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Story Time: What is The Dumbest Thing You’ve EVER Bought? (You’re Gonna Love Mine)

Last updated by on 23 Comments

We’ve all been guilty of impulse purchases that turn out to be, well… pretty damn stupid.

You know, the stuff that you anxiously bring home or open up when delivered to your doorstep, and a few hours afterwards you just can’t fake the denial any longer. Your significant other or friends have a good laugh, you feign a smile, but there’s no getting around it – you been had. Played like a true sucka.

I’ve made more than a few dumb purchases in my life that have led to serious cases of buyer’s remorse:

  • the 8″ black and white television that I used my life savings on when I was 7 years old.
  • the acoustic guitar when I had previously bought an electric and already realized that I didn’t have the patience or passion to learn it.
  • financing a used car when we had already had one in working condition that was paid in full.
  • the home that was way bigger than we needed.
  • the National Park video series, produced in the 80′s that I saw on an infomercial.
  • the Ab Roller (remember that one?), that I also saw on an infomercial. After a few rolls, suffered a metal friction spring explosion.
  • and who could forget my eager participation in the “Junk Wax Era“, quite possibly the greatest under-the-radar investment bubble in modern history?

But there’s one under-the-radar item that takes the cake for me. Here’s the story…

It was a cold and blustery winter’s morning, about 6-7 years ago (in the months prior to the inception of this blog). I had received the weekly paper (yep, I used to subscribe to a weekly paper). Within it was that typical mess of coupons for a bunch of overpriced, life-killing brand name grocery items. I quickly flipped through the coupons, as I usually had back in those days, in the hopes of finding the rare decent one amongst all the rif-raff. Just then – something caught the corner of my eye…

It was a full-page ad with a happy, well proportioned man confidently wearing a pair of the damned comfiest looking pair of glorious sweat pants I had ever laid eyes on. 100% cotton goodness with a pair of side (and even back) pockets to put all kinds of useful tools and other household shit in. Was that little crease in the front a fly? The description didn’t say, but I wanted to find out. And look at all that glorious room for… well, umm… “the boys to breath”.

Quite appropriately, they were named “Comfort Pants”, or “Pantalones de Confort” for the Spanish-speakers in the house.

dumbest thing boughtAnd the doctored-up version looked like this…

Want rapidly turned to need and I anxiously clipped off the order form. Should I order 2? 3? Nah, better keep it to 1 so that I can wear them in and double the comfort. In the unlikely event that they should wear out, I could order more. I checked the boxes for “grey” and “XL”, wrote a check for $17.99, and skipped to the mailbox.

The wait seemed like forever. But about 2 weeks later, a non-descript padded envelope arrived on my doorstep. Could this be them (a little voice in my head said)? This package seemed a little small for a pair of pants… hmmm. Excitement filled the air. I was like a dreamy-eyed child awakening on Christmas morn. It was clear that my life was about to undergo a life-shattering change. Henceforth, there shall be two eras on my life timeline:

1. BCP: Before Comfort Pants

2. ACP: After Comfort Pants

I tore in to the package with an amount of force that would have won me the title of World’s Strongest Man that morning.

There they were! And then I pulled them out of the packaging…

My heart sunk.

What laid in front of me were the flimsiest, thinnest, wrinkliest, goofiest looking pair of pants I had ever seen in my life. There are sweat pants, and then there are these things. The material was thinner than a light long-sleeve t-shirt – so thin, that when worn, the pocket lining showed through. And pockets weren’t the only thing…

When worn, the best way I can describe the look is as a saggy, loaded adult diaper on the top with full-length almost skin-tight legs on the bottom with static cling.

I put them through a load of laundry that afternoon in the hopes that my fortunes my change. No dice.

I couldn’t wear these out to the mailbox.

I couldn’t wear these in front of my wife.

And if I wore these in front of a mirror, I’d need to emergency IV a bottle of man pills in order to ever be able to gain back the confidence to perform again.

I had been had.

Mail order comfort pants from a coupon clipper? For real? There are times when you think you might be dumb, and then there are times when you know you are dumb. This was the latter.

And with that, I will leave you to paint a similar picture of the dumbest thing you’ve ever bought. It should be fun. Cheers.


About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You'll also find every post by category & every post in order.


23 Comments »
  • I can’t help but laugh on your dumbest experiences, especially the comfort pants! :) Impulse buying sometimes sucks, right?

    Lesson learned: Think wisely before buying something. :)

    BTW do you still have that acoustic guitar?

  • RNT says:

    I tend to buy stuff for the house off those online stores (think Joss & Main) as the sale prices seem so affordable! However, all of their sales are final. This past December, I ordered a desk that seemed perfect. Great style, great wood, great price! And all of those things were true, except that its mini! Its so tiny, and looks ridiculous in my space, but…no returns! So, now I’m stuck with mini desk.

  • That is the funniest thing I’ve ever read from a financial blogger!!! Love it! :-D

  • Lena says:

    I was not making much back when I was a broke college student. I was living on my own and spent $3000 (about 2-3 months worth of pay) on a designer purse that I never used afraid that it was going to get dirty or that I may get robbed.

  • karen teal says:

    that stupid MY PILLOW..worst ever..not worth the money..and to send it back what a nightmare..my dog has a $64 dollar bed!!

  • Retired by40 says:

    I laughed out loud at this! Made me think of the time I saved all of my birthday money for this dumb dog robot. Your story was waaaaay funnier though!

  • David Silva says:

    Brutal. Although I found argue that you were ripped off, not that the item you intended to purchase was a dumb one.

    The stupidest thing I ever purchased was an iron — for $70! It sprayed blackened water all over my clothes and was utterly useless. The price was fantastically terrible.

    Why did I buy it? Because the saleswoman was just about the best looking person I have ever seen and she blinded me with her charm.

  • Luis says:

    Would a pyramid scheme opportunity count? I ventured out into one of these as a college kid about 5 years ago. I felt terrible about the decision as soon as I signed my name, much like the poster above me, I found it impossible to say no to the pretty girl in front of me. Lucky for me they had a 3 day cancellation policy which I was able to take advantage of.

  • Marero says:

    A Samsung camera (WB100) i spent around $220 that has turned out to be significantly worse than any smartphone camera in recent memory. i bought it because it had 26x optical zoom and a 16mp sensor and it had good reviews, but the sensor is so slow that any slight motion comes out as a blur. i try to use it to get some use out of it and fell better about my $200 paperweight but whenever me and my wife travel we have to use our cell phones for most pictures and we can only use the camera for large landscape scenery which renders the zoom useless anyway.

  • Ron Ablang says:

    G.E. It was dumb but at least it wasn’t expensive. I’m glad we have sites like Amazon.com nowadays so I can look up reviews before buying anything. They have literally almost everything. That site has saved me many a dumb purchase.

  • Marcus says:

    I sike myself into believing I needed the iPAD when it first came out. I had already been anticipating the release date and took a trip all the way to Florida (Family Vaction, Which was another huge waste of money) to pay around $700-$750 for it. I sold it after I realize I did not really need it for $200 to my manager after about a year or so (or when I realize the iPAD 2 was coming out)

    P.S
    No, I did not run out to get the iPAD 2 :-)

  • As a 15 year old me and 2 other friends went in on an Xbox on ebay for $450. Only problem was the seller never sent it. Back in the day eBay wasn’t exactly “safe”. We had no recourse. The worst part was the guy had an AOL email so we knew his AIM screen name and he would actually respond to us sometimes. I still remember it to this day “Tukoo4you”. What a jerk.

  • Mark Thomas says:

    A parking permit during my first semester attending college. Even if you got to campus at 7 AM, there was never a spot to be found. What a waste of $300. I then rode the bus instead…even though I’d end up waiting about an hour to even get on because 3+ full buses would drive by my bus stop before one would come by with any room.

  • Here at Wichita State we have always had a parking problem. So of course it made sense to take out like 800 parking spots and build new dorms. I resorted to just parking as far away as I could where I knew I could get a spot. This meant everyday walking a half mile to class. Good exercise.

  • Alex says:

    I spend dumb money every time I shop for clothes. My defense is that I’m short but stocky (fatty) and don’t like any tight-fit fashions – so I inevitably buy trousers that are either too long or too thin.
    It’s a painful experience and another reason to be discouraged from shopping at all (plus shops are horrendous and devilish places!).

  • Justin B says:

    I can’t even think of how many stupid things I’ve purchased. I’m just now starting to think of all of these things at age 36. Better late then never? I guess so.

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