The way we look at money changes over the course of our lives. At first we barely have a concept of it, which leads us to want to spend it on very stupid things. Then we get more autonomy over it, which…also leads us to want to spend it on very stupid things. OK, maybe the way we look at it doesn’t really change that much.

Maybe we can do some deeper analysis on that using data from this r/AskReddit thread that was kicked off by user 3VD:

What’s one of the dumbest things you’ve ever spent money on?
byu/3VD inAskReddit

Tons of people answered and not everybody mentioned how old they were at the time of purchase, but some did, so, let’s take a look at dumb purchases on a human timeline, focusing mainly on the developing years.

1. There’s this 3 year old super-salesman:

Not me but I sold a kid, that was twice my age, some gravel for 1€ as a 3y/o.

His mom was angry as hell

– Marald4ever

2. This preteen Pokemon poser:

I bought like a $100 (USD) Raichu holographic / Japanese Team Rocket Pokemon Card when I was maybe 8-10, using my allowance for it.

I never played Pokemon, just collected the cards because they looked cool. I still get teased from my family, 15+ years later

– DrunkenBastard1639

3. This elementary school spray tanner:

In elementary a kid called me pale. So I went to Walmart and bought spray tan. My dad thought it was sun block.

My sister knew what it was but didn’t say anything cause she was just gonna sit back and watch how this plays out.

I went in and out of the bathroom multiple times that day continuously reapplying before my sister decided it was time to tell my dad.

I went through half the can in a day and was more orange than a Oompa Loompa.

– guywhol1kesp1e

4. This 10 year old entomologist:

My family visited Colorado when I was 10 and I saw a statue of a Mosquito in a gift shop with the words “State Bird” on the bottom and begged my parents for it

We now have a rather large mosquito statue on our piano

– FriedEggRolll

5. This little piggy at the market:

I was 11 and my dad gave me 50 bucks to spend at the mall. So, I wandered into a gift shop and spent it all on an electronic vibrating oinking pink pig.

I never played with it after I brought it home.

Tried to return it, only to be offered store credit.

– TheQueensBishop

6. This swindled middle school traveler:

When I went on a school field trip to Washington DC back in middle school, I bought a $2 bill at a souvenir shop for $20. smh

– ogkudo

7. This amateur historian:

I was at the Russian exhibit at Expo ’86. My parents gave me a $20 bill and said spend $10.

I bought $20 worth of Russian newspapers. To this day I still don’t know what the flying fuck I was thinking.

– frustrated_ape

8. This 6th grade music connoisseur:

A CD of Mickey Mouse Rapping I bought in the 6th grade. Will never live it down with my cousins.

I’m 37 and it’s one of my biggest regrets.

– breezy83

9. This 14 year old sock hopper:

When I was like 14 I bought a pack of intentionally mismatched socks that were really expensive.

Like, only one of each pattern. Could have bought twice as many normal socks and just mismatched them myself.

– virgo-punk

10. This high school amateur wrapper:

My buddy and I decided to saran wrap another friends car shut. Mind you, this was 1999.

Do you have any idea how much saran wrap $37 buys you in 1999?

My buddy’s parents are still using the leftovers to this day.

– R0gueB4anner

11. This 17 year old mad hatter:

I went on a cross-country car trip with my family when I was 17.

We hit Nashville, Tennessee heading out and I knew we were going to be going through it again on the way back home.

While browsing through a store I saw this hat. It was a black, mesh, top hat with red flowers and fake beads on it.

It was used and dusty and I absolutely had to have it.

But we were near the beginning of the trip and I only had $50 spending money so I didn’t want to waste my money buying a hat.

But I didn’t stop thinking about it and when we got back to Nashville, I’d saved $10. I went into the store and I bought this dusty, used, stupid hat.

I was so happy I wore it every day for the rest of the trip. The day after we got home, my dog chewed it to shreds.

– daisy0723

12. This college-asaurus:

Got that inflatable dinosaur costume.

Wore it once around my campus and now I forgot where it is

– ReasonableBeep

13. This regretful graduate:

2 different university degrees (Business Administration and Economics). Alas.

– Xylitolisbadforyou

14. This late 20’s lego-head:

I just spent $250 on the 1989 Batmobile Lego set, arrived today.

Part of me is excited to build it. However the other side just thinks “what are you doing you’re a 27 year old man spending money on Legos during a pandemic”.

But still excited to build tomorrow.

– captainWaffles01

15. This child at heart:

I’m 53 years old and I still spend $40 to $70 a pop for 1:400 scale die cast model airliners.

Got a wife and a mortgage and two preteen grandgirls we raise, plus a nasty orchestral clarinetting habit to support… and I still cherish the thrill these little planes give me of remembering that day when I was 12 flying into LAX and seeing those giant jets from exotic corners of the world.

– ccguy

I guess the more things change the more they stay the same. But that’s alright. Money isn’t everything, after all.

What’s the dumbest thing you spent money on in your younger years?

Tell us in the comments.