculus quest 2. The $399 version. I was so excited to try it but it was always too tight or too loose. I tried adjusting it every which way. It either pulls on my skin or gives me a headache.
Source: boredpanda.com

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