Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
Rexindex
Posts: 211
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:12 pm

Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Rexindex »

What was your worst large purchase ever over $10,000 ? One you realy regret?
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” | — Simone Weil
veekay
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:39 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by veekay »

I can't remember anything over $10K I purchased, except for my house. And that was no regret. I'm up on the purchase. I only owned a car for about 6 months, when I was in college. Paid $3500 for it and sold it for $3200.

Public transportation, cabs and lyft do just fine for me since I live in a big city.
Last edited by veekay on Sat May 24, 2014 1:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
schuyler74
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:56 am

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by schuyler74 »

Just out of college, new job, car died, went and bought a brand new $30K sports car. Took 3 years to pay it off and another 15 before I could even afford to max out a Roth contribution. I can't see ever buying a brand new car again.
twindad57
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:30 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by twindad57 »

1996 Nissan Maxima. Purchased new for about $25,000. Financed it, so the payments were $435 a month for 60 months. I was only 25 years old, making about $40,000 per year. I got a bad deal on the car, it turned out to be a lemon, and my wife at the time who convinced me to buy the car, walked out 3 months later. I hated that car and the associated memories the entire time I owned it.

On the positive side, it taught me a lot about what I value, and that lesson has stuck with me now for nearly 20 years.
sambb
Posts: 2967
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:31 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by sambb »

high end bmw. so unreliable. so so so unreliable.

and low end BMW. So unreliable.
Last edited by sambb on Sat May 24, 2014 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
prudent
Moderator
Posts: 7791
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 2:50 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by prudent »

Bought a new car when I got my first good job. Not only was it a crappy car, I fell into the "that car is my baby" mindset and it brought me no joy, just misery when I noticed any scratch, dent, scrape, interior stain, whatever. Perhaps luckily, the engine blew at 18k miles and I bought a used car that I didn't idolize and since then cars are just transportation.
User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11640
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I spent an unseemly amount on a projector, perforated screen, audiophile grade sound system (Theta, Linn, etc.). It was fun for a while, but have sold off most of it.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
steve_14
Posts: 1507
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:05 am

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by steve_14 »

College, though I personally didn't pay for most of it. Poor value for money. Other than that,the only purchase I've ever made over $10K was my house many years ago, and no regrets there.
poker27
Posts: 833
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by poker27 »

When I was young I bought a car every 2 years. I worked hard bought a mustang when I turned 16, 2 years later bought another new car, 2 years later bought another new car. I've now had the same car for 7 years, but to be honest it's a waste for me to keep it as we have another car and it maybe gets driven once a month
tim1999
Posts: 3773
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by tim1999 »

Bought a used low mileage $15,000 SUV that was in absolute perfect condition cosmetically and mechanically, sold it 1.5 years later during the 2005 gas price spike for $8,500 (V8 engines weren't popular that year, I was convinced gas was going to $10/gal and this SUV would be worthless), had I held it another two years I could have got $11,000+ for it, if I kept it even longer it would probably still be running well and looking good today. I had my dealer buddy run a carfax on it last month, it's still going strong with 200,000+ miles on it, for whoever owns it now.

I don't regret buying it, but I sure as heck regret selling it.
sscritic
Posts: 21858
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:36 am

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by sscritic »

My second wife.
User avatar
ClevrChico
Posts: 1894
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by ClevrChico »

Fixer-upper house.

In the end, it is a positive adventure. Just a lot of work!
User avatar
frugalhen
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:56 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by frugalhen »

Interesting how so many people regret car purchases..........
"get out and live, you are dead an awfully long time" - Jimmy Demaret
gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by gkaplan »

Cue Frank Sinatra.
Gordon
gerrym51
Posts: 1679
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:44 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by gerrym51 »

My wife and I bought a park model rv and a lot at a campground-I loved it-she hated it-we sold it after 10 years :mrgreen:
poker27
Posts: 833
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by poker27 »

frugalhen wrote:Interesting how so many people regret car purchases..........
Well in my mind there are only 3 things that cost more then $10k, homes, jewelry, or cars.
Gnirk
Posts: 1357
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:11 am
Location: Western Washington

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Gnirk »

No regrets. The only time I've spent $10,000 or more is either a house or a car. In the past 45 years, I've bought 5 houses (due to moving to other areas, and a snowbird home), and 7 or 8 cars. Half of the cars were well under $10,000.
User avatar
prudent
Moderator
Posts: 7791
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 2:50 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by prudent »

frugalhen wrote:Interesting how so many people regret car purchases..........
Have only bought one house, and cars are the only other thing I've ever bought that was over $10K. Didn't really have many things to choose from.
User avatar
climber2020
Posts: 1597
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:06 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by climber2020 »

poker27 wrote:
frugalhen wrote:Interesting how so many people regret car purchases..........
Well in my mind there are only 3 things that cost more then $10k, homes, jewelry, or cars.
There are boats. BOAT= bust out another thousand. Never made that mistake myself, but have seen several friends and colleagues make that unfortunate purchase.
poker27
Posts: 833
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by poker27 »

climber2020 wrote:
poker27 wrote:
frugalhen wrote:Interesting how so many people regret car purchases..........
Well in my mind there are only 3 things that cost more then $10k, homes, jewelry, or cars.
There are boats. BOAT= bust out another thousand. Never made that mistake myself, but have seen several friends and colleagues make that unfortunate purchase.
Fair enough. I just want to make friends with someone that has a boat :). Unless you live on a lake that doesn't freeze, boats are tricky. Dock fees, storage, and maintenance. Compared to say a motorcycle, it sounds like a pita.
maroon
Posts: 381
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:59 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by maroon »

No one here bought a house at the top of the market (like in 2006 or so)?
Spirit Rider
Posts: 13921
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Spirit Rider »

Well, after poker27's post, I will have to call on the boat and raise a Harley.

After my divorce in my mid-thirties, I bought a jet boat and then the next year a Harley soft tail custom. They were both magnets for gorgeous women, but I got tired of the age and type of women (incredible as it may seem many years later). Also, In northern New England, there isn't much of a boating/riding season.

I might add, I got engaged to a woman who didn't like either and thought the money could be more useful elsewhere (like spent on her). So, I got rid of the boat, then the Harley, and finally the fiancée. If you think the depreciation of a car can be high, try a boat. The Harley I actually sold for more that I paid for it new. Harleys were scarce at the time, especially the soft tail. It wasn't a "purchase", but in hindsight I'm sure I dodged a large bullet with the ex-fiancée.
montanagirl
Posts: 1443
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:55 pm
Location: Montana

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by montanagirl »

Long time ago, but in 1975 I bought a new 280Z for $7200 which is $31k now. I was making only 250 a week. I traded a perfectly good paid off VW for it. :oops:

In a couple months I got someone to take over payments.
Tanelorn
Posts: 1804
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 9:35 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Tanelorn »

Stocks in 2008 or options that turned out worthless must count too. Some Silicon Valley stories about exercising stock options for a big tax bill and eventually worthless shares should be up there.
PinotGris
Posts: 751
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:38 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by PinotGris »

how about vacations? we were talked into a cruise and by the time we paid the visa fees, the excursions, the extra land trip it was well over 10K. we have spent far less and had greater trips on our own all over the world. i don't just regret i resent we got talked into this one. never again.
User avatar
happyisland
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:36 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by happyisland »

Law school. I wish I had that money (and time!) back... :oops:
User avatar
frugalhen
Posts: 429
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:56 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by frugalhen »

happyisland wrote:Law school. I wish I had that money (and time!) back... :oops:
Not trying to hijack the thread, but why? I have lawyer friends who did not practice because they hated it and those who did not practice but found it helpful in business.
"get out and live, you are dead an awfully long time" - Jimmy Demaret
island
Posts: 1734
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by island »

Hmmmm you mean other than a large pile of mutual funds with loads 2 decades ago when I knew absolutely nothing?

Well not 10K, but back in 1984 with my first real job I bought my first car a used Volvo for about 6k that spent more time in the shop than on the road. Guessing the odometer was tampered with cuz it was a total dog. Finally blew a rod on the freeway and I think the day the tow truck hauled it away was one of the happiest days of my fiancé's life. :D
More recently 8k on kitchen design that went nowhere.
User avatar
happyisland
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:36 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by happyisland »

frugalhen wrote:
happyisland wrote:Law school. I wish I had that money (and time!) back... :oops:
Not trying to hijack the thread, but why? I have lawyer friends who did not practice because they hated it and those who did not practice but found it helpful in business.
About 2/3 of the way through law school I realized I would never be happy practicing any kind of law. So when I graduated I started a business and I've been an entrepreneur ever since. The vaunted "helpful in business" benefit from a legal education is real, but it's only a minor help -- definitely not worth $100,000+ and 3 years of foregone salary and work experience.
HMan768
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 1:21 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by HMan768 »

happyisland wrote:
frugalhen wrote:
happyisland wrote:Law school. I wish I had that money (and time!) back... :oops:
Not trying to hijack the thread, but why? I have lawyer friends who did not practice because they hated it and those who did not practice but found it helpful in business.
About 2/3 of the way through law school I realized I would never be happy practicing any kind of law. So when I graduated I started a business and I've been an entrepreneur ever since. The vaunted "helpful in business" benefit from a legal education is real, but it's only a minor help -- definitely not worth $100,000+ and 3 years of foregone salary and work experience.
I too regret law school. I started before the degree was known to be worthless (2005) and ended right when the economy collapsed (2008). I've never found work as an attorney. It's a lie that a law degree will help you when you work outside the law. In fact, it tends to hurt you during the interview process. Take a look here:

http://abovethelaw.com/2014/05/people-a ... aw-degree/

Fortunately, I went to a cheap state school so my debt is not as bad as others... But I would gladly trade in my bar admission for my tuition. In fact, I'd probably trade my admission for a few hundred bucks...
User avatar
pennstater2005
Posts: 2493
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:50 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by pennstater2005 »

Boat. I bought it in May of 2005, right before gas skyrocketed after Hurricane Katrina. And I used some scholarship money from college to help pay for it. Then I found out later it had a bad transom. I love/hate that boat. My wife (girlfriend at the time) helped me clean it and even went half on a new cover, but never actually went out on it (it wasn't running) :twisted:
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson
User avatar
burt
Posts: 808
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:47 am

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by burt »

prudent wrote: Perhaps luckily, the engine blew at 18k miles and I bought a used car that I didn't idolize and since then cars are just transportation.
"since then cars are just transportation".

I'm with you 100%.
Since moving to the big city, I've realized that driving is a damn dangerous activity and I gain absolutely no pleasure from driving.
It's almost a status symbol to beat the hell out of a high end German automobile in this city.

burt
User avatar
schuyler74
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:56 am

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by schuyler74 »

maroon wrote:No one here bought a house at the top of the market (like in 2006 or so)?
Right, forgot about that. Bought in Spring 2007 (peak here was Fall 2007) for $220K which was cheap after being foreclosed. We put about $10K into it in repairs and upgrades. It's STILL not back up to the purchase price of $220K. But we had to move somewhere at the time, so even with hindsight I can only say we'd move somewhere and have rented for 2-3 years before buying. Maybe picked up that $8000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers, too. Oh well, could I have known? If not, no point regretting it.
Gill
Posts: 6976
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Gill »

Bought a house at $445,000 in April 2007. Hated the house for various reasons. Took two years to sell at $300,000. Loss of about $180,000 total.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal
User avatar
cfs
Posts: 4154
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:22 am
Location: ~ Mi Propio Camino ~

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by cfs »

Investment

Actually, one of my worst large purchases (I have plenty of those) has nothing to do with cars or significant others (we have plenty of those already discussed on this thread); it was buying an individual stock almost at the top in late 1999, keeping the loser for years, and then finally selling my shares for tax loss harvesting during the lost decade. What a waste of time and money, I could have made money just by investing in something as simple as a low cost municipal bond fund. Lessons learned and never again.

Thank you.
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~
Caduceus
Posts: 2810
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:47 am

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Caduceus »

My worst large purchase in monetary terms (adjusting for time value) would probably be books. I didn't know that the world would be transitioning to paperless formats (which is a superior format to me for a variety of reasons), and it was painful to donate or throw out all the books that I've bought over the years that I wasn't going to read again.

I know many people have spoken about how they are attached to the tactile feel of a physical book. For me, having to store/move/care for physical books is not worth it. I don't buy or keep physical books anymore, apart from those with charts or guidebooks/textbook-type tomes.
Last edited by Caduceus on Sat May 24, 2014 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
absolutFinance
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:08 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by absolutFinance »

My first car, a 2001 Honda Accord that I purchased in 2003. I wanted something fun/sporty as I was graduating college and thought I could mod my way to some amount of excitement with that vehicle. I was 100% wrong. I ended up selling the car 2 years later for about $1k less than I bought it and went overboard buying an entry level luxury sedan with all the options. I still drive the car today and love it but it was an expensive compensatory move. I should have held out longer for the first car and bought a sportier used car to get that out of my system.
hicabob
Posts: 3228
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by hicabob »

cfs wrote:Investment

Actually, one of my worst large purchases (I have plenty of those) has nothing to do with cars or significant others (we have plenty of those already discussed on this thread); it was buying an individual stock almost at the top in late 1999, keeping the loser for years, and then finally selling my shares for tax loss harvesting during the lost decade. What a waste of time and money, I could have made money just by investing in something as simple as a low cost municipal bond fund. Lessons learned and never again.

Thank you.

Yup - wcom here before the bk - 30k back when it was a decent amount to me - lesson learned though.
User avatar
bogleblitz
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:51 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by bogleblitz »

It wasn't 10k worth. My worst purchase would be an engangement ring bought for 5,000 on a cruise trip.

gambling money would also come in mind but not 10k worth.
investor1
Posts: 1052
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:15 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by investor1 »

I guess I only have two purchases over $10k; college and a car. I have an engineering degree that has been very useful for me, so I guess that means the car was the worse purchase between the two. I splurged a bit on a BMW, but it is a fun car to drive and I haven't had many issues with it. Overall, I'm happy with my worst large purchase so far.

Oh, I guess I purchased $10k worth of mutual funds when I opened my IRA, but that one has been going pretty well too.
Last edited by investor1 on Sat May 24, 2014 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pha430
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 9:29 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Pha430 »

First post, but been lurking for about a year.

The worst purchase I made was buying a new 2002 Honda Accord EX at age 18 for 21k. I had just joined the military on a enlisted salary. The 375 dollars payments were just not worth it looking back on it, I could of invested it instead. But I did save well, and paid off the car in under three years. On a good note I still own and drive the car today and never bought another vehicle, it's 14 years old now and still running great with about 140k miles on it. Looking back it was more about buying a new car when I was not financially ready to really afford it, which is my main regret. However I feel I redeemed my self a little by not replacing the car, along the way I had temptations of always trading it in for something else. Glad I did not repeat the same mistake.
User avatar
aja8888
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:28 pm
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by aja8888 »

My first wife...
bhsince87
Posts: 2699
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by bhsince87 »

RV van. Bought it used for $19K, and thought it was a deal! It cost $50k new!

And then I put in $5k bringing it up to modern specs.

And $400 in insurance every year. And an $80 inspection and $70 registration each year.

We used it 3 times.

Now I'm looking for charities who will take it away, and having a hard time finding one....
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams
gerrym51
Posts: 1679
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:44 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by gerrym51 »

bhsince87 wrote:RV van. Bought it used for $19K, and thought it was a deal! It cost $50k new!

And then I put in $5k bringing it up to modern specs.

And $400 in insurance every year. And an $80 inspection and $70 registration each year.

We used it 3 times.

Now I'm looking for charities who will take it away, and having a hard time finding one....
i'm currently in the process for buying a van rv(roadtrek). however i waited until i retired so i could use it.

i learned my lesson with the park model rv and site i was hardly ever at.

rv's and boats have a similiar issue-although there is a cost-you need free time to use tham.
goblue100
Posts: 1276
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:31 am

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by goblue100 »

In ground pool. Used it a lot for a few years, now it is a big expense(chemicals, electricity) that we use occasionally. We could have gone to Hawaii 4 or 5 times for what the pool cost + expenses over the years.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns
User avatar
Gambler
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Gambler »

Rexindex wrote:What was your worst large purchase ever over $10,000 ? One you realy regret?
new car A = $12k (after rebates)
new car B = $17k

chose car B because it had better acceleration.

was that $5k extra worth the additional fun of better acceleration?
9 yrs and 150k miles later, I still don't know.

$5k worth of hookers and blow would probably be more fun. :twisted:
altho in reality, that $5k would probably just sit in the bank/I-bonds.

Edit:
hm.. just realized that $5k is 40% of the 12k car.
I spent 40% more for a car just for better acceleration?! :oops:
Last edited by Gambler on Sun May 25, 2014 9:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Always be thankful for what you have no matter how much or how little" -EternalOptimist
lululu
Posts: 1378
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:23 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by lululu »

My science degree was an excellent investment.

Neither of my cars cost as much as $10K.

I have sunk thousands into various house maintenance projects, esp. since my first house was an old one, but I don't regret those.

I'm not much for jewelry.

I am in a get rid of paper books mode. I regret the time this takes, but there used to be no alternative, so it isn't exactly wasted money, just not as useful as I'd expected.
User avatar
Summit111
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:32 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Summit111 »

Enron stock...$1 per share...Cant get any lower than a buck, can it? $17K gone with the wind...

Summit
“Got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind!” Snoop Dog
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 68701
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your time and money).

Pha430 - Welcome!
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
Niko
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:37 pm

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Niko »

Two purchases, not sure which one I regret more. I regret each for different reasons.

1. Graduate school. It cost me $70,000 - $80,000 (not entirely certain without looking back at loan docs), wasted three years of my early-mid twenties, lost earnings during those years, tied me into I career I hated, spent an addition 5 years in said career until I could find a way into another, better career track, etc. I chose grad school because the economy was bad when I finished undergrad and, well, I didn't really have anything better to do. :oops: I wish I had instead taken a year off and spent a fraction of the cost hiking the PCT or traveling around the world on a student's budget. I probably would have come back more enriched and with a better idea of I wanted out of life. And with less debt.

2. Bought house in fall of 2006. Sold in summer 2009. Do the math. Oh, and our monthly mortgage and insurance costs were significantly higher than what it would have cost to rent the same house. So we "lost" money on a monthly basis while living there, and we lost a lot more money on the buy-sell transaction. This regret was pure dollars and cents (sense?). But we have since recovered and learned a lesson or two about house buying.

But I try not to get tied up in regrets. At the end of the day I have a healthy, happy family. I'm in a great career and well ahead of schedule to retire at 50. Who knows if I'd be in this same position today had I not made those mistakes in prior years. Life is funny like that.
Post Reply