Things We Burn Money On

Things We Burn Money On

As food prices soar and pain at the pump grows to an unbearable level, it's a perfect time to look at the money wasters in our life. So for the second time, we asked our readers what they think are the top ways to waste money.
Click through our gallery and see if you agree with this list that we pulled from our message board. Are there worse ways you waste your money?

Getting Fake Nails

AOL User Chillinhuff4 Says:

"Although I love the girly look, each year maintaining fake nails costs between $500-600 dollars. And if you factor in the time spent sitting in the salon just waiting for the next nail tech, the cost goes through the roof. Take care of the nails God gave you and recoup an hour every two weeks plus ($500) each year."

Over-Packaged Items

AOL User Elo324 Says:
"Examples that really bug me are individually-wrapped things, such as cheese. I buy sliced cheese and am perfectly capable of using one slice at a time without extra pieces of plastic to help me figure out how many slices I am using. Quite a few things come in boxes that seem to be almost twice the size of the item ... It also seems like the smaller the item, the greater the chance it will get more packaging to make it look like you are getting more for your money."

Organic Produce

AOL User PMompattyG Says:

"I've tried buying more organic produce lately only to have it spoil in a couple of days. Berries especially seem to go bad really quickly. And I often buy what my kids are really eating a bunch of, only to have them decide this week they aren't interested in apples or oranges or whatever. By the time I find them in the crisper they are green and fuzzy or brown and oozy."

Disposable Diapers

AOL User Cynthia2V Says:

"Without a doubt, disposable diapers are a big waste of money, not to say adding to the landfill problem."

Using 'Super' in Your Tank


"Why waste money on higher priced gas? It has no effect on the efficiency of your engine."

Energy Drinks

AOL User farenc Says:
"Rockstar, Red Bull, Monster ... and so many more. Maybe if people would get off the Internet, stop text messaging incessantly, and go to bed at a decent time of the night, they wouldn't need energy drinks every day to keep them going, which then end up keeping them awake late into the night yet again and causing a vicious cycle. Not to mention the high levels of caffeine are addictive, so people get completely hooked. I know many people who drink 2-3 energy drinks a day at $2-3 each. That's $4-9 a day."

Plastic Cups


"Just use a glass. Why pay for a cup everytime you drink at home? And adding to our land fills??"

Junk Food

AOL User Saw0629 Says:

"I have spent a lot of money on candy, ice cream and cookies. Stuff like that costs a fortune! Not to mention what has happened to my waistline."

Disposable Cleaning Supplies

AOL User Kattheclosetstar Says:

"Disposable scrubbers, dusters and wipes are the most wasteful items in the store. Swiffer anything, throwaway toilet scrubbers and pop-up wipes are waste in its purest form. Reusable scrubbers, brushes, mops and rags are far more economical and environmentally friendly."

AOL User Fluriach Adds:
"You are buying your trash and it's expensive!"

Playing the Lottery

AOL User Dbublitz16 Says:

"I cringe when I see elderly people who are cashing their (Social Security) checks then buying their lotto tickets ... I work in a grocery store ... (and see) lonely housewives spending over $50 a day on scratchers and lotto numbers so they can talk to the gals at the service desk about their day/lives/husbands ... I can't see spending hundreds of dollars a month or a week, just to get thrilled over winning $25-50 ..."

The Wedding Industry

AOL User DustinB23 Says:
"They are making huge money on things like veils. I made my daughter's veil excactly like the veil at the bridal shop that was going to cost us $200. It cost me $7 for some tulle and a couple of combs, and the one I made was actually better made and more finished looking. It took me 45 minutes to do it ... Also (there is) huge money in weddings in general and they only last a few hours ... Keep in mind it is a party that is over in a few hours and you are left with a huge bill to pay."

Convenience Store Drinks

AOL User Eglehawk3 Says:

"Buying bottled drinks at the convenience store is the biggest waste of money and adds up fast, if you do it daily!"


AOL User Scottx001 Says:

"No need. Go natural."

Strip Clubs

AOL User HarmoniiMusic Says:

"(It costs) 16 bucks to get in, 'X' dollars for each performer and then 35 bucks for a lap dance. If you treat a friend, for no special occassion, it's definately a waste of money. Plus they tried charging $4 for a bottle water."

Four-Year Universities

AOL User Phorgan80 Says:

"Why not go to a local two-year college for the first two years? Most two-year colleges have 2+2 programs with most universities. Save yourself 17-20 thousand dollars."

Designer Skincare

AOL User Kashgolf Says:

"The best way to take care of your skin is vitamins, water, sleep, genetics and sunblock. Spending hundreds of dollars on skincare is a waste."

Extended Warranties

AOL User Knnz83 Says:

"It's a waste of money to purchase an extended warranty for small inexpensive items such as radios, DVD players, vacuums, etc. The manufacturer's warranty is sufficient. Retailers and dealers will always offer extended warranties -- but they are not always necessary."

Brand Names

AOL User Sapkovski Says:
"We constantly purchase brand names, and I don't mean clothing. Food and medications, just to mention a few. Food brands add marketing and advertising costs just like the big pharmaceuticals. Is Kraft, Goya or Campbell's so much better than supermarket brands? Is Bayer or Advil so much better than "I-don't-know-this-brand" aspirin and ibuprofen. Sometimes it is, but very rarely. Marketing and advertising don't make products taste or work better they just add to the final price of a product."

Luxury Hotels

AOL User DeeFarina Says:

"Unless you are going to spend 24 hours in your room, why would anyone want to spend $200-$300 a night to sleep?"

Driving a Gas Guzzler

AOL User rehsif120 Says:

"Buying an SUV or other large vehicle is the biggest waste of money and it will get even worse as oil prices inevitably will keep rising."

Turn Extra Cash Into a Million Bucks

If you're 30 years old, you need to set aside $448 per month for next 35 years to become a millionaire -- if you earn a reasonable 8% annualized return in a retirement account. Don’t have $448 to spare -- or even $248? Maybe you do and don't realize it.


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