I’ve offered a number of frugal living tips, stuff that helped me escape the rat race.
Today, I thought I’d share 3 of the stupidest things I’ve ever purchased.
Wasting Money! on a…
Ford Focus Turbo
I have nothing against Ford. In-fact, I currently drive a Ford – just not a Ford Focus TDCi.
I’m not a mechanic, but this car got me on the road to knowing a lot more about cars.
Let me set the scene: There I am, a twenty-something, still driving my first (reliable) car. Then the opportunity to buy a cool Ford Focus TCDi came along.
Yeah, I thought. It’s time to get something a little bigger, and this car seemed to fit the bill.
Putting my foot down on the accelerator produced a reaction my budget car could only dream about. And for awhile, it was all good. What I paid for in fuel was made up for in performance.
One day, within the first 6 months of ownership, the car began to labour, instead of zooming-off upon request.
The mechanic explained that there was a slab of engine, on-top of the engine, called a Turbo. This ‘Turbo-Engine’ had retired, without notice. It had decided that speed was no longer a priority, and it wanted to pursue other interests, like pointlessly hugging the main engine for 24 hours a day.
The mechanic inspected the car on several occasions. Each time releasing the patient into my care. Finally he told me:
1. He would need to remove the Turbo,
2. that might not necessarily fix the problem,
3. it would cost as much as a new second-hand car.
I choose to leave the Turbo alone.
Instead I purchased a new small car.
In all, I lost thousands of pounds to a Turbo that was fun at first, but changed occupation 6 months after taking the job.
A key question I would ask of any new car is: Can I see, and work on, the entire engine?
In the years that followed, I purchased a few books, watched a few videos, and learned what I could about my car. And it has saved me nearly as much as I lost on that Turbo!
Wasting Money! on a…
There was a time when MP3 players were lifestyle changing. If you’re old enough to remember, MP3 players meant you could listen to music while moving – like when jogging, playing basketball, or riding a bike.
Before MP3 players, there were CD-Players, and before that, cassettes. Neither were ideal for exercising.
The only problem with early MP3 players was that they had limited memory. So you could only listen to a few songs in rotation.
What’s all that got to do with a Sony E-Reader?
Well, in a similar way to the MP3 player, the early E-Readers were limited. They were not the finished article that the Kindle is today.
They were pixelated, grey-scale, and it was hard to get e-Books onto the thing!
I purchased an E-Reader just before they sorted it all out. As a result, I have a lovely paperweight, with soft fake leather case, sitting in a drawer somewhere.
For the same money, I could have bought more books than Andy Dufresne.
The moral of the story is, wait before buying that fancy new toy. Forget the ‘paper-like’ screen stuff, the ‘store 100 books’ hype, and the ’20 hours reading time’.
Ignore it all and wait. It’s going to get a lot better, and a lot cheaper, real soon!
Wasting Money! on a…
Home Exercise Bike
When I kicked my gym habit, I purchased some equipment for my workout routine.
Among other items, I purchased a rowing machine. The rowing machine worked really well. I enjoyed the cardio, the strength conditioning, and liked the physical action.
A few years passed and I thought, it’s time for an upgrade. I gave away my rowing machine and purchased a real fancy home exercise bike. One with a screen that shows the progress up and down hills, can take your pulse, and gives you a little cheer at the end of your workout.
Why the bike? Well, I like cycling, and have cycled on the road for years.
What I didn’t realise was, home exercise bikes are uncomfortable. Mine has a large seat, its paddles are badly positioned and the tension is odd.
Needless-to-say, I’ve got a bike for sale.
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