1. Bottle service at a club.
Whenever that waitress wearing a sports bra and eskimo boots drags herself over to a table of business bros, carrying three bottles of Ciroq with illegal firecrackers poking out of the top, I just let out an enormous sigh. She now has to provide a dizzying array of juices to the tittering group of Scott Disicks until they are done torturing her, and we all have to watch as they hold up their ostentatiously mediocre vodka and choose the girls to come behind the velvet rope and get groped for the pleasure of sharing in their spoils.
If it’s your birthday, or some kind of a celebration, and you’re getting some champagne or whatever, have at it. But if your requisite for going to the lounge is paying 200 dollars for a bottle of vodka that costs 25 in the store, just don’t. Why would you want to be that bro, truly?
2. Cover charge to a regular bar.
I love it when the dive bar on the corner starts thinking it can charge a 10-dollar cover just because it’s Thursday and they have a 20-square foot dance floor that exclusively plays variants of Pitbull. It thinks it’s people! So cute!
3. Expensive-yet-trendy clothes.
I am all about investing in a nice trench coat, or some good leather boots, or the little black dress that is finely tailored and going to stand the test of time. But how are you going to go out there and drop 300 dollars on something that is clearly going to be out of style in no more than six months? Why would you want to invest in a pair of studded platform sneakers that you can easily find at the disposable, single-use prices of a Forever 21? Trendy shit was meant to be ephemeral, don’t put your hard-earned dollars into the sartorial equivalent of Beanie Babies.
4. Skin care products that you haven’t tested.
Get thyself a sample from Sephora. They will give them. Test it out for a few days, see how it works, see if it turns your face into the grease trap left over at the end of an all-night shift at Wendy’s. See if it dries you into something that resembles a peeling Italian fresco. Get to know your expensive skin care products, and then make your educated purchase. Because there is no more stinging a financial pain than being left with a tube of lotion you paid 60 dollars for which leaves your complexion more unfortunate than when you started. There just isn’t.
5. Sponsored Tweets or Facebook posts.
I have actually seen real humans that aren’t even tone-deaf corporations who are paying real-life dollars to boost their Tweets about toothpaste and Hot Pockets and whatnot. Like, can I take over these people’s money management? Because I will diversify the hell out of their portfolio, and not a single dime will be going into sponsored Facebook posts. That is the Chelsea Financial guarantee.
6. Constant bottled water.
I’ll be honest, I get a lot of sparkling water, but as soon as I move I’m getting one of those machines that lets you make your own carbonated drinks. Because you can just hear the sound of the earth shriveling up in pain when you get a new plastic bottle for every single time you want some water. Do you really need your water to be Fijian? Do you, though? I know you don’t. Just get one bottle, and then fill that shit up with tap water, so people will think you’re classy, but you’re really just savvy and eco-friendly. Live the Fiji Water lie. Live it.
7. Clothes that do not fit you.
You’re like, “Haha, I’ll buy this adorable shirt that is two sizes too small for me because then I’ll lose a bunch of weight and it will be my reward! What could possibly go wrong?” And then cut to two years later when it has been torturing you in your closet ever since and you give it away in a fit of rage, like “THIS STUPID FUCKING SHIRT IS BODY-SHAMING ME AND I CAN’T LIVE UP TO ITS RIDICULOUS STANDARDS.”
8. Television shows and movies.
JUST KIDDING. Downloading is for terrible, awful, selfish, politically questionable quasi-humans. Even if you attempt, by all legal means, to find an easily-accessible copy of said media and are left with no option but buying the incredibly expensive DVD box set — and don’t even own a DVD player — don’t you dare download. Would you steal a car? Would you steal a purse? Would you steal a growing baby from the belly of an innocent woman?! THEN DON’T YOU DARE STEAL GAME OF THRONES. IT IS THE EXACT SAME THING, AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT.
9. Airline tickets when you have barely looked for competitive prices.
Gather round, kids, because it is fuckin story time.
I recently purchased a one-way ticket from Paris to New York city for my big move in September. It was within the two-month-before-flight-day time frame where you are pretty much guaranteed to get soul-sucking price options, but I didn’t have the choice. I was prepared to pay out the nose to suffer between two sweaty businessmen all the way from CDG to JFK. After browsing one or two price-comparison sites, I found what I had imagined to be the best option, and steeled myself to watch my wallet wither and die. But then this tiny voice whispered in my ear, like the little tree fairy from Fern Gully telling me how to heal the forest, “No, Chelsea, check one more site.” And voilà, as if by magic, a ticket for half the price with an airline I have taken and loved several times before.
The moral of this story is that, if you are not prepared to invest at least a solid hour in your plane ticket-search, you deserve to pay 500 dollars too much to get lackluster treatment on United Airlines all the way to your destination. (No hate, United, but you guys are so fuckin lackluster.)
10. Anything purchased on a credit card you can’t pay off.
Whatever you buy, no matter how inexcusably bougie or terribly thought-out, do not put that shit on a credit card that you don’t have the means to pay off. There is no point at which you can just be like, “Hey, so what if I don’t know when I’m going to have 1,000 bucks just floating around my checking account again? It’s time I buy this couch I don’t need.” Take it from the person who only recently settled with Bank of America on the credit card she took out when she was 18 and went on a peyote trip of a spending spree with until she was twice as deep in interest as she was in actual charges, that shit is not even slightly worth it. Credit cards are for responsible people with actual money, and if you’re not one of them, stay the hell away.