Are Americans known for squandering money on frivolous purchases? In a widely discussed online forum, a user raised the question, “What are the most foolish things Americans overspend on?” We’ve contributed our input with 11 of the most noteworthy responses.
“Americans consistently spend more than they can afford on their vehicles. It’s far less expensive to keep an older vehicle on the road by occasionally having to put some money into repairs than it is to be saddled with a huge car payment,” one person writes.
I recently interviewed a wedding company that offers short, smaller ceremonies for $4,000 and $6,000 instead of the $30,000 celebrations popularized by the media. Still, $4,000 is a decent amount of money for a one-time celebration, especially given the cost of living today.
3. Brand Name Items
Another product the internet believes Americans overspend on are brand named products. “Americans often pay a premium for brand name products when cheaper, generic alternatives are available. While brand name products may have some advantages, such as better quality, consumers should consider whether the price difference is worth it,” a spendthrift says.
Does anyone hit the local coffee shop daily for a mediocre $5 cup of Joe? Even if the coffee is award-winning, it is more budget-friendly to make your own.
5. Saving Money
An interesting take claims Americans spend too much on trying to save money. Here’s an example.
“People will buy an oil pan, jack stands, jack, socket set, literally $150 worth of materials to change their own oil, save $35 bucks on one change, and quit after the second change, and get it done at Walmart, or wherever. Eighty bucks wasted,” a user explains.
A few times a year, phone companies release new iterations of their products. The companies push the latest phones, suggesting each novel release is an unbeatable purchase, even if the telephone slightly differs from the original. My friend bought the most recent iPhone 14 Pro Max, and she despises the camera, while my friend who owns an iPhone 12 is perfectly content.
7. Food Delivery
A few people voice their exasperation toward food delivery service, claiming it caters bland food to lazy people who don’t want to cook. With a delivery fee, a tip, and a service fee, you end up overpaying for the same food you can cook at home. If you aren’t a cook, you save money by dining in.
According to many, forking extra dollars over for Kobe or lean beef is worthless, considering the fat gets cooked off the meat. As a vegetarian, I don’t know if Kobe or lean beef tastes better, but I have a friend who swears they taste the same.
9. Health Care
An enraged contributor shares their disgust for the outrageous health care price in America when the homeless population is so high. Someone else agreed, saying that America having enough money for war but not enough for free healthcare doesn’t make sense.
Many commentators on this thread believe Americans grossly overspend on the December 25th holiday, otherwise known as Christmas.
One respondent articulates, “Christmas is a gigantic festival of retail excess. Yet, Christmas is a much smaller affair in much of the world and more of a family and religious event. And for many Christians, Easter is more important.”
11. Private College Education
I know several people who attended a private college and racked up over $200,000 in debt who can’t find jobs. I know others who enrolled in public colleges and got jobs right out of school without adding debt to their resumes. Some people don’t attend college yet make six figures out of high school.
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