We thought it was such a good idea at the time, and now all we wish is that we had our money--and our time--back.
But we bought it, and now here we are, living with the pitfalls of capitalism.
Here were some of the answers.
A Second TitanicGiphy
Buying a boat with some friends to go to potahawk, an annual boat festival in Lake Erie. Bought the boat on Friday. Spent Saturday tuning it up. Sunday was the festival. While riding the boat there we ran out of gas. The wake behind the boat, which was overloaded with people and beer, then flooded the boat. Our boat sank in the middle of Lake Erie and the coast guard had to pick us up.
Poor Old Plane
A couple years ago, me and three other friends were bored. One of us had the bright idea to buy rc airplanes at the hobby store down the street. These were the styrofoam planes with the little motor inside, extremely delicate. Each of them were a little over $100 each for the airplane, motor and controller.
Once we got them home we charged the batteries and were going to take them to the park to fly them around for the day. I couldn't wait. We were outside of the house next to the open garage and just had to try it out really quick before we drove over to the park. Not sure if it was take off from the street or it had to be hand propelled my buddy hand propelled my styrofoam airplane and it went right into the ground. Pieces of propeller, cockpit and bits of wing exploded everywhere. The engine was hanging out of the fuselage.
I paid almost $120 to watch my plane get thrown into the ground. All my fault though, I most likely steered the plane into the asphalt.
Worst purchase ever. Oh yeah, the rest of the day I watched as my friends all gleefully few their cool airplanes around the park. I ended up going for a bitter walk around the park.
Sorrow Sonata: Second Movement
A full-size (88-key) electric piano. It sat it my apartment for 5 months, unused, before I admitted to myself I was never going to get around to lessons. Sold it for $100, and that was the highest they'd go. :(
How much did you buy it for?
Joke's on Fate though, 'cause my kids have been taking piano lessons with it the past few years, 10+ years after I bought it.
Eating That Cash
My father said he needed money, but had a mortgage and couldn't get a loan. He would put the car in my name, then I can get a loan from my bank against the car and he would pay it off. Got approved for an 8k loan. Gave my dad the money and he never paid off the loan. I bought a car that day.
Yay Toxic Gamers As Engineers!Giphy
About 10 years ago I spent all my graduation money on a "gaming laptop" from ibuypower.com. On paper it was top tier mobile hardware for 2008, which was stupid since I just kept playing warcraft 3 and certainly didn't need all that power for that.
It had serious overheating issues from the start and I sent it in for "repair" once on warranty, came back and nothing was different. Their customer support was absolutely worthless and it cooked itself to death after a year, just as the warranty expired.
This laptop sat on my dorm desk, on a cooling pad, 100% of the time. F*ck that company, and f*ck my naiveté.
The Little Girl Was A Scam Wizard
I was in third grade and this girl was sitting next to me who made these little bookmarks and was trying to sell them. She asked me if I'd like to buy one, and I said no. She said she'd make me one for free so I took her up on her offer. Once she was done (mind you I was using a dollar bill as a bookmark that my mom gave me to buy cookies at lunch), she took the dollar bill out of my book and kept it. I was too shy to speak up and I just wanted to cry :(
Chainmail Wasn't Even Cool In The Middle Ages
I bought this thing of chainmail off amazon.
Thing was a piece of sh*t, wrong size and it wasn't even made properly (the bits that were supposed to be sleeves were hanging off the back where your shoulder blades would be). Tried return it for a refund, but since it was shipped from India it would have cost me twice what I paid for the thing, so I'd lose more money just trying to get my original money back. Left a bad review as a warning to people, and my review was removed for "making false statements about the company/product"
It's Always The Fat Cats
A large kiddie pool which one of our cats (the really fat one) decided was a huge water bowl and tried to drink from it at night after the inflatable bit at the top had lost some air. I awoke to water rushing out of it and pooling near the house...it caused a horrific amount of mold to grow in the basement right under my bedroom to which I am unfortunately allergic. It took months for my parents to figure out what was making me sick.
Pretty Common Combo
Washer was recalled within the first 3 months I owned it and it was an incredibly painful process that ultimately ended in getting a replacement that didn't look anything like the old one.
Dryer lasted about 13 months and then started to fault. At 18 months it finally shit the bed (busted rollers, busted pulley, bent everything, cracked drum).
Never buying Samsung again.
But Did It Smooth Your Skin Though?Giphy
When I was fresh into my first year of college I hit the mall with the cash my parents gave me for living expenses. I got stopped by one of those girls at the kiosks trying to sell me a special exfoliant. She demonstrated it on my hand and I could see the dead skin sloughing off before my eyes! In her heavy accent she told me that, for me, the price was just $18. I was sold and told her that yes, I would purchase this miracle product.
When she rang it up I saw that the price was actually $80, not $18, and I had misheard her due to her accent. I was too embarrassed to back out of the purchase at that point, so I kept my mouth shut and went through with buying the ridiculously expensive skincare product. Needless to say I felt like a real chump and did the Charlie Brown walk out of the mall with my wallet empty, destined to live off of ramen for the rest of the month.
Which Loss Was Worse: The Time Or The Money?
I wanted to get into filmmaking after I finished college. The average HD camera was about a grand (this was in 2007/2008) and that seemed about right. I had just started working and had spending money.
Editing software on my Mac wasn't compatible. When I did figure out a way to get the files into an editing suite, it was multiple hours of rendering in Handbrake, then multiple hours of editing in Final Cut.
Insult to injury? Entry-level DSLR and intermediate-level digital cameras with HD video recording started being released a few months later with better video quality and easier file formats.
I don't dabble in filmmaking much these days.
Three Years Of Being A Debtor
Definitely a new car. Had a baby and convinced myself that the safety features are necessary in order to protect her. Ended up paying it off in 3 yrs instead of 5 and promised myself my daughter would get it on her 16th birthday lol
New cars are great, but slightly used a much better financial decision
No Fitness Plan For LaterGiphy
Years ago I paid for a personal trainer. I guess it made me go to the gym slightly more, just on those personal training days, but it's something like $60/session while a normal gym membership is $30/month. A single session is maybe like 20% better than just going to the gym one day on my own?
Could Have Been Smart, But Was Likely Dumb Anyway
I was walking home from the bar once and a guy came out of an alley to talk to me. He was selling all kinds of electronic stuff, but mainly a projector and a screen for a fancy living room setup. All out of the back of a van. The guy was in a rush and I knew it was a scam or stolen or something so I just kept blowing him off but he lowered the price to $200 for the entire set-up and I know that stuff is actually worth quite a bit so after carefully inspecting the box (it all looked legit and still brand new) I bought it.
That was four years ago and it's all sitting under my stairs. I have a TV and can't be bothered.
Family Pressure Persists
I regret buying my condo. I feel like I was pressured into buying it by my mom, who is a real estate agent. My apartment was great, it was downtown and walking distance to everything but work. I regularly went walking downtown for an hour or two. My condo is out of town, a little bit further to work and not in walking distance to anything. There's no sidewalks nearby and as a result I can probably count on my hands the number of times I've been motivated to just go for a walk in the year and a half I've owned this place.
On top of that it's costing me quite a bit more money per month, especially if you include the repairs that needed to be done this summer.
College Students, Listen Up
Keep in mind this was back in 2006
My first semester of college I bought every book I needed, like $400 for freshman liberal arts books - I returned them at the end of the semester and maybe got like $20 back. . .never again.
After that semester I developed a system.
- No books would be purchased until after the first day of classes
- On first day of classes I'd get a syllabus to help me determine if I actually needed the book or not.
- Many times professors would straight up tell us "we won't be using the book but the college made me list one.
- Math classes almost always needed "the book"
- If I determined I needed the book for a class the next step was to talk to the professor to see if going back 1-2 versions was acceptable for the class. Most of the time the answer was "yes."
- One time I even had a math professor tell me this was ok because she knew how expensive this stuff was and that she would accept my homework even though the problems were different. I'd just need to make sure to write the problem so she knew what to grade. Same professor even let me borrow her teacher's edition for a week while waiting on shipping for my actual book.
- It was also important to touch base with a professor just so they knew why you didn't have a book to do certain class stuff for the first 2-3 days. I never ever had a professor that cared. They always understood why.
- Half.Com [part of eBay, no idea how good it is now but it used to be amazing] was where I purchased all books. $200 books 1 version back for like $20 was awesome.
In all I'd end up buying 1-2 books per semester out of 5 classes and would spend around $100 total each semester.