19 Things That Cost a Fortune But We’re Still Stupid Enough to Pay For

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By Jonathan Trent

As consumers, we’re often seduced into buying things we don’t really need. But there are also those occasions when we’re aware that certain items are a waste of money, but we pay for them anyway. These are 19 expensive things that we’re still stupid enough to buy!

Greeting Cards

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Is there anything worse than spotting that expensive greeting card you bought in the recycling bin after your friend’s birthday? Of course, they’re going to throw it out eventually, but it highlights the reality that greeting cards are overpriced and not particularly needed.

Single-Use Coffee Pods

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There’s nothing we won’t do for that perfect cup of coffee, even if it means paying a higher price for the convenience of a ready-to-go coffee pod rather than brewing it ourselves. Not to mention the waste, with around 56 billion coffee pods ending up in landfills, reports My Reusable.

Designer Water

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Staying hydrated is key, but it can easily become a fashion statement. Designer water is marketed as purer and produced in a swanky bottle. This means many of us will buy it in the hope that it really is healthier and more exclusive while knowing—deep down—it isn’t.

Airport Food

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We all know by now how overpriced airport food is and that we’re going to be hungry. So what do we do? We forget to pack homemade food for the airport and still buy it anyway. And, worse, we usually fail to include high-priced snacks in our vacation budget!

Branded Medications

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If you’re looking for a painkiller, it’s easy to get distracted by the premium packaging of a well-known brand that promises to stop your headache quicker than you can blink. We often opt for that more than the plain-packaged store brand next to it, even knowing that it’ll achieve the same thing.

Event Ticket Fees

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Booking events online has never been easier, but it also comes with an extra cost—and we know that when we book. Ticket fees hike up the price, and we accept them because we don’t want to miss out. According to Ticketmaster, extra fees often go towards office running costs and box office supplies.

College Textbooks

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If student debt wasn’t bad enough, most people also have to pay extortionate costs for college textbooks, even though we know they’re far too expensive. Many people don’t bother to scout out second-hand or digital options, while others have no choice.

Printer Ink

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Having a printer these days is an expensive investment, especially when digital documents or library printing exist. Printer ink can cost a fortune, especially if you want the whole rainbow. Yet we keep refilling because we need to print one page of something very important.

Brand-Name Fashion

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When purchasing designer clothes or brand names, you’re really only paying extra for the name alone. Designer fashion doesn’t have a monopoly on quality materials, so it’s really just the lure of luxury rather than investment in quality clothing products you could get elsewhere.

Lottery Tickets

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The odds of winning the lottery are significantly low. In fact, the odds of taking the jackpot in the Powerball are 1 in 292.2 million, says Investopedia. But many of us continue to spend money we could be saving instead in the very slim hope that we’ll bag the payout.

Cable Television

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Many of us are guilty of paying for television services when we know we barely watch most of it. Cable television, in particular, is something many people continue with, even when they’re aware they spend 99% of their time watching streaming services instead.

Bottled Water

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If designer water doesn’t tempt you, it’s still a guilty purchase when you opt for plain bottled. We all know that most tap water is safe to drink and that filling up for free at home is the best option for your wallet and the environment. Yet, in the moment, bottled water is a happy convenience.

Gourmet Popcorn

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There’s just something about buying gourmet popcorn from the movie theater. We know it’s ridiculously overpriced, and we know we could have brought our own bag, but it all feels like part of the ritual of watching a movie away from home.

Pre-Cut Vegetables

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Pre-cut vegetables are a staple for any home freezer or fridge, especially for busy households. But how long would it really take you to cut that fresh carrot or pepper into strips? Pre-cut vegetables help save you time, but they come at a higher price.

Fast Fashion

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Fast fashion is cheap, but we all know the hidden costs. We often pay hefty delivery costs, and we know that our sales drive poor quality and working conditions. Oxfam discusses how buying just one white cotton shirt “produces the same amount of emissions as driving 35 miles in a car.”

Mini Bar Snacks

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We’ve already paid a fortune for the hotel room, yet we still can’t resist the allure of the overpriced mini-bar snacks. We could easily go grab a pack from the nearest store for half the price, but the convenience of it being right within arm’s reach is too easy.

In-Game Purchases

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Free-to-play games always lure you in with no initial cost, but the real expenses start with the in-game purchases. These can easily rack up to an infinite amount if you’re not watching what you’re spending. Yet most of the time, you pay it because you want to play.

Premium Gas

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Those who want the best for their cars will exclusively use premium and overpriced gasoline. While it’s good to use it occasionally, in the long term, regular gas is just as good for your vehicle (which is expensive enough already!).

Custom Ringtones

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There are plenty of free ringtones that do the job, yet the need to personalize our phones comes with the unrelenting urge to have our current favorite song as our ringtone. Of course, this comes with a personalization price, but we pay it anyway for the fleeting joy.