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Our Dumbest Purchase Ever

DebtKid [1] recently shared his dumbest purchase ever: a Nintendo DS Lite. In fact, it was such a terrible purchase that he’s going to give it away today! He’s encouraging others to share their story. Here’s ours…

Our dumbest purchase ever: a sauna!

It’s a tradition in our family that everyone has a sauna at their house. When we were building our new house two years ago, I insisted that we put one in. And not any old sauna…. an 8 x 6 foot sauna.

The unassembled unit cost $4,536. But in addition to that cost, tack on at least another $1,000 for the builders to assemble it and their overhead. We’ll call it $5,500. Luckily, it came in under our budget of $7,600. (Of course we came in over budget on many other items, but that is a completely different topic!)

But let’s not forget that the $5,500 will be added into our assessment and we’ll be paying real estate taxes on it to the tune of $100 per year at our current mill rate. Add on the interest from our mortgage [2] for that and it’s at least another $130 in the first 5 years before the adjustable rate kicks in.

Let’s say we stay in the house five years. Our money spent on the sauna will be $6130.

In addition, when we sell our house down the road, I’m pretty sure that a sauna isn’t on most people’s need list. They probably won’t mind it, but it’s definitely not going to recoup the cost.

If we look at cost per use, it’s even worse. Take into account that I was pregnant most of last winter and couldn’t use it. My husband doesn’t even like saunas! Sure it’s fun now on cold days, but there’s probably many things that I could buy for $6,000 that would bring more enjoyment.

What’s your dumbest purchase ever?