You’ll regret buying these items

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The first few years of retirement can often, for the lucky ones, be packed with wish-list purchases and a bit of fun, frivolous spending. But, according to MoneyTalks, there are some potential purchases before which you should take a deep breath and reconsider.

1. Boat
I love this: there’s an old saying that goes “the two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it”.

Unless it’s been a life-long dream, and so long as you do all the research, knowing full well what owning a boat entails, then you may wish to reconsider this purchase. Maybe rent one when you feel the need to fish, hit the high seas or pull a few friends around on skis. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run.

2. Timeshare
While timeshares aren’t as common as they once were, every now and then you may be asked to join the timeshare ‘cult’.

Some smiley salesperson will pop up and present a timeshare as ‘an incredible opportunity to own a piece of paradise that you just can’t pass up’. Here’s a tip: pass. Do you really want to holiday in the same place every year? Do you want to be beholden to taking your holidays at a time agreed upon between total strangers? Yes, you can exchange timeshare with other timeshare holders, but there’s a reason you don’t hear much about timeshares any more – they’re often one of the most regretted retirement purchases.

3. Extended warranties
You’ve got a good deal on a new television and you’ve handed over your credit card to pay for it, but the sell is still on. That’s when you hear the retailer say, “Would you like to pay for the peace of mind of an extended warranty?” Say no. Your item is most likely covered by sufficient product warranty, or your credit card or existing insurance may cover you for most occurrences and accidents the extended warranty claims to cover.

4. Desktop computer
Do you really need to take up all that desk space with a desktop computer? Nowadays, your laptop or tablet – even your smartphone – can do most of what a desktop computer can do. Unless you need it for business, video or photo manipulation or some specific purpose that requires a bit of computing power, you’ll regret buying a new desktop.

5. Expensive camping equipment
While the idea of careening around the country and camping under the stars may sound like a retirement dream, chances are you’ll probably get out once or twice a year, so expensive camping equipment, three-bedroom tents and flashy cooktops are a waste of your money. A small tent, good sleeping bag, cheap inflatable mattress and a few sticks for cooking will do you just as well and will most likely add to your camping experience.

6. Camcorder
Similarly, the desktop computer – your smartphone may take as good a video as any camcorder. And unless you plan to make cinema-quality video productions, your smartphone will suffice.

7. Home exercise equipment
Why buy a treadmill when you can go for a walk or run outdoors instead? Similarly with home gym equipment: the money you’ll pay (for how often you’ll actually use it) could be directed towards a gym membership instead.

8. Single-use kitchen gadgets
Sure, your single-use coffee maker will save you a heap of money in café-bought lattes, so too a dough mixer could save you money on pizza, pasta, bread or cakes.

But how often do you think you’ll use a juicer, food dehydrator, waffle maker or milk frother? Probably not enough to justify the cost – or the space in your kitchen.

9. Pools and hot tubs
How many people do you know who’ve said buying a pool was one of their biggest wastes of time and money? I know a few. I also know a few who love their pool, spa or hot tub, so it’s truly a subjective thing, but for many there’s a short novelty period before the upkeep and lost space begin to override a pool or spa’s usefulness. 

10. Buying basic items on credit
Unless you get great rewards for using your credit card, save it for bigger purchases and not for grocery or clothes shopping. If you do use it for smaller, standard items, pay them off as soon as possible or your fresh fruit and veggies could cost you a bomb.

What has been your biggest purchase regret?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 20
  1. 0

    I totally endorse the comments on the Timeshare scam. Locked in for another 60 years to their chain of “resorts” and having to holiday in one of them at least every 18 months or the credit points expire. Don’t forget the continual annual “house keeping charge”. Relationships change as do family circumstances and interests. Amazing how difficult it can be to get a week at your preferred destination at your desired time of year.
    The industry needs a continual growth to remain viable which means an increase in demand at a greater rate than the growth of available rooms.
    I’ve been surprised at how at times it is better value for money to find a full service motel with better equipped rooms more conveniently located than my time share scheme can offer.

  2. 0

    The definition of a boat is “a hole in the water that you keep throwing money into”.

    • 0

      For some maybe.

      I spent 6 years sailing my 40Ft yacht around the Pacific islands, & came back to Oz with more money than I had left with.

      You just have to buy the right type of boat, & use it in the right places.

    • 0

      I agree a yacht is a passion and experience you can’t put a price on. Buy well and you get value and your money back.

  3. 0

    The definition of a boat is “a hole in the water that you keep throwing money into”.

  4. 0

    I disagree with the advice regarding desktop computers: in my experience, they last a lot longer than laptops etc., which wear out sooner.

    • 0

      Agree wity you Intellego.My desktop leaves my ipad and laptop for dead regarding consistent performance.Would never buy another ipad.

    • 0

      Agree wity you Intellego.My desktop leaves my ipad and laptop for dead regarding consistent performance.Would never buy another ipad.

    • 0

      Agreed Intelligo, I love the stability and reliability of my desktop, the real full sized keyboard, large monitor, its hard wired connection to the printer/ scanner//fax, the old pre Microsoft 10 so non skitish operating system and the comfortable computer chair I can sit in for hours. Tablets and phones are great for travelling but not for doing your tax return or writing a serious letter. . .

    • 0

      I find it a strain reading the screen of anything but a large screen desktop.

    • 0

      I’m with you Intelligo, having owned both over several decades the desktops win hands down on longlivety, plus they are easier to upgrade and repair.

  5. 0

    The other downside of home exercise equipment is maintenance: who fixes it when it breaks down? Happened to me years ago with a rowing machine. About camping equipment: tent does not have to be big, but el cheapos often leak and tear. Even a top quality Aussie made tent is way cheaper than a camper trailer. I suggest stretchers rather than inflatable mattresses: the inflatables always leak after a while. You are right about pools: our house had one when we bought, but pumps and chlorinators are expensive and don’t last for ever, and you are always buying chemicals, to say nothing about water and power costs.

  6. 0

    You could add jet skis as well. How many buy them & maybe use once or twice a year.

  7. 0

    Totally agree about camping equipment, and anything to do with caravans. I cannot believe the amount of money people pay for some of these rigs! In my area alone I have counted 14 caravans for sale. Was talking to one fellow recently, who finally sold his. Was custom made, 3 years old, cost $78,000, done 2,000 kms, sold for $38,000. I myself had a small caravan but it was also something else to buy, or needing, or requiring work on. I literally gave my little van away, in the end hating it. Yes, some might love it, but anyone who says caravaning is cheaper than owning a house has got rocks in their head.

  8. 0

    First thing I did was get my 2 armchairs reupholstered. Have not regretted it for a minute. They are now comfortable and will last decades. Plus got my two doonas cleaned and “re-plumped”. As I live in a cool climate, I’m thrilled. Along with Intellego, I disagree with what was said about the desktop. Mine is more comfortable for typing, and will do many more tasks that the iPad can’t or won’t handle. Plus the desktop remembers my passwords. Definitely something I would consider getting again if I had to.

  9. 0

    I also agree with Intellego. I have a Laptop along with a Decktop and I know which one I prefer using. It’s not the Laptop that is for sure.

  10. 0

    I also agree with Intellego. I have a Laptop along with a Decktop and I know which one I prefer using. It’s not the Laptop that is for sure.

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