15 Things You Should Never Waste Your Money On, But Probably Will Anyway

It's so easy to fall prey to clever marketing tactics and waste money on products that aren't worth it. In an online discussion, people shared the things they believe to be the biggest scam products on the market that people still purchase.

1. Streaming Platforms

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Streaming platforms might seem like a great way to keep yourself entertained, but those monthly fees can add up if you're subscribed to multiple platforms. One man shared, “I feel like streaming platforms are starting to swing into scam territory by baiting everyone into joining with no ads and a low price. Then, raise the prices and bring back ads.” 

2. Timeshares

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The concept of timeshares is really appealing, but the reality is that timeshares are often a money sink. One man said, “Time shares. So much so that there are now standalone companies devoted to freeing people from timeshare contracts.” 

3. Alkaline Water

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Alkaline water is advertised as being healthier than regular water, but there isn't any specific evidence to back up those claims. Plus, they're much more expensive. Someone said, “Alkaline water. I saw an Instagram post the other day recommending mixing alkaline water with vinegar to remove the taste.” 

4. College Textbooks

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College textbooks are a significant expense college students should avoid if possible. Many are only used for a single semester and can cost hundreds of dollars for each. Someone complained, “Frankly, the entire college textbook industry is a huge scam. You are telling me Calculus I has changed enough in the last 30 years to account for a new $100 book every year?”

5. Chiropractors

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While some people swear by chiropractors for treating chronic pain or other issues, chiropractic treatments aren't actually that effective. One man shared, “Chiropractors. Go to a physical therapist; they can help you with your physical pain with the added benefit of a medical degree.”

6. Flushable Wipes

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 Flushable wipes are not actually flushable, despite what the packaging might say, and can end up causing clogs and backups in your pipes. One man said, “Flushable wipes! They're not really flushable. Spend the money on a bidet and never look back.” 

7. Cinema Popcorn

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The markup on cinema popcorn is so astronomical that you should avoid it if you're trying to save money. One man commented, “I'm sure I read once that pre-made cinema popcorn has one of the biggest price markups of any product in the world. They buy massive sacks that cost pennies and then charge a fortune for it.” 

8. Home Appliance Warranty

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While home appliance warranties might seem like a good idea, they're often unnecessary. Plus, you might already be covered by your homeowner's policy. Someone said, “Home warranty insurance on appliances. You spend upwards of $1-2k a year so that you don't have to buy a new $800 washer or $1200 fridge outright if they go out. Just put the payment away for an appliance fund.” 

9. Insurances 

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Why are so many insurance policies covering different parts of your body? One woman said, “Paying for 3 different insurances, health, vision, and dental, when last time I checked, the last two are part of your body and therefore should fall under one: health insurance.” 

10. Bottled Water

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Bottled water is a waste of money, especially if you have a water filter. Plus, all those plastic bottles can have a severe negative environmental impact. Someone said, “Bottled water. I have relatives who come to visit and only think bottled water even though our tap water is perfectly fine to drink, and we have a Brita pitcher.” 

11. Women's Versions of Products

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Women's versions of products are often more expensive than their male counterparts, even if they're essentially the same product. One woman remarked, “For women, almost any product with a different “Women's” version, that is only different because it is pink. This is actually called “the pink tax,” because these products are nearly always more expensive than the men's version.” 

12. Detox Products

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Your body already has a built-in detox system. While detox products might be marketed as a way to cleanse your body, there's no evidence they actually help. Someone shared, “Any detox stuff. That's what your kidneys and liver are for. If your body isn't getting rid of toxins properly, you need a doctor, not a teabag.” 

13. Nitrogen In Car Tires

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You might be tempted to spend money on nitrogen in car tires, but it's really not necessary. While it might improve your gas mileage slightly, the difference is often negligible. One man said, “Car dealerships. $200 upcharge on a brand new car for nitrogen in the tires? They have no shame.” 

14. Products Recommended By Influencers

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Influencers are constantly promoting different products to their audience. However, influencers are often paid to promote specific products and might not actually use or believe in the products themselves. Someone said, “Influencers on social media. Many promote a product for the money and then don't mention the item ever again. Some even backtrack months/years later, stating they don't like the product, yet still promote it to young people on limited budgets.” 

15. Dryer Balls

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While they might seem like a great way to reduce static and speed up drying time, the reality is that they're often not very effective. One man stated, “Dryer balls. Popular Mechanics, for example, experimented on the efficacy of them and found no beneficial effects.” 


This post was inspired by this thread.


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She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.

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