5 Expensive Things That Are Not Worth the Money

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Some expensive things in life are worth the money and some aren’t. Here are 5 that aren’t worth the money and suitable replacements to help you save.

There are many expensive things in life that are worth the cost. It may be nice dinners out, going on a vacation each year, or your CrossFit gym membership. We all have different situations and we all value things differently. However, there are some expensive things that are just not worth the money.

When deciding how to spend your money and where to save, it’s important to know where you may be overspending when you don’t need to. If you need to save money but don’t think it’s possible, you often just need to take a serious look at where you may be overpaying for certain items.

If that describes you, here are five expensive things that are not worth the money and possible alternatives that can provide quality without the high price tag.

High-End Makeup


It’s not uncommon for me to see friends or YouTube makeup gurus spend hundreds of dollars on makeup. Sometimes, a tiny bottle of some special powder or eyeliner can cost $30 or more – which is a big waste of money.

I admit that I’m not passionate about makeup so this could be a personal preference. However, I think makeup that you buy at a drugstore can be just as good as the high-end versions.

There are even numerous YouTube videos that describe drugstore makeup products that are “dupes” (duplicates of high-end products).

Again, I don’t spend a lot of money on my hair or makeup. However, even if I had more discretionary income, I don’t think I would spend it unnecessarily on overpriced designer makeup products.

Drugstore mascara works great for me and is an easy way to save money each month. You can even find great makeup bargains on Amazon without spending too much.

cable tv


Many may not view their monthly cable bill as overly expensive but if you struggle to make ends meet, it’s a waste of money you can easily eliminate.

The average cable bill continues to creep up and is over $110 per month. You may think it’s impossible to live without your favorite shows or that you need to have cable to catch them. Thanks to growth in cable TV alternatives, there are many options that let you cut the cord and save lots of money.

Here are some of the most popular alternatives to cable that help you save money every month:

Hulu with Live TV: Hulu Live is a newer offering by Hulu to offer livestreaming services. Their plan starts at $54.99 per month for 60+ channels. Many people have tried or know about the legacy Hulu offering and the live offering brings the same value.

PhiloPhilo is one of the newer streaming platforms, with their base plan coming in at just $16 per month. You get 40 channels with the base package, including popular channels like Lifetime, Hallmark Channel, AMC and more. Their top tier plan is just $4 more, for an additional nine channels.

You can check out our Philo TV review for a full breakdown of the service.

Sling TVSling TV is more established than DirecTV Now and is offered by the other satellite giant – Dish TV. Sling TV starts at $25 per month for 25 channels and offers a cloud-based DVR.

You can check out our Sling TV review for a full breakdown of the service.

These three options scratch the surface of what’s available to cut the cord and still watch all your favorite shows. Here are the best alternatives to cable TV that will let you save money.

New Cars


This one shouldn’t come as a shock, but buying a brand new car is not worth the money. When you drive the car off the lot, it instantly depreciates.

If you are independently wealthy and you just want to have a new car, then it’s a luxury item you’re choosing to own. However, cars are not investments. They go down in value. So it makes no sense to pay top dollar for something that won’t give you a good return.

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Instead, try to buy a car that’s a few years old. You can even purchase a car that’s six months or one year old. There are many people who buy cars, realize it’s a mistake, and then sell them at a loss.

You can often buy those cars at a great discount. You can also buy a car with cash to avoid taking out a loan and spending more money for the car.

I just recently bought a new-t0-me car after my husband got into a bad car accident. We were able to purchase a used 2013 model for $1,000 under the Kelly Blue Book value.

That means that I could sell it in a private sale today and probably make a profit. To me, that’s a far better choice than losing money on the first day I own a car.

The iPhone X


Just recently, someone told me their 10 and 8-year-old nephews were proud owners of the iPhone X. It’s not that I have something seriously against this version of the iPhone. It’s just that I think buying any brand-new model of something that’s constantly updated is a waste.

I use my iPhone for work and personal use all day long just like most of you. However, I bought a refurbished iPhone 6 from Apple and I paid for it in cash. It works great and I saved a ton of money by purchasing a refurbished phone instead of a brand-new model.

Another money-saving option is to purchase used smartphones from a website like Gazelle, which guarantees all their used phones go through an extensive inspection (you can also sell an old phone to them if you want to make extra money).

Some expensive things in life are worth the money and some aren’t. Here are 5 that aren’t worth the money and suitable replacements to help you save.

Designer Glasses or Sunglasses


My husband and I both just ordered sunglasses off of Amazon. They aren’t a fancy name brand and they don’t have logos emblazoned on them. Do they block out the sun, though? Absolutely.

I definitely see a value in many name brands. For example, I buy clothes from certain brands that are much better quality and last longer. However, when it comes to something like a pair of glasses, there are so many great alternatives to name brands.

Amazon is an option but you can also buy affordable prescription glasses at places like Warby Parker or Zenni Optical for a fraction of the price.

Cutting expensive things from your budget isn’t always easy. But if you’re trying to save money each month or pay down debt, start with some of the areas we discussed. There are plenty of alternatives that won’t make you feel deprived and your wallet will thank you.


What are some expensive things you can’t live without? What are some other expensive things that are not worth the money, in your opinion? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever spent money on?

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families.


  • OM says:

    Well the drugstore makeup idea is good except that the majority of drugstore makeup is from companies that test on animals. Once you look for cruelty-free brands of makeup sold in drugstores, your options dwindle to just a few options or for some products, none. There are many more ‘high-end’ makeup brands that are cruelty-free, so I’ll happily spend the extra $10/$15 per item.

    • Cat says:

      Actually there was just an article in the New York Times about drugstore makeup and they mentioned that the brand wet & wild is one of the only cruelty free drugstore brands and it’s super affordable. Check it out.

  • Surprise Millionaire says:

    Great Article! I completely agree with your point regarding cable TV. Cutting the cord is the best thing you can do for your budget. You may have to cobble together one or two services to get all of the content you want but you will definitely save money.

  • Troy @ Bull Market says:

    Got the iPhone X as a gift from my wife, and it’s not worth it. I don’t know why, but it has some small issues here and there.

    1. The notifications never “ding”.
    2. The battery drains like crazy if you hold it in your hand. The sensor turns on and off.
    3. Sometimes the software is a little glitchy.

  • Harry says:

    We do spend on expensive things sometimes intentionally or unintentionally may be. However, saving in this arena and cutting down unnecessary expenses can help us reach financial freedom at a young age. Once we build sufficient corpus for our retirement, we can surely spend some amount on luxuries as well.

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