7 Expensive Purchases the Middle Class Should Avoid

7 Expensive Purchases the Middle Class Should Avoid
7 Expensive Purchases the Middle Class Should Avoid

The middle class is often caught in a dilemma between saving for the future and enjoying the present. While there is nothing wrong with spending money on things that make you happy, some purchases are simply not worth it. They can drain your finances, increase your debt, and lower your quality of life. In this article, we will list seven expensive purchases that the middle class should avoid, and suggest some smarter alternatives.

1. New Cars

Buying a new car may seem like a good idea, but it is actually one of the worst financial decisions you can make. As soon as you drive a new car off the lot, it loses about 20% of its value. In addition, you have to pay for insurance, maintenance, registration, and taxes. A new car can cost you thousands of dollars more than a used one, and it will not last much longer. A better option is to buy a reliable, fuel-efficient, and low-mileage used car that meets your needs. You can save a lot of money and still enjoy a comfortable ride.

2. Timeshares

Timeshares are another common trap for the middle class. They are marketed as a way to own a vacation home without the hassle of maintenance and upkeep. However, timeshares are not really an investment, but a liability. You have to pay hefty fees every year, whether you use the property or not. You also have to deal with the hassle of booking, exchanging, and selling your timeshare. Moreover, timeshares are often overpriced and hard to resell. A better option is to rent a vacation home or use a travel club that offers discounts and flexibility.

3. Luxury Brands

Luxury brands are often associated with status and quality, but they are not always worth the premium price. Many luxury products are made with the same materials and processes as cheaper alternatives, but they charge more for the name and the logo. For example, a study found that luxury sunglasses are not more effective than cheaper ones at blocking UV rays. A better option is to buy quality products that suit your style and budget, without paying extra for the brand name.

4. Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are another way that retailers try to squeeze more money out of the middle class. They are offered as a protection against defects and damages, but they are often unnecessary and costly. Most products come with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers the same issues, and most defects are likely to occur within the first year of use. Moreover, extended warranties often have exclusions and limitations that make them hard to claim. A better option is to research the product before buying, and use a credit card that offers extended warranty protection.

5. Gym Memberships

Gym memberships are a popular way to stay fit and healthy, but they are not always a smart purchase. Many people sign up for gym memberships with good intentions, but end up not using them enough to justify the cost. According to a study, the average gym member goes to the gym only 4.8 times a month, while paying about $58 a month. That means each visit costs about $12, which is more than a single-day pass. A better option is to find cheaper and more convenient ways to exercise, such as walking, running, biking, or using online videos.

6. Cable TV

Cable TV is another expense that the middle class can easily cut. Cable TV is often bundled with internet and phone services, but it is not a necessity. Cable TV offers hundreds of channels, but most people only watch a few of them. According to a report, the average cable TV subscriber pays $107 a month, but only watches 17 channels. That means each channel costs about $6 a month, which is more than some streaming services. A better option is to switch to a cheaper and more flexible streaming service that offers the content you want to watch.

7. Lottery Tickets

Lottery tickets are the ultimate waste of money for the middle class. They are sold as a way to make your dreams come true, but they are actually a way to lose your money. The odds of winning the lottery are extremely low, and even if you win, you may not be happier. According to a study, lottery winners are not happier than non-winners, and they are more likely to go bankrupt. A better option is to save and invest your money wisely, and pursue your goals and passions.


The middle class faces many financial challenges and temptations, but they can make smarter choices by avoiding these seven expensive purchases. By doing so, they can save more money, reduce their debt, and improve their quality of life. Remember, it is not how much you earn, but how much you keep that matters.

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