HomeSpending5 Things We Need To Buy, But Hate To Spend Money On

5 Things We Need To Buy, But Hate To Spend Money On

In life, there are needs, and then there are wants. I need to pay my rent, my utilities, and buy food; and while you might debate what constitutes wants vs. needs, I could survive without spending money on my iPhone (and the accompanying data plan), a gym membership, and dinners out.

In life, there are things that just about everyone spends money on, whether we like to or not. These are the types of expenditures many of us forget about or even resent. Here are things I consider to be the worst offenders on this “need to buy” list (whether I currently need them or not).

1. Tires

If you own a car, then at some point you’re going to have to replace your old tires. Even the cheapest tires for a small sedan cost around $50 each – then you have to pay for installation and disposal of your own tires. Buying these low-grade tires – with a lifespan of maybe 20,000 miles – will virtually ensure that you’ll need to buy them again sooner rather than later. Suck it up and get a good pair of tires and you won’t have to worry about them again for awhile.

2. Insurance

Car insurance is a must, and you don’t want to get in an accident and suddenly owe thousands of dollars because you didn’t get full coverage, so I don’t suggesting getting just the minimum.

You don’t really need to buy life insurance if you’re single; even if you’re married, it’s not a necessity. But once you start a family, having a life insurance policy moves squarely into the “needs” category. What’s worse than spending hundreds of dollars a year to insure your own life, knowing that in order to cash in on the policy you’d have to die? Talk about a buzz kill…

3. Passport

Admittedly, you don’t have to travel outside the United States. But if you do, you must secure a passport from the U.S. State Department before you go. The fees for this document are rather astounding. First-time applicants who need a passport book and card must pay a $140 application fee and a $25 execution fee, a grand total of $165. Then, you’ll have to pay another $140 in fees to renew your passport every ten years, whether you used it during that time or not, whether you changed your name (like through marriage or divorce) or not, whether you changed your address or not.

4. Expensive Drinks at a Bar

I don’t go out nearly as much as I used to, but that doesn’t mean I’m able to avoid every happy hour or birthday party that takes place at a bar. And while I don’t mind spending $10 for a 6 pack to bring to a friend’s house when we watch a game, the thought of dropping $10-$15 on a single drink at a bar makes me cry a little on the inside.

I’m not going to be the cheap person who holds out (or brings a flask to a bar), so I pony up and sip that beer so it lasts just a little longer so I don’t end up getting too many of them. But looking at the menu will always make me cringe. Maybe the best idea is to order blindly and not look at the final bill?

5. Gas

I drive about 15 miles each way to work. I end up filling up my tank about 3 times a month, that’s another $130-$150 a month that I need to spend. It’s a bad feeling paying $45-$50 and putting something in my car that I know is so temporary. This one definitely feels like wasted money, but it’s absolutely a necessity. Without it, I’d be going on a grueling bike ride for about 4 hours a day. Not a realistic option at all.

Reader, what things do you hate to buy, even if you “need” to?




  1. With two kids, ages 3 and 1, I have found that buying shoes for them is something I dread. They are made of a quarter of the material that go into my shoes, yet are just as expensive if not more, and they only last a few months before the feet are too big to fit!

  2. Fabulous! Since I don’t have to buy tires, insurance, or gas – I don’t mind so much spending money on a drink.

    Although, I did notice you mentioned happy hours. I sure hope your happy hours don’t involve $10 drinks!

  3. Daniel,
    You’re right about passports being expensive. In my opinion though, they’re an investment. Plus they open up so many opportunities.

    I’m not big on buying clothes either, Lance. I also dislike paying for any car maintenance. Every time something happens, I just want to sell the damn thing!

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

  4. We just bought 4 tires last week and our savings really took a hit! I hate all money I spend on cars and wish I could return to being car-free. Maybe in our next city…

  5. I recently bought tires and realized that HOLY COW are they the least fun thing to spend money on! JEEZ.

  6. To spend or not to spend & yes when it comes to insurance we all cringe because we always have a cringe that whether is it really worth it or will it suffice my objectives ? However like they say Insurance & above spending’s which we cringe upon are subject to solicitations !! :)

    We should however not forget that we live in the Social era & ideas/ people response for problems are sure & spontaneous.

    Along with that comes insurance aggregator sites which are there aplenty online which displays the unique features of the policy along with term plan & the benefits provided by the provider however the catch lies in selecting the best from the rest as that’s where save for the unknown.

    Now the rest like tire, passport , Gas etc don’t have options but Insurance sure has a option & yes Social & Aggregator sites can help the consumer a lot in the coming days provided the right channelization happens.

  7. That list could be a whole lot longer! There are a lot of necessities in life that are just not fun to pay for. Electricity is one of my least favorite things to pay for…in Ontario Canada, we are being gouged on Hydro. Every time the bill comes in I want to go to drink at Happy Hour!

  8. Hi Daniel, it is really interesting that all 5 points are not applicable on me.

    Tires: I don’t have a car.
    Insurance(Car insurance): No need without car.
    Passport: I did not try to go outside of country so far. My country is very big to travel.
    Expensive Drinks at a Bar: I don’t take drink, but addicted to taking coffee.
    Gas: I use bike.

  9. Daniel,

    I agree with all of those! Like Christian L., clothes is one that would be on my list as well. I wear things over and over…

    I’m a homeowner and I had two big ones in the last 18 months that I hated… an A/C unit and a new roof.


  10. I have to agree with the tire statement. For that fact, I hate to spend money on anything that involves my car. But I need it to get to work so its a necessary evil. Last weekend I had to drop a few hundred dollars into my vehicle. Ugh.

  11. I hate buying water. It is not potable where I live so I can’t drink from the tap. Bottled water is so expensive.

  12. Here are a few more.
    Diapers, anything DMV related, all activation fees on anything (what does an activation fee really even mean), application fees to universities, costs for exams, etc.

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