7 Expensive Items That Are Wastes of Money, According to Financial Experts

Luxury Watches at showcase stock photo
mgstudyo / iStock.com

When you start to make good money, it can be tempting to splurge a little — or a lot!

But while buying higher-quality items can definitely increase your enjoyment and lifestyle, not all luxury purchases are worth it. GOBankingRates consulted with several finance experts who gave us the low-down on luxury purchases, specifically which ones were a total waste. If you want to avoid throwing away money, keep reading.

Here are seven luxury goods that are not worth the money.

Luxury Brand Clothing

Ben Gold, finance expert and founder of Recommended Home Buyers, is not a fan of expensive clothing. “Luxury brand clothing often carries exorbitant price tags for the name alone,” said Gold. And he’s right. When a t-shirt of similar quality costs 10x more because of the logo on the front, it might not be worth the purchase.

John Grace, financial advisor and founder of Investor’s Advantage Corp, doesn’t believe you actually get better quality for the high price tag of designer clothing. “While designer labels can be prestigious, the high price tags often don’t align with the actual quality or functionality of the clothing. You’re often paying for the brand name more than the materials or craftsmanship.”

What To Buy Instead

Gold is a fan of thrift stores to save money on clothing. “Thrift stores and discount retailers offer stylish clothing options without the hefty price tags,” said Gold.

And Grace said to “consider alternative high-quality clothing brands that offer similar styles and quality without the hefty price markup.”

Make Your Money Work for You

High-End Electronics

High-end electrconics, like 8k televisions, high-end auto equipment and other gadgets that cost thousands of dollars may not be worth the cost.

Gold doesn’t like paying too much for electronics, especially “high-end electronics with features that exceed your needs.”

And Grace isn’t a fan of the extended warranties that come with many consumer electronics. He said, “Retailers and manufacturers offer extended warranties for electronics and appliances. These warranties can be quite expensive, often adding 10%-20% to the purchase price.”

What To Buy Instead

“Generic or mid-range electronics can often deliver the same functionality as their high-end counterparts at a fraction of the cost,” said Gold.

Luxury Pet Accessories

Pets can cost a lot of money, especially if you dive into the world of luxury pet accessories. Often of little value or function, pet accessories can cost hundreds of dollars and not be worth the cost.

Jeff Mains, CEO of Champion Leadership Group LLC and financial expert, thinks that pet accessories are out of control. “Luxury pet accessories have gained popularity in recent years, with extravagant beds, collars and even designer pet clothing hitting the market,” said Mains.  “While it’s natural to want the best for our furry friends, splurging on these items often neglects the fact that pets don’t derive value from material possessions.”

What To Buy Instead

“Instead of pricey pet accessories, invest in quality pet food, regular veterinary care and plenty of love and attention,” said Mains. “These essentials will keep your pet happy and healthy without breaking the bank.”

Extravagant Home Gym Equipment

Home gyms became popular over the past few years, but the equipment costs can be astronomical. From stationary bikes to brand-name weights, you can spend thousands of dollars setting up the perfect home gym.

Make Your Money Work for You

But Mains does not believe you need to spend all that money. “Let’s talk about extravagant home gym equipment,” said Mains. “Maintaining physical fitness is important, but it’s not necessary to spend a fortune on fancy exercise equipment.”

What To Buy Instead

“Dumbbells, resistance bands and a yoga mat make for a cheap, flexible and efficient exercise [setup],” said Mains. “Another option is to join a gym membership, where you can use their wide range of equipment without getting to buy anything in hefty amounts.”

Luxury Cars

Let’s face it — luxury cars are advertised everywhere. From billboards to commercials to our favorite online influencer, luxury cars are shown as a sign of wealth. But in most cases, these cars are not worth the cost.

Camille Gaines, an accredited financial counselor at Brigadoon Investments, LLC and founder of Retire Certain, thinks you should skip the luxury car purchase. “New cars are expensive items not worth it, since a used car can be bought for less money.”

And Gaines knows how much value is lost when buying a luxury vehicle. “While the allure of a brand-new car is undeniable, it’s well-known that cars depreciate rapidly in value.”

What To Buy Instead

“Buying a pre-owned vehicle that’s only a few years old can save you a substantial amount of money while still providing reliable transportation,” said Gaines. “Just make sure to get a thorough inspection and vehicle history report before making a purchase.”

Make Your Money Work for You


Timeshares allow you access to vacation properties in various locations, but they can be a huge waste of money. With ongoing fees and a difficult process to sell your timeshare, it’s best to avoid them when you are trying to build wealth.

Dennis Shirshikov, head of growth at Awning.com, a platform for real estate investors, doesn’t like the costs associated with owning a timeshare. “Unless you plan to visit the same location year after year, it’s generally not worth it,” said Shirshikov. “You’re also on the hook for ongoing maintenance costs.”

What To Buy Instead

“Instead of a timeshare, look into vacation rental services like Airbnb,” said Shirshikov. “They offer the flexibility to explore different destinations without long-term commitments.”

Luxury Watches

Luxury watches are another status symbol that is seen as a sign of wealth, but it might not be worth the cost. While some collector watches can retain their value, the high cost is hard to justify.

Tony Abazi, senior mortgage loan officer at Neighborhood Loans, doesn’t think watches are worth the high upfront cost. “While luxury watches are often considered timeless investments, their high price can be hard to justify. Instead of spending a fortune on a single timepiece, consider purchasing multiple affordable watches that suit different occasions and styles.”

Andrew Lokenauth, former Wall Street leader and founder of Be Fluent In Finance, thinks luxury watches are a waste of money. “A $50 watch tells time as accurately,” said Lokenauth. “Go for classic styles that hold value instead.”

Make Your Money Work for You

What To Buy Instead

“Explore well-crafted watches from reputable mid-range brands that offer both style and functionality at a fraction of the cost,” said Abazi.

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