Most people can admit they’ve spent money on things they don’t need, but it’s so much more interesting when the rich and famous do it. When wealthy people waste money on extravagant things, it gives average people something to dream — or complain — about.
To some people, splurging on a $1 million car or a $275 million yacht is the best way to spend money. Click through to see some of the best ways rich people waste money.
Always Taking Care of the Bottle Service Tab
Bottle service is a big part of the nightclub experience. It’s also a must if you want VIP hospitality — and when you’re rich, that’s exactly what you crave. The service, however, comes with a steep price.
Las Vegas clubs tend to charge between $350 and $575 for each bottle, plus tax, waitress gratuity, table tips and other miscellaneous fees, according to LavishVegas.com. Most clubs have a two-bottle minimum with a one-bottle-per-three-person rule, which means your bill can be upwards of $1,000 if you’re with a group of six.
Getting a Superyacht as a Status Symbol
For some, a superyacht is not a recreational boat; it’s a status ship that they want all their friends to envy. Yachts might be a dime a dozen for the super-rich. But just because you have the cash to purchase one, that doesn’t mean you should.
The cost to buy and maintain a 300-foot-long superyacht that has a top speed of 25 knots and 50 crew members comes out to $275 million on average, according to a report by specialty insurance agency Towergate Insurance. Is it really worth it?
Buying or Renting Property They Rarely Visit
Buying property can be a good investment — if you make use of it or turn a profit. But some rich people are guilty of purchasing properties that they never really use. The same goes with renting.
In a 2013 article, one Vulture writer detailed his renting experience with Guns N’ Roses frontman, Axl Rose. Rose reportedly rented the writer’s New York apartment for two years but never moved in. “As far as I can tell, Axl never set foot in my place after his initial viewings,” Vulture reported.
Buying Their Own Islands
Celebrities and multimillionaires might buy private islands to get away from the paparazzi or just to do whatever they darn well please. It’s a lot of cash, however, for a slice of paradise.
Actor Eddie Murphy, for example, purchased Rooster Cay in the Bahamas for $15 million in 2007, reported Private Islands Magazine. Also according to the magazine, actor Mel Gibson bought Mago Island in Fiji for $9 million in 2005 … talk about an ultra-exclusive beach vacation spot.
Throwing Lavish Parties
Some of the world’s wealthiest people really know how to throw parties, and they’ll shell out some serious cash to do it. In 2015, an undisclosed customer purchased a birthday and engagement cake for $75 million. The six-foot-long cake, depicting a fashion show and scattered with diamonds, set a record for the most expensive dessert, CNBC reported.
Perhaps it’s the thought that counts, or maybe it’s a waste of money. Certainly the gift of the cake’s value in cash would be a welcome option.
Buying Ridiculously Expensive Cars for Kids
There’s no reason to buy outrageously expensive exotic vehicles for teenagers and young adults — especially those who have a record of making bad judgment calls, said estate planning attorney, John McManus of McManus & Associates.
“A 21-year-old is still developing the frontal lobe of the brain where all the judgment and discerning ability lies,” he said. Although certain luxury cars might become classics, some might not be worth the hefty price tag in the end, thanks to depreciation.
“The disproportionate majority of exotic cars more typically depreciate instantly when they roll off the lot,” said McManus. “Even if they don’t, the slightest accident can impact value permanently, sometimes to pennies on the dollar.”
Trying to Launch Their Kids’ Sports Careers
Parents want the very best for their children, and rich people have the money to make it happen. Wealthy parents who want their kids to launch a career in sports might be willing to pay the big bucks to make their dreams a reality.
“Club team dues alone can be $3,000 to $5,000 a year, plus tournaments, private training and out-of-state travel, including flights across the country,” said McManus. But spending thousands of dollars on club teams and sports for a young child can be a total waste of money, especially if the child doesn’t even want to be an athlete.
Building Mega-Mansions — and Never Living in Them
A mega-mansion worth $195 million was built overlooking Beverly Hills years ago. Although the mansion boasts 12 bedrooms, 22 bathrooms and a 15,000-square-foot entertainment complex as well as a vineyard, the owner had not lived in it for at least eight years, CNBC reported in 2015.
It appears to be a waste of money that only the rich can afford. Eventually, the owner listed the sprawling home for rent in 2016 for $375,000 per month, according to Curbed.
Using Toothpicks Made Out of Gold
Gold is symbolic of wealth. Whether it’s gold jewelry or even dishware, the wealthy sure have plenty of it. And if they’re ultra-rich, they might even use the precious metal to pick food out of their teeth. Some rich people apparently waste money on $600 toothpicks, according to Business Insider.
Opting for Luxury Hospital Rooms
A standard hospital room doesn’t cut it for the rich. Instead, some wealthy patients pay for a spa-like or four-star hotel experience with fine linens, tea and the like, according to The New York Times. Some hospitals even serve fancy cuisine, such as lobster tails or lamb.
It sounds nice, but it comes with a big price tag. In New York City, many hospitals offer rooms that cost as much as $4,000 a night, the New York Post reported.
Paying for Concierge Medicine
In addition to spending a fortune on hospital rooms, some members of the wealthy class will drop a few grand for medical services outside of what their insurance covers.
Concierge medicine can include a 24-hour on-call doctor and even an emergency room designed specifically for one’s home. It might cost as much as $30,000 for access to this kind of care and as much as $1 million for that emergency room, Bloomberg Business reported.
Buying Doomsday Luxury Condos
Even the rich fear the apocalypse. Luckily for them, they can pay for a pricey luxury survival condo in Kansas complete with a redundant water supply and air filtration, a medical first aid center, a communication center, a general store, a bar and lounge, an indoor pool and spa and more. Costing $1.5 million to $4.5 million, this is one expense that might not be worth it, considering the likelihood of an apocalypse occurring is pretty slim — hopefully.
Buying Art Just Because They Can
The rich have always had a fondness for art, but their liking of art and antiques has driven them to record prices. At two New York art sales in 2013, more than $1 billion was spent on paintings and sculptures, making it the highest auction total in art market history at the time, reported the Guardian.
But unless each buyer has a real passion for art and doesn’t just buy pieces to appear sophisticated, that’s $1 billion down the drain.
It’s an age-old dilemma: what to buy the spouse who has everything. If you’re Angelina Jolie, however, the answer is — something expensive. In 2012, Fox News reported the actress bought her then-fiancé, Brad Pitt, a $1.6 million helicopter plus flying lessons.
Private helicopters and jets are great. But maybe it’s not one of the best ways to spend money if you can pay millions less for a first-class ticket on a nice commercial airline.
Spending 6 Figures on Built-In Home Theaters
Custom armchairs with heating and massaging options sound like an ideal setup for watching movies. Of course, those are some of the luxuries that come with private home theaters for the rich.
Prices to build these unnecessary luxuries can easily cost $100,000 or more, according to the Los Angeles Times. And when you’re already paying this much, spending another several hundred dollars to get first dibs on the latest movies in the theaters seems like pocket change.
Joining Private Clubs — Just to Drive Fast Cars
It might seem pointless to buy a rare, expensive, super-fast car if you can’t drive it on the road. Or such is the mindset of some rich car enthusiasts who need a racetrack to drive their wheels at top speed — and they’re willing to drop some heavy cash to do so.
For example, there’s a four-and-a-half-mile private racetrack in California that gives these owners a chance to experience their rides to the fullest. But membership can cost $85,000 and up, according to CNBC.
Driving Submarine Sports Cars
If you’re tired of driving sports cars on racetracks, you might want to check out the fully functional aquatic sports cars that can be driven underwater. If you’re rich, you can probably afford to buy a submarine car — modeled after James Bond’s Lotus in “The Spy Who Loved Me” — for $2 million on Hammacher.com. It’s a waste of money for some but simply the price of fun for others.
Hiring Personal Chefs
Celebrities and the extremely wealthy are used to getting what they want — and food is no exception. They’re willing to dish out tons of cash to have personalized meals.
Personal chefs typically charge $50 to $75 an hour plus groceries, according to the New York Post, which means the total cost could come out to a few hundred dollars per meal. Unless it’s a truly amazing meal, it might not be the best way to spend your dough.
Buying Mansions for Their Horses
Stables are for the poor man’s horse; horses of the ultra-rich have mega-mansions to call their own. These homes can costs tens of millions of dollars in one exclusive neighborhood for super-rich Floridians, according to CNBC. Perhaps it’s wasteful spending, but the rich are simply used to the very best.
Spending 6 Figures for Bigger Closets
To all of the wannabe Carrie Bradshaws out there, close your eyes and imagine this: You walk into your closet and see hundreds of colorful shoes adorning your walls and shelves housing your designer duds, purses and jewelry.
Now open your eyes, and try not to be too disappointed — only the rich can afford this kind of closet. But don’t feel too bad; closets of the rich can be enormous but, generally speaking, they’re a waste of money. It’s not unheard of for the rich and famous to spend a staggering $100,000 or more for a closet that’s so big you can practically host a cocktail party in it.
Exploring the World Via Private Jet
Forget about cruises or backpacking through Europe; the rich have taken adventurous excursions to a whole new level. They don’t only use private jets for quick business trips or to get out of town for the weekend — they’re flying private as they travel the world and see multiple countries. Some companies are offering private jet journeys where people can take trips lasting 20-plus days and costing more than $90,000 per person.
About the Author
With a broadcast news career that spans more than a decade, Lia Sestric has had the opportunity to cover local and national news for television and radio. The Washington, D.C.-based writer has been freelance writing for a number of years. She frequently writes about higher education, careers, and finance. Along with GOBankingRates, her work has appeared on major sites like Yahoo, The Huffington Post, MSN and many other news outlets.