10 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use

2 woman holding shopping bags. One is pointing somewhere in the distance and both are looking in the same direction.

Whether you’re talking about a $40 candle or a $400 handbag, we buy many things without thinking through the value they add to our lives. Sometimes we do it because we’re feeling insecure about something in our lives, and buying this thing is like a bandage on those insecurities. Other times, we do it just because we can.

Let’s look at some popular things people have bought but rarely used.

1. Clothes That Don’t Fit

We’ve all been there: you see a shirt/dress/pair of pants that you just have to have, but when you try it on at home, it doesn’t quite fit the way you’d hoped. So it hangs in your closet, taking up space and gathering dust, waiting for that magical day when it might fit just perfectly.

Well, it is best just to return it if it does not fit and repurchase it when you are ready.

2. Expensive Shampoo and Conditioner

We spend so much money on shampoos and conditioners that promise to make our hair look shiny and luxurious. In reality, most high-end products are made up of similar chemicals used in the cheap, drugstore shampoos that leave our hair feeling dry and straw-like.

Before falling for the hype, look at the ingredients and compare prices. Once you find something that works for your hair, stick to it.

3. Gym Memberships

We sign up for a gym membership with the best intentions, but then life gets in the way, and we never end up going. The gym membership sits there, month after month, as we continue to pay the monthly fee even though we’re not using it.

4. Impulse Buys

We’ve all made impulse purchases that we later regret. Whether it’s a piece of clothing on clearance or a trinket we bought on vacation, these items usually end up sitting in a drawer somewhere, gathering dust.

5. Toys for Our Pets

We see a cute toy at the pet store and decide to buy it for our dog or cat, but more often than not, they lose interest in it within minutes. The toy ends up under the couch or behind the dresser, forgotten about until we clean the house and find it again.

6. Latest Tech Gadgets

As soon as a new iPhone comes out, we all start saving pennies to buy it. But do we need the latest and greatest gadget? Probably not – after all, our old phone still works just fine.

Sure, the new model might have some cool features, but is it worth spending hundreds of dollars on? Probably not. Wait until your old phone dies before upgrading to the latest model – your wallet will be glad you did.

7. Expensive Kitchen Gadgets

We all have that one friend who loves to cook and has every gadget imaginable. And while we may be envious of their collection, the truth is that most of us don’t need half of the things they’ve got. Do you really need a spiralizer? How about an ice cream maker or popcorn popper?

Unless you’re using the kitchen gadget regularly, chances are they’re just taking up space in your kitchen.

8. Workout Equipment

We all know we should exercise more, so we buy workout equipment with the best intentions. But how often do you use that elliptical machine or set of dumbbells? If you’re like most people, the answer is “not very often.”

Save your money on workout equipment you’re not going to use – instead, invest in some good running shoes and hit the pavement.

9. Self-help Books

It can be tempting to turn to a self-help book for guidance when life gets tough. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, the truth is that most of us don’t follow through on the advice we read. We might read a few chapters, feel inspired for a day or two, and then go back to our old habits.

If you’re looking for guidance, try talking to a friend or therapist instead – they’ll be more likely to help you make lasting changes.

10. Designer Clothes

We all want to look our best, so it’s only natural that we gravitate towards designer clothes. But unless you’re wearing them daily, they’re just taking up space in your closet. Save your money and stick to buying clothes from more affordable brands.


When you’re thinking about what to buy, it can be easy to get distracted by shiny, new things. They’re fun to look at and hold. But the novelty quickly wears off once they’re unwrapped and on display in your kitchen or office. You end up using the same stuff over and over again.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. You can change how you shop and make yourself more satisfied with your purchases by looking for deals and making better use of items you already own.

Featured Image Credit: AllaSerebrina /Depositphotos.com.

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.