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Robotics is right, but I’m going to throw one out there anyway: cigarettes and alcohol. Amazing what we could save without it, in short term costs but also health care.
The only thing I can say for sure is that far more people have an answer to this question than have an understanding of it. Value is a very individual thing.
Cars; purchase, maintenance, and repairs.
Most people buy the most expensive depreciable asset they’ll ever own based on emotion. ‘Affordable’ monthly payments for SEVEN years is financial criminal negligence. It’s hard to build wealth when you finance (or worse, lease) a car.
Most people don’t maintain their cars. If they do, it’s usually done at the dealership (stealership) at a cost premium.
Most repairs are fairly easy to do. YouTube is a great tool.
Once you are beyond basic needs, isn’t that what “Freedom” is all about?
Sports tickets especially when games are transmitted or streamed live.
I think other people spend too much money on eating out–probably because I only rarely dine out.
I know someone who just spent $8.00 on a (small) cupcake. I was told it was a ‘really good’ cupcake, but nonetheless, it was a cupcake. Probably 1/3 of a cup of cake batter with 3 or 4 tablespoons of frosting. At those prices, an entire cake would cost…like…$150.
On anything they can’t afford
Other people spend too much money on what we don’t value, and not enough on what we do value.
“I deserve it.”
Without even knowing what the “it” is, just hearing someone say that phrase causes me to believe they’re about to spend too much.
As I used to say in my Consumer econ course, every person has their own cost-benefit analysis and it’s hard for someone else to impose their balance on another. The only thing I say is that one should be aware of what one is actually getting. If you want to buy a designer shirt because you like wearing brand names (I don’t care about brand names), go for it, but don’t be fooled into buying it because you think it’s necessarily better quality.