We’ve all made bad decisions with money at some point. That’s how we got into debt. That’s why we leased a car. That’s why we bought a house with no money down and went upside-down after the housing market tanked.
These decisions, while no fun to experience first-hand, are not uncommon. But every now and then, we hear a story or two about someone who spent a lot of money on something that seems, well, a bit odd.
You know the stories. When you hear them, you do a double take and say, “He spent that much money on what?”
If you’re not sure of what we’re talking about, here are some of the more high-profile examples:
Underground Doomsday Condos
Some wealthy “doomsday preppers” recently spent millions of dollars to help build luxurious underground condos in a Cold War-era missile shaft outside of Salina, Kansas. When the world ends, let’s all head to Kansas!
Emergency Rooms … in Their House
Some wealthy Americans have bypassed health insurance and built their own personal ERs, complete with on-call doctors. To skip the ER lines like this, it will cost you around a cool million.
ATMs … in Their Kitchen
You can’t make this stuff up. NBA player Deshawn Stevenson, who has earned tens of millions of dollars during his playing career, had an ATM installed in his kitchen. According to TMZ, Stevenson charges his friends a $4.50 transaction fee. The ATM contains $20,000 and is restocked around six times a year.
A Town. The Whole Thing
Actress Kim Basinger once bought the town of Braselton, Ga., for $20 million in 1989. Why? Who knows. But we do know that she lost the town when she filed for bankruptcy four years later.
A $50,000 Sandwich
On February 1, 1976, Elvis and several houseguests were hungry—with a craving for a sandwich called the Fool’s Gold Loaf. This sandwich, which comprised a hollowed-out loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly and a pound of bacon, could only be purchased at a restaurant in Denver for $49.95. The problem? Elvis was in Memphis. So on a whim, his private plane took him and his guests from Memphis to Denver. They ate their sandwiches and went home. Total estimated cost? Around $50,000!
But what about the real world?
Most of us can’t spend a few million on an underground doomsday condo, but that doesn’t mean we don’t spend money on what might be considered stupid stuff.
We recently asked Dave’s Facebook fans about some of their more embarrassing purchases. Here’s what they had to say:
“A $1,500 heavy-duty treadmill that I never used and wound up selling later at a loss for about $450. Dumb!” —Patrick
“A girlfriend of mine actually went to a restaurant and purchased four baked potatoes at $4 each to take home and add to their family's dinner that night. I about had a heart attack. Unbelievable!” —Sandy
“Political campaign contribution using student loan money!” —David
“$2,300 life-size yeti from Skymall!” —Jill
“A $1,000 vacuum when we lived in a mobile home with only eight square feet of ugly carpet.” —Cheryl
“When I was in college, a guy I knew used $3,000 of his tuition money to purchase a Star Wars stormtrooper costume!” —Yisel
“I bought a corset at an Irish festival for $300. I wore it twice and sold it for $25. Apparently there isn't much opportunity to wear them. Who knew?” —Aubrey
That’s just a quick sample. Nearly 1,800 people have commented on this question, with all sorts of hilarious examples of crazy things they’ve bought in the past.
Now it’s your turn to chime in: What’s an example of something that made you say, “You spent that much money on what?”