10 Expensive Money Mistakes We Should Totally Avoid

Money mistakes we should avoid

I come from a middle-class family. I bought my first branded product when I was in high school. It was a pair of Levi’s jeans. And it was only a few years back that I could afford to buy a luxury item. I understand the need to own fancy products to get that high. But sometimes it’s not worth it. After making a few mistakes, I realized there are some things we should totally avoid. And here are 10 such money mistakes:

1) Buying Expensive Electronics on the Launch Date

There is definitely a thrill in buying new technology. For some of us, this experience is so overwhelming that we pre-order. But no matter how strong a brand is, wait at least a month. Check online reviews and tech-reports. Chances are the new product may not have enough features to justify the price tag. Paying a premium just to get your hands on a new product is not a wise choice. Postpone the purchase till there are enough reviews to guarantee that you’re spending money on a good product, not a mere upgrade. Also, sometimes the prices fall just within months of launch.

2) Grabbing Branded Products Online without Checking Physically at Store First

There is always an itch to own a branded product – be it a jacket, jeans or a fancy watch. Now that almost every branded deal is available online, it’s hard to beat the temptation. But don’t buy a designer product without trying it first at a store. Even if you find an online deal, make the effort of going to the store to check it, and then buy. This way you would be sure of your purchase. And you would enjoy the process too.

3) Booking Travel on New/Unverified Portals

Travel enthusiasts are always on the lookout for a good deal. They don’t hesitate to try new websites that claim to offer better packages. Two years back, we booked our flight with a new portal and spent 2 hours confirming it. We saved a little money but the trouble of coordinating was way too much. One of our friends lost money on a hotel booking, and yet another had to undergo a long battle to get refund for her travel tickets. So I don’t recommend new portals for travel bookings. When it comes to travel bookings, trust only the established names.

4) Buying Brand New When You Don’t Intend to Use the Product Often

Owning a product, using it once and then storing it in the back of the cupboard – does it sound familiar? If yes, you are like me. I bought many items that I used just once. Two shelves of my storage closet were occupied by such items. Since last year, I vowed not to waste time, money and storage on items I don’t use often. Now I buy second-hand, borrow, or rent such products. I suggest you do the same.

5) Buying Expensive Furniture

The pictures of fancy furniture in a glossy magazine are hard to resist. They look modern, clean, but are often not practical and don’t last long, not to mention expensive. Also, if you move around, your fancy furniture may become redundant in a new place. Renting on Furlenco is a good choice. I rented my recliner from them and got to enjoy an expensive product at a fraction of its cost. With our homes getting smaller, it makes sense to rent furniture as per need instead of buying things that we may not always need.

6) Buying Because It’s on Sale

We all do this – buy a bagful of items just because it’s on sale. Hey, who can say no to a good deal? 70% or Buy one get one free offers – are the worst kinds. Think – why would a company sell a good product at such a low price? Products that are dirt-cheap are either last season’s or are of inferior quality. Never buy too many items during the sale season. They may anyway go to waste.

7) Extended Warranties

Every product comes with manufacturer’s warranty. Then why spend money in extended warranties? The probability of an accident that may destroy a product is very low. A majority of people who buy extended warranties never use it. I would rather buy a good phone case costing 500 rupees than pay 5000 for extended warranty – make a sensible choice. Don’t buy extended warranties just because you want double assurance.

8) High-value Items at a Tourist Destination

Switzerland is famous for watches. Italy for designer products. And South East Asia for best electronic deals. But I don’t recommend buying high-value items at tourist destinations. There are a few things that might go wrong – you end up paying high customs duty, the product doesn’t come with an international warranty which may cause a problem when you need one, and as you bought without much consideration, chances are you paid a high price. Leave high-value shopping for your home town or country. Duty-free shopping is good, though.

9) Antivirus

The moment we buy an expensive laptop or desktop, we become extra cautious. We buy antivirus which cost a lot of money. And renewals aren’t cheap either. But have you noticed these antivirus softwares make your computer slower? There is a flood of notifications, programs run in the background and the unnecessary warnings are plain annoying. At one point, we just want to delete the software so our system runs smoothly. One of my friends recommended free antivirus software that keeps the system secure and doesn’t consume much space on the hard disk – use Avast, Malwarebytes, and CCleaner.

10) Buying Expensive Grooming Products

I love a bit of luxury. I invest heavily in perfumes. But after using some high-end moisturizers and cosmetics, I feel it’s not worth it. A good organic brand does the job just fine. In cosmetics, the formula is same, the premium is often for the brand name. Unless you are filthy rich, a mascara is a mascara, no point spending 10000 rupees on it. But don’t buy cheap products either. They ruin the skin. Buy cosmetics from a good brand and the ones that suit you.

Do you have anything to add to this list? Please share in comments below.

Saru Singhal


A Company Secretary by profession, Saru found her true calling in writing. She blogs at sarusinghal.com which she religiously updates every Monday for the last six years.