6 Things We Shouldn’t Spend Much Money On

1. Chapstick: In my 23+ years of life, never have I (or anyone I know for that matter) ever managed to completely finish a stick of lip balm. It’s absurd to splurge on the expensive balm brands (e.g. Burt’s Bees), when the chances of one actually lasting though its entirety is rather implausible. In all likelihood the chapstick will end up being accidentally washed and dried, slip out of your pocket/purse at some point or vanish into the mysterious, baffling abyss that seems to claim the existence of most chapped lip prevention products. Buy the ones that are a buck a piece — they’ll prevent dry, crusty lips and when you inevitably lose it, you won’t feel so bad.

2. Sunglasses: I NEVER purchase sunglasses; you know what I prefer to do? When I attend a sporting event or a show of some sort, I find the Lost & Found section, declare that I have misplaced some black shades (Ray-Ban’s if they ask for specifics) and nice times out of ten, they have some there for me to unjustly claim as my own. Look, of course Gucci, Vercase, Oakley and all of those other designer shade makers craft plenty of fantastic looking protective eyewear, but are they really worth breaking the bank over a brand name? They are just as fragile and easy to misplace as the pair of $9 shades at the gas station. If you want to impress folks by being able to display a well known brand’s logo, then by all means, splurge. For those of you who constantly lose and/or break small objects, I’d recommend that you don’t squander too many greenbacks on a pair of shades that are destined to be broken or lost, and wrongfully claimed by conscienceless individuals like myself.

3. Flash drives: It’s important to be cautious with what kind of material you save to your flash drive, because these tiny data holders are rather elusive to say the least. The only reason to invest a higher amount on a flash drive is because of capacity. Sometimes 4GB just won’t cut it, so you’ve got to go the larger, more expensive route; that’s perfectly alright. Just keep in mind that there is a high risk that comes with these gizmos and unless you have it hooked snugly on your lanyard, be very careful what you spend on and where you place your personal/confidential information yielding devices.

4. Socks: First of all, they are worn on a sweaty, odorous part of the body that’s typically covered by sneakers and rarely visible. Secondly, they all end up getting holes in them after a solid amount of wear and tear, regardless of their supposed quality. Not to mention the all but proven fact that there is a pesky sock monster in every dryer. In a vicious cycle, he crusades around, hell-bent on consuming your foot garments with no consideration or compassion. Consider how often you can only find one sock in a specific pair or you’ve noticed multiple pairs of socks vanish erratically? You can wash socks and dry them with caution but typically your sock drawer will be full of miss-matched and holey foot attire.

5. Headphones: If there is one specific circumstance in which frugalness is recommended, it has got to be the moment in which one buys headphones. There are legitimate models that provide specific features such as noise cancellation, higher sound quality and things of that nature, but there’s still something unavoidable that happens sooner or later with every pair of earphones. One glorious day, you’ll be having a jam session, when suddenly you’ll duly note that moving the headphone chord in a very specific manner causes the sound in one of the speakers to go out. Once this dreaded instance occurs, the headphones capabilities will continue to deteriorate rapidly, until eventually you’re forced to move or hold the chord in a very specific manner to muster any type of sound out of these overpriced, poorly made, hearing mechanism.

6. Lottery/Scratch Tickets: Just to give you an idea how awful of an investment the lottery is, here are a few things you have better odds of than winning it:

  1. Dying from parts falling off of an airplane
  2. Dying in an airline related terrorist attack.
  3. Dying via an asteroid.
  4. Winning an Academy Award.
  5. Meeting death by a vending machine.

Look, you get the picture; devoting too much of your budget to a game with slim chances of a positive outcome isn’t the most brilliant concept. Scratchers offer better (still low) chances of winning, but the amount of money is significantly less. TC mark

image – Shutterstock

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  • http://twitter.com/emilcDC Emil Caillaux

    As someone who has rapidly deteriorating eyesight, I must say that having good UVA/UVB protection can be critical and sadly (VERY sadly) the $9 gas-station sunglasses simply won’t do.


    I make a point to finish every pot/stick/tube of lip balm I buy…..but I know that’s just me, and my obsession with having lips that tasted like “minted rose”.

  • Emma

    Smartwool socks changed my life.

  • DW

    Disagree with headphones, as a musician, I get far more enjoyment out of music from quality headphones. Take care of them and they’ll last a LONG time.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a tip regarding the lip balm debacle: 

    I can’t skimp on lip balm, so I buy several multi-packs of Burt’s Bees.  I place the tubes in various spots in the house and around the office.  One on my nightstand, one on the coffee table, one in my Kaboodle, one in my coat pocket, one in my desk drawer, one in my purse, and one in a special hiding place in my purse, in case of emergency.

    I never remove a tube from it’s assigned location. 

    I run out of lip balm. 

    I never lose lip balm.  

    I love lip balm.

    • Michaelwg

      Please tell me what a “Kaboodle” is before my imagination runs wild?

      • LP

        it’s a container to organize your cosmetics :)

      • Kelly Burgess

        From 1996.

  • Ahartman102

    i am a little bit embarrassed to say i’m extremely guilty of numbers 1-5. so far, my expensive headphones haven’t failed me, although i did see one of my kittens dragging them around by the cord this morning. and i never regret a lip balm purchase because i actually love finding them 6 months later rolling around the trunk of my car, it’s like christmas :-)

  • hihi

    thats why i steal my all my chapstick.

    • Ariel

      I guess we’ve discovered where everyone else’s chapstick is.

    • concerned

      heard of herpes?

  • Michaelwg

    here we have my $249 Maui Jim sunglasses, and over here we have poverty stricken starving children.
    I am a horrible person.

    • J

      ooo! Which ones do you have? Looking at the price point, is it a glass lens with plastic frame?

  • Mike

    Will have to disagree with headphones. People actually don’t spend enough on their headphones. Get a quality pair, with a replaceable cord, and the difference in music quality with surely reward any misgivings you had.

    • Guest

      Or more to the point, I bet a fair amount of people don’t give a shit about the difference in quality. I have plenty of snobby things to say about those people, but I’ll just leave it at that.

  • Kennedy

    Not ashamed to wear burt’s bees, raybans, and beats headphones… but my headphone cord is replaceable, so I guess that’s something?

    • die

      thought catalog

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

    Quality headphones are actually worth it for a better listening experience.

  • elle

    I go through chapstick at an alarming pace. It’s not that I lose it, I actually use it up to the bottom. Does that make me atypical?

  • Guestie

    You can NEVER buy too many pairs of sunglasses.

    • Guestropod

      I buy lots of identical glasses on eBay so I can lose them all the time

  • Nunu

    It makes the lip balm snob in me sad that anyone could consider Burt’s Bees as premium lip balm.  Try Hurraw or Crazy Rumours, those are about 12 levels of lip balm above Burt’s Bees.  The thought that anyone could use Chapstick or Blistexx brands makes me sad, kind of like watching KONY2012.

    • Guest

      You are the worst.

    • J

      I ‘m gonna agree with you. Try Jack Black if you’re looking for premium. Also, brands like Carmex, Chapstick and Blistexx (and this is the esthetician in me screaming) all have petroleum jelly in it. Although it may seem moisturizing, what happens really, is the more you use it, the more addicted to it you become. Petroleum jelly actually dries out your lips after what seems like a burst of moisture on your lips. It basically does the same thing to your lips that Head and Shoulders does for your scalp. It seems like it works till your lips dry, and by then, you are constantly needing to put Chapstick on. So in the long run, your lips are more dry due to the jelly. 

      And… As for the sunglasses, I am a sunglass snob. You’re making me scream when you’ve compared Gucci and Versace to Raybans and Oakleys. The lens and frame quality is SO different. People buy Gucci and Versace thinking because they are designer, they are high quality. All the brands are made by the same company called Luxottica. Only difference between the designer and Qakley is that Oakley is actually for people that lead an active lifestyle. The have a patented formula to making lenses. Their lenses are ballistically US grade approved. That is why our soldiers wear them. The price value of designer sunglasses is based solely on the fact that they are designer and people are paying for packaging. Once you’ve used a pair of quality glass like Maui Jims or a polarized Oakley, I can guarantee you will 1. pay extra attention to not loose or break your glasses and 2. $9 glasses will become a joke because the lens quality will hurt and distort your vision. 


    Oregon lottery builds public parks, seems like a pretty good return on investment.

    • Anonymous

      Shine on, Oregon.

  • Guest

    I keep my flash drive and my lovely burts bees chapstick in the same location–my pencil case! So I never lose either (at least, I haven’t yet… Though if I lost my pencil case I’m in quite a jam)

  • Erin

    I bought my jump drive at Swarovski. Is this a sign that I have a problem

  • guest

    Sorry I don’t normally do this, but I couldn’t resist.  With all respect:

    chord = musical term when two or more notes are played simultaneously
    cord = what you plug into things (what you meant to write!) 

    But yeah, I have had many headphones and there has ALWAYS come a time when one ear goes out…

  • Guest

    Good stuff.

  • Shalyssa Hung

    Excuse me my name is Shalyssa and I’ve gone through about 4 to 5 chapsticks. I highly disagree with #1. And I still think we need to buy socks because we still need to wear them everyday.

  • Anonymous

    I will have to disagree with the sunglasses and headphones. used to get cheap stuff and one day, after loosing my tenth pair for the year, decided to splurge on a pair of Oakleys. Three years later and I still have them and by far the best investment I made.

    Headphones as well, got a pair of Klipsch S4’s and cannot go back to anything base that comes with a phone or mp3 player anymore. while there is a difference in spending too much, you do get what you pay for and just because it’s more expensive you do take better care of it.

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