No matter where you go there is bound to have some kind of problem for anyone. That is why people say “3rd world countries have lot of problem, and so does 1st world countries.” This is a list 1st world problem we face as a modern human being living in this day and age. The original article is from Quore where someone asked “What are some modern ways people flush their money down the drain?” a person by the name of Jason Loving answer the question saying “its going to be fun to answer this”
So lets get right in and see some of the seriously real world problem even we in Malaysia is facing today. Everything in Red is my comment.
- Extended Warranties. I used to work at Walmart. We have to ask each each and every customer if they want the warranty. Why? Because not only do many people not even use them if they do break, but by and large most stuff is good enough quality it will last well past the 1–5 years. Save your money.I think this is true. but can go both ways. Recently I drop my dumbbells on my phone and there goes my Note 10. If I had bought the warranties i would have saved RM500 something. However, this is seriously the first ever phone i have ever destroyed. If I were to buy all those warranties for all my phone prior to Note 10, or any other extended warranties like for a New MacBook that will end up really paying a lot for “feel at ease” or in Chinese 安心.
- Low Deductible Insurance. Similar principle to above. They’re paying insane prices every month for the privilege of maybe paying less (only if something bad happens). Even if something bad occurs, they’ve probably already spent more than that deduction in the difference between the low and high deductible varieties.The best way to describe this is the phrase “penny smart, dollar stupid” or “penny wise, ringgit dumb” I think a lot of people fall for this trap, I do fall in this trap every so often just thinking i was saving a few extra money.
- Unnecessary Life Insurance. It only makes sense to buy life insurance on the one or two breadwinners in the family. You don’t need a payout if little Timmy dies, and you should spend that money making little Timmy’s life a little better instead.I feel so sad when he mention Timmy dies.
- Rental Car Insurance. Do you want the GPS? The booster seat? The don’t-have-to-worry about gas (we’ll just charge you 50 cents over regular gas and assume you needed the whole tank filled). All of these are bad, but the worst has to go the rental car insurance. Most insurance companies will cover you while you’re in the rental car, so really you’re just buying extra insurance.Do you remember what it was like buying your car? They would ask you do you want built in GPS, reverse digital view, sensor for all coners…etc…etc. I mean these are all nice perks but seriously up till today, I still haven’t really rely on the sensor when I do parking. You have a phone that a simple app has Google Maps, it just doesn’t make sense to pay extra for a built in GPS system.
- Overpriced Phones. Just waiting a few months to a year and you can buy a second-hand version for pennies on the dollar. Also, when there is a negligible difference between an iPhone 6 and iPhone 11 as far as actual capabilities, maybe the newest one isn’t worth the price.Jason used a very good example here. Instead of using any other brand than Apple, all iPhone user are mostly guilty of this. The price between iPhone 8 and iPhone 11 is big difference and honestly the specs are not much different. its like the feeling of back in High School where popular kids will own the newest tech gadget. For me 1 phone can use for 2-5 years unless lightning broke it one day.
- Cable. Cable’s too pricey relative to alternatives. Cut it.I think majority of the people moved away from this a long long long time ago.
- Recurring Monthly Expenses. Do you need each of Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime video? Perhaps one or two would suffice. Those monthly recurring expenses eat people alive.Yes and from point 6 Cable we have moved into Netflix. But seriously no you don’t need so many subscriptions. Most of you won’t notice money gone from these subscriptions because its small A standard Netflix account in Malaysia is around RM30. If RM30 went missing in your wallet you would notice. But when it goes missing in your credit card or bank you might not.
- Buying Instead of Renting. Are you going to read that book more than once? Do you know it can be rented from the library for free? Do you really need to own the DVD?Again who rents book? Me personally I don’t read as much as I should but when I do, I like to listen podcast or audio books those makes a lot more sense.
- New Car. The used one with 30,000 miles on it is almost as good for about half the price. That’s an awful lot to drop.Same with the iPhone. Imagine buying a second hand car. instead of the new one its roughly RM30,000 cheaper. Do you know how much petrol you can pump with that? Let’s do the calculation. On average I pump a RON95 full tank is roughly RM60(MCO price) and this will last for about 1 week assuming I don’t travel more than 50km per day.
RM30,000/RM60 = 500 weeks = 10 years
WOW! buying a second hand car can get you 10 years worth of petrol(for my case)
Heck this does not even include the points I get from spending money at a petrol station which the points can also be redeem for petrol at a certain amount.
- Grocery Shopping While Hungry. Buying on a whim is never a great idea, and many people will load up with food they shouldn’t be eating anyways. Stopping at gas stations for a snack is even worse, now you’re paying 30% more for the same item.I am guilty of this.
- Banking fees. Recently, many brokerages have switched to offering commission free trades, but many people still aren’t using them. Even worse, many banks will charge people just to store money with them (money the bank then loans out at higher interest rates to others).I am not sure about other countries, but thank god, Malaysian bank don’t charge us for keeping money in the bank. Seriously would you pay bank money to keep money in their banks? HAHAHA
- In-game purchases. South Park did an amazing episode about “freemium” games and the dangers of them. They noted that many games are now designed to be boring enough to where the average person was just barely interested in playing, but then could speed up the game by spending “a few” dollars. For some, this “few” dollars adds up really quickly.Mobile Legend Skins, or Fortnite dance. I think a lot of people who play games will fall in this. I personally don’t like the idea of spending money in game. This is especially true if you’re going to abandon it after a few months. The only Childhood game I really consistently paid money was Ragnarok Online PC…. ah the good ol’ days.
- Coffee. A coffee maker is $20. That’s the cost of 3–4 cups at Starbucks. Buy all the fancy syrups and toppings you want, it will get you to maybe $50, for nearly unlimited great tasting coffee.If you really love drinking coffee and you drink once a day, then get Aristo, Their plan forces you to 4 box of capsules per month. I bought into this, but after a few months I had to cancel. Even with 4 people drinking coffee we ended up accumulating 10boxes of unused capsules.
- Buying Too Much House. “Housing prices always go up!” They do, until they don’t, as seen in 2008.If you have money and a stable job sure why not. Even after the crash in 2008 everything went back up. Look at stocks. Since 2008 SP500 have just been going up.
- Private Mortgage Insurance. Many people don’t have the 5% (FHA) or 20% (regular) to put down on a loan and so instead get smacked with an extra several hundred each month.Owwkkkkaaaay….
- Eating Out. My dad would always say, “You can eat like a king if you cook at home.” The same meal that costs $20 at a restaurant can often be made for under $4 with a little knowledge. Also, the time it takes to cook can be used to clean and organize at the same time.I disagree here. No matter how many time I cook, what I make can never taste like what I pay in a restaurant. Not to mention the amount of wastage for messing up the food. $4 is going to taste like nothing and $20 is going to taste like $20. Sorry I love to eat even though it saves money by eating at home. I still enjoy wasting money putting delicious food in my mouth.
- Credit Card Interest. People lose a ton because they want to buy right now something they can’t afford.A wise man once told me, “if you can manage your credit card well it can actually make money for you.”
- Cigarettes, Alcohol, Tobacco. All of these items get taxed very high, wasting even more of your hard-earned money. Also, for many people, they find them to be very addictive and keep coming back for more and more.So so many people is in this trap, I know some people who can’t even pay for basic necessity but is willing to commit to cigs or alcohol religiously.
- Lottery Tickets and Gambling. The math is clear – every time people put in a dollar, they’re (on average) getting 80 to 99 cents back. The more they do it, the more they lose. Yet, people are incredibly good at fitting patterns to situations and convincing themselves they’re “lucky” or are “just about to make it”.Same as cigs and alcohol, its a level of addiction where you get drown in and honestly is very hard to get out from. But IMO I think gambling is worst than cigs and alcohol.
- Cell Phone Bills. There’s cheaper options out there. Google Fi is really quite cheap compared to most of the options out there.Do you need to have 100gb internet a month on your phone when in most public places there is free wifii? personally my data plan consist of 40gb/month, however, it is also because they upgraded it over time. It used to be just 10gb for RM98. For me, 10gb was enough. As time passes it upgraded to 20gb and now 40gb for the same price. If i downgrade my plan to RM48 it will be at 5gb/month…weird right? So i might as well just stay still and don’t move.
- Bottled Water. Similar principle to coffee. Spend $20 on a good water filtration system and another $10 on a water bottle of your choice. Unlimited, pure drinking water.Yes there is people who buys bottle of water, I am assuming these are people who lived alone at home and no one else. 1.5L of water is only less than RM5. If this person work in an office you already get free water. Can you imagine working in a restaurant, office, gym, shopping mall and there wasn’t at least a water fountain?
- Expired Food. Many people lack enough planning to be able to figure out what they will eat when they go shopping. Even when it turns into crunch time, they drop it in the trash can instead of into the freezer where they could still use it.If you lived in a big household food can easily go to waste because sometimes not everyone eats at home as much as you want them to.
Imagine a household of 5. Mom wants everyone to eat at home and buys 1 month worth of grocery at home. Food will expire in 45days, but ended up everyone sits eating only during dinner time. Breakfast and lunch is usually eat outside mostly due to work. The food at home will just slowly become waste because we just don’t have the habit to rush home for dinner.
- Clothes. Is it going to be used multiple times? Actually, is it going to be worn at all? If not, maybe it’s not a good idea to buy.Be like Mark, Facebook Founder, his entire closet consist of 1 color shirt.
- Gym Memberships. Running, push-ups, and sit-ups can all be done outside just fine, and these three core exercises comprise the bulk of good working out. To make it worse, many people don’t even end up using these gym memberships but sign up for them hoping that that will give them the motivation to actually go!Everyone enjoy their workouts in a different environment. For me I like the gym, I like the feel of pumping the equipment. Sure I can do similar things elsewhere but where is the swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, and shower going to be when i finish a workout if its not in a gym? Compare to a less cheaper option where I pay RM5/entry which i used to, Paying RM135/month going 5days/week. Not to mention I now enjoy all the perks a gym offers.
If you getting a membership for the sake of motivation to lose weight or get in shape, you need a different motivation PERIOD. It should be because you want to lose weight and you are motivated not the other way around.
- It’s On Sale! If it’s not something they were planning to buy anyways, then they did not save 25%. Instead, they spent that 75% that they weren’t planning to spend.The power of marketing. This is one of the most scariest thing. Recently I broke my screen for Note 9. To fix the screen cost RM860, whereas to buy a new Note 20 is RM3,389. If I trade in my broken screen Note 9 I get a RM600 rebate.
From mindset A it sounds like this. Awesome I get to use a new phone if I trade in my broken old one and get a RM600 rebate and only PAY RM2,789.
From mindset B it sounds like this. Need to pay Extra RM2,789 instead of just PAY RM860
If I chose to be A I would be RM2,789 poorer that day. B would only be RM860 poorer. Simple math right? who would you want to be A or B?
What’s your opinion on all this? Are the people who live in the 21st century around us waste money the same way Jason Loving describe? What else could be missing from this list?