17 Expensive Things People Buy But Can’t Afford

Things have become incredibly expensive recently, whether they’re everyday items or new tech gadgets. As a society, we’ve fallen into the trap of thinking we need these items when we really don’t! Here are 17 items people can’t afford but buy anyway.

Elite Private Education

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Prestigious institutions offer the highest quality of education and better career options, but this comes with incredibly high tuition fees. These fees can create many financial challenges for families, but they still want to invest in personal and professional growth, even when they can seek education at lower costs.

Expensive Jewelry

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Expensive jewelry and watches are a symbol of status and appreciation of craftsmanship, but they’re also incredibly expensive. For example, The Frugal Expat writes, “Prices can be very high due to the prestige associated with these brands and the quality of their products.” The exceptional designs and materials can create a very large price tag.

Fine Dining Experiences

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If a special occasion is coming up, many people create a reservation at an elegant setting, such as a Michelin Star restaurant. These restaurants will have top-quality ingredients in their meals and impeccable service. The high price tag means it can only be an occasional experience for most people.

Membership in Prestigious Clubs

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Being a member of a prestigious club means you have access to networking opportunities and special events. The high entry and membership fees limit the accessibility of these clubs to most people. The clubs are a way to show off your social status and contribute to your personal access, but they are not always worth the price tag.

Extravagant Parties

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Lavish celebrations with breathtaking decorations and A-list entertainment come with a significant cost. They’re usually inaccessible to most people due to their high costs of organization and attendance. These parties are usually only hosted by the wealthy, but others may splurge when it comes to special occasions such as weddings.

Advanced Tech Gadgets

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Gadget prices used to go down in value whenever newer models were released. However, this no longer seems to be the case. For example, The Verge writes, “We’ve seen numerous examples where devices have either gotten explicitly more expensive or just haven’t fallen in price over time.” But this still hasn’t stopped people from purchasing newer models.

Dream Homes

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The desire for secluded and scenic properties has caused many people to spend more than they can afford when it comes to finding their dream home. Dream homes are supposed to symbolize peace and privacy, and people want this no matter what the cost. Many people will put themselves in a huge amount of debt for their dream home.

Movie Snacks

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When you head to the theater, sometimes the movie snacks can cost more than the actual tickets. Consumers pay a premium price purely for convenience and the experience when they can purchase snacks from a store and take them into the theater. It’s a notable example of marked-up items in the entertainment industry.

Food Delivery Services

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It’s common for delivery services to mark up their prices, add high delivery fees, and include service charges. This makes your bill much more expensive than if you were to collect or eat out. It’s convenience at a high price, especially when the quality of food may not be great upon delivery.

Specialty Coffee

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Diply writes that it’s much better to treat yourself to specialty coffee every now and then rather than paying expensive prices all the time, especially when there are much cheaper coffee bags on the market. Coffee has become more of a lifestyle choice than an intake of caffeine, which is why so many people splurge on it.

Single-Use Coffee Pods

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Convenience comes at a high price for people who choose single-use coffee pods. There’s been debate over how cost-effective single-use coffee pods are compared to their ease of use, especially when you can purchase reusable ones that have exactly the same effect. Reusable coffee pods are also much better for the environment.

Brand-Name Clothing

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Well-known brands will put mark-ups on their clothing purely for their name and reputation. Manufacturing costs are usually a fraction of what their retail value is, making it much more cost-effective to shop at lower-priced brands. However, people still want the luxury of wearing big brand names, even if it comes at a huge cost.

Subscription Services

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Holding an account with different subscription services, such as fitness apps or streaming services, can significantly increase your monthly expenses. Many of these subscriptions are rarely used, but people still hold onto them. With so much variety, it can lead to subscription fatigue, and sometimes the convenience isn’t worth it.

Luxury Vehicles

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Yahoo! Finance writes, “Before splurging on your dream luxury vehicle, you should keep in mind that some of these cars are simply not worth it due to their rapid depreciation, exorbitant maintenance and repair costs, or other common issues.” While financial options can make them more affordable, they can still lead to financial constraints.

High-End Fitness Memberships

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Premium gyms and personalized fitness programs may offer tailored services, but they come at a steep cost. Luxury fitness facilities may be appealing but specialized coaching can lead to significant monthly expenses. There are so many ways to exercise for free, including workouts at home, where YouTube channels can also tailor your fitness journey.

Home Renovations

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The desire to improve living spaces can lead to large bills, especially when it doesn’t need doing in the first place. In the long run, renovations may increase the value of a property, but they usually exceed the initial budget. Try to balance the urge to decorate with budget-friendly options.

Organic Food

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The shift toward healthier eating has meant that many people have started to choose organic food options, and these often come at a premium price. While organic produce can be more beneficial for health, you can find foods like fruit and vegetables much cheaper when they’re not bought organic.

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