Money-Wasting Trends to Avoid Like the Plague

on Topics: Personal Finance | Saving

Money-Wasting Trends to Avoid Like the Plague

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements for shiny new things and are told how much we need them to be happy, healthy, and successful. While it can be fun to participate in new trends, at some point our wallets cannot handle all of that spending. It is worth it to take a step back and decide whether we need something, or if it is a popular trend that is a waste of money that in a few years, months, or even days, will no longer be trendy. 

Here are some current trends that, sure, look like a lot of fun – but ultimately, which waste money and can dent our net worth.

1. A Wedding Fueled by Pinterest

The days of Braveheart-Esque wedding ceremonies that involve simply the couple and a ring fashioned out of thread are long-gone. Millennial couples want more than that – and nothing exemplifies having “champagne tastes with a beer budget” more than the wedding industry. This is in no small part due to the proliferation of a popular wedding-planning tool: Pinterest. 

When it comes to popular trends, Pinterest is full of them. A donut wall? Fireworks? Fifty-seven bridesmaids? A flower arch? Pony rides? You can have it all. 

Well, that is, you can have it all…at a huge cost. 

According to theknot.com, each year, 40 million brides and grooms to-be turn to Pinterest for guidance in their wedding planning journeys. Per the article, over time, “they move into decision-making mode and use their favorite Pins to bring their vision to life…In all, Pinners save nearly 900 million Pins about weddings and conduct 378 million wedding-related searches every single year.”

The problem is that social media tools like Pinterest scream that no wedding is complete without incorporating every popular trend. Not only does this create a wedding that might not reflect on the couple’s actual style or personality, but it is expensive. And weddings aren’t cheap to begin with: According to CNBC, the average cost of an American wedding in 2019 was just over $33,000. For many couples, this is a salary. Or a downpayment on a house. 

Your wedding can be the best day of your life, but that does not mean it has to be the most expensive. By ditching the popular trends, or including just one or two, you will be sure to cut back on overall cost and create a wedding that reflects who you truly are.

2. The Latest Fitness Classes and Fad Diets

Orange Theory. Hot yoga. Keto. Crossfit. Intermittent fasting. 

Social media influencers fling these buzzwords around like they’re going out of style (and frankly, they probably are). But what big brands understand all-too-well is that typical consumers don’t have Kim Kardashian’s money – but if Kim tells them a certain fad will make their lives better, then they’re going to spend like they do. As a result, generally healthy individuals wind up in debt over the latest expensive gym membership, healthy food delivery service, or skin-care product.

Most of us already know what it takes to keep ourselves healthy. We know what type of movement works for us and what foods nourish our bodies, but for some reason, we are tempted by all of the new popular trends in wellness. While it can be worthwhile to explore different fitness and diet options until you settle on what works for you, it is best to stay away from the constant hype of the popular trends. Try them out if you want, but try not to be tempted by the (often empty) promises of the wellness industry. Most of these popular trends come and go in the blink of an eye – but not until they have taken plenty out of your paycheck.

3. Home Decorating Trends

Remember those shag carpets that were so popular in the 1970s? That was their time to shine. Now, they are really just old, outdated, and kind of gross. 

The same can be said for many of the popular home decorating trends gracing the blogs and home improvement shows of today.

All-White Everything

For a while, all-white everything has been a popular trend. Not only will the trend eventually run its course, but it is also one of the most expensive trends. (Ever try keeping all-white bedding white? Let’s talk about how many times you’ll have to replace it…) The task gets exponentially harder when everything in your home is white. Not only will you have to clean more often, but you will probably also have to replace your items more often, so save yourself some hassle and money and skip this trend.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is all the rage. And while it sure looks great in your friend’s kitchen, guess what? She paid a pretty penny for that wood: The average minimum cost of reclaimed wood is around $8 per square foot. What makes this hard to stomach is that frequently, reclaimed wood is simply, well, wood…that someone polished, distressed, and marked up substantially to sell to Joanna Gaines fans. Instead of falling prey to this costly trend, see if you can fashion your own unique pieces by visiting salvage yards and polishing up your own treasures.

4. Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is defined as “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” As such, by definition, the entire fast fashion industry is essentially one giant trend. Whereas trends used to come and go with the four seasons, retailers now operate on a fifty-two season cycle. This means there is a popular trend to partake in at least every week, if not more. By opting out of the world of fast fashion and popular trends that will be gone before you know it, we can save money and do our part not to contribute to global warming.

Instead, consider more sustainable choices. There are numerous brands that offer quality pieces at affordable prices while supporting an empowered workforce.

What to Do Instead

Instead of participating in all of the popular trends, take a step back and give your spending a break. If it turns out you do want or need an item, whether it is trendy or not, you can make that decision for yourself. By being thoughtful of your purchases you can help yourself avoid debt and boost your savings.

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