Share your story: What is the dumbest thing you've ever spent money on?

By glblguy

While driving to work, I often enjoy listening to the various morning shows. One of the common themes is to ask the listeners a crazy question and have them call in and share their story or experience. I thought it might be both fun and interesting to do something similar here on Gather Little by Little. This post is the first in on ongoing series I am going to run called Share your story, where I’ll throw out a question and you can share your answer. If you have a blog, I encourage you to blog about your story and I’ll add a link in.

Here’s the first question:

What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever spent money on?

My dumbest thing

I have to be honest, I’ve spent money on so many dumb things, it was a bit difficult for me to choose, especially considering I bought lots of items I didn’t need while still carrying significant credit card debt. For me I think my dumbest purchase was our truck and camper.

In 2002, we purchased a 32′ travel trailer camper, and in 2004 purchased a brand new Dodge diesel pickup truck to pull it. While RV camping and owning a trailer isn’t dumb, for me it was a dumb purchase. We had many numerous wonderful vacations in our RV and as a result carry memories we will cherish for a lifetime. Some of our fondest memories as a family are camping.

I bought the truck in order to have a reliable and safe pulling experience. If you’ve ever pulled a trailer with a vehicle that wasn’t capable, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Purchasing the truck made our camping experience far less stressful for me.

The problem wasn’t purchasing the camper or truck, although we did buy them both new which was dumb. Our problem was buying both of these items while still carrying a large debt balance. The camper and truck combined were right at $50,000. The truck was financed for 5 years, and the trailer for 10 years. Monthly payments for both were around $550.00.

That was $550.00 a month I should have been applying to my debt snowball. Fortunately we saw the light, and sold both the truck and the camper in 2006 and 2007 respectively. We still camp, but in a large tent. I now drive a 100% paid for used vehicle instead of a brand new truck.

We may again buy a camper, but it will be used as will the tow vehicle and it won’t happen until we are 100% debt free except for our mortgage. Amazing how hindsight is 20/20 huh?

Other bloggers sharing their “dumbest thing” story:

Share your dumbest thing story by adding a comment or blogging about it. If you blog about your story, make sure I get a trackback, if not add a comment linking to your post.

Photo by: urban10


23 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Share your story: What is the dumbest thing you've ever spent money on?”

  1. jeff Says:

    I ordered gourmet pizza twice a week during my last year of college–all on a credit card. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  2. carol Says:

    Any and all exercise equipment. They seem to have magical powers to enable me to lose weight until I get them in my home. Then the only thing that gets thin is my bank account.

  3. "Mo" Money Says:

    My dumbest list is too long to fit in this small space! I think if we are honest we all have made dumb mistakes. The important thing is did we learn from these mistakes? I also think we can learn from blogs like this and avoid some of the mistakes others have made.

  4. Jason Unger Says:

    Funny – I just wrote about this on my blog last night.

    Yesterday, on my way to Denver, I went to the wrong airport. Cost me $60 cab to get to the right one with only 25 minutes left before the flight left.

  5. K Says:

    You got a Pay It Forward award (but are under no obligation to pay it forward) :)

    http://livingpaychecktopaycheck.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/my-pay-it-forward-award/

    The dumbest thing that I spent money on was a pink and white striped shirt for about $25. It was really cute, but it was a size too large. For some reason I thought that I HAD to have it, but afterwards I never wore it because it was just too big. The only good thing that came from it is that it taught be an important lesson in shopping.

  6. C Says:

    This isn’t the dumbest thing but… I want to buy a $420 dress for my medical school reunion. I do have a wedding that I will wear it to also…
    Please help.

  7. Gina Says:

    The 2 dumbest things …
    (1) taking many, many vacations with college buddies for 5 yrs – 10 yrs later no longer friends with most of those people and $20k in ccard debt to show for it. I justified it at the time by saying I was “networking” in case I needed a job in the future.
    (2) similar to C – paying $187 for a pair of dress pants I only wore twice then outgrew. At least I didn’t go back and purchase the $150 jacket that matched.

  8. Cindy Brick Says:

    I’ll write about this in my blog, too…

    but the absolute stupidest thing was to blow $7,000 on a ‘share’ of a license a company was supposedly buying for wireless rights back in the early 1990s. I had second thoughts right after we mailed the check, in spite of checking on references, trying to check on the company, etc. I should have stopped payment — we never heard another word from the ‘company,’ or about our money.

    Next time, I’ll listen to my instincts. And I will never assume that because the Better Business Bureau knows nothing about a certain company, that means it’s ok. Because it isn’t necessarily true!

  9. Miranda Says:

    You know you’ve inspired a blog post for today :)

    My dumbest purchases were just about everything I did in college, that I put on my credit card: Road trips all over the place and shopping and eating out.

  10. Uncommonadvice Says:

    In 2003 I moved into a rental property which I thought I would’ve lived in for a very long time. It was an old farm cottage without any carpets, just bare, dusty old floorboards. I took a loan out and paid for the whole cottage to be carpeted at a cost of £3000. 5 months later I was relocated with work! In total I paid about £650 per month to live in a carpeted cottage!

  11. Llama Money Says:

    “Lincoln Navigator”. Not sure I need to say any more :(

    Amazing vehicle, but way more than I needed / could “really” afford.

  12. neimanmarxist Says:

    loads and loads and loads and loads
    of beautiful clothes
    that i didn’t need
    and rarely wore.

    they made me feel better :) I’m glad I don’t need to be turned out to the nines to feel good any more.

    never again.

  13. David Says:

    Oh where to begin – basically anything I bought when I was in $30K of credit card debt was stupid. But off the top of my head I can think of exercise equipment I never used and expensive cars to try to impress a girlfriend back in the day.

  14. Deb Says:

    Where do I begin? Being married almost 25 years, we are surrounded by the mother load of dumb mistakes. For us though, it would have to be using credit cards. We have been in trouble so many times and are digging our way out again of credit card debt. Hopefully this time though, we’ve learned our lesson. We don’t even carry the cards on us anymore and use them for nothing. As a matter of fact, they are frozen in a big block of ice in the bottom of our deep freezer!!!

  15. Bri Says:

    Buying one of those “special mattresses”. We bought a Sleep Number bed when my husband and I moved into our first apartment b/c we wanted a bigger mattress (even though the free one we had was fine). We ended up not even using the mattress after a few months b/c it was AWFUL! We had to throw away the “box spring” b/c it warped beyond repair (made out of plastic) and we eneded up putting the mattress in storage. We are still paying for that stupid bed!

  16. glblguy Says:

    Hey, thanks for sharing your stories everyone! Now I don’t feel so bad ;-) Seriously, hopefully others will visit this and learn from our mistakes!

    Sincerely appreciate you all participating!

  17. hank Says:

    Wow, sooooooooooooo many choices, where to begin, I think you’ve coaxed a post out of me for this one… For this entry though I’ll just go with a new TV I bought before they had tvs in your car. I bought a crap-ton of wire, braces, and a 13″ TV that I tried to get to fit between my seats in my first car. I had saved up quite some time for it and after all my planning, drilling, cutting, and thinking, I never planned on how it’d fit between the 2 front seats… So instead of cutting my seats up as well, I bagged the idea and just had a stupid looking tv with holes and braces I left in my room…. ;)

  18. NtJS Says:

    I’ll take the bait:)

    Not the Jet Set

  19. Viki Says:

    I would have to say for me it was gold jewelry before I got married. Being single, it was so much fun to find good deals. Now that I have a husband and 4 kids – I got smart and sold it all on ebay for WAY MORE than I paid for it!!!! Was a great step in our debt reduction plan……anyone who has some of it collecting dust (and you’re probably not wearing it anyways) should seriously consider it. There are buyers on ebay that are paying incredibly (and to me silly) high prices for ANYTHING made of gold!! Of course I must add that truly family/sentimental stuff you have to be careful about….

  20. Vinny Says:

    The dumbest thing I ever bought was the $1.99 Subway meatball sandwich years ago in college

    The sandwich cost somewhere near $3.50 but if I applied for a MasterCard I would get the sandwich for only $1.99 – what a deal I thought!

    I figure that sandwich probably cost me fifteen to twenty thousand dollars over the last several years until I finally stopped using the card and paid everything off.

    Man that was an expensive sandwich. (I now am very cautious off all meatball sandwiches!)

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