10 Tech Things... that waste your money

A handy list of the worst unnecessary-expenditure offenders

Tech has no shortage of foolish things you can fritter your cash away on, and these are the worst. Avoid buyer’s remorse and keep wallet set to: shut.

1. Priority boarding

We’re not talking business class here; this is the extra tenner required to gain a place at the front of the queue. Good luck: it’s a lawless swarm and no mistake. Also, once you’ve fought into pole position, it may transpire you’re only at the front of the queue for the landing strip bus; you’ll have to scrap it out again at the plane door.

2. Shopping channel fitness kits

The adverts are bewitching, with enough shiny American accents and honed flesh to trick you into believing that the BicepatronTM will turn you into an Olympian. Unfortunately, it’ll only have that effect if you have an Olympian’s discipline to spend eight hours a day on said BicepatronTM.

3. Snooker-based computer games

We all love a bit of baize-backed potting – it’s hypnotic to watch and fun to play. Why wouldn’t that translate into computerised form? The complete lack of action should have been a warning sign that it was no FIFA-botherer. That £30 could have bought a few rounds of actual snooker at your local club, where beer and heroin are also available at very competitive rates.

4. Experience Days

Stop! Step away from the mouse! Think! You’re not giving someone a lovely, thoughtful present. You’re making them drag themselves to Northampton on their own, at their own expense, on a rainy afternoon that they’ve had to book off as annual leave. We doubt that a day of ceramics on a barge is going to compensate.

5. Most apps

Just 69p? Where can you go wrong? Everywhere, it turns out, as so many apps fail to hit even the pathetically low goals they set for themselves. How about shelling out a princely £2.99 for the latest must-have app instead? At least you’ll actually play with it more than once.

6. All in-app purchases

So you’ve got the latest must-have apps – retro camera, virtual hedgehog and multi-player ferret-smashing game – up and running. What you do NOT now need to do is spend money on new virtual lenses, grooming accessories for the ’hog or a .45 Magnum for your in-game character. Don’t get us started on The Simpsons: Tapped Out…

7. Anything from the hotel mini bar

In the heat of the moment, jet-lagged and dazed by the sun, you find yourself drawn to that tempting-looking, yet cleverly sensor-laden fridge. Seeing “can of Coke” next to “$17” on the hotel bill brings you back to your senses.

8. Deluxe electric toothbrushes

Your teeth are your food-devouring pals, so why wouldn’t you treat the little fellas to a “satnav for the mouth” or even a “UV sterilisation chamber”? Well, the £100 premium and the fact that dentists almost always recommend the entry-level variety, that’s why.

9. Next-day delivery

Just ordered a laptop/tablet/phone online? You’ll ideally want it in your hands that very nanosecond. We understand. But beware the side effects of haste. You’ll have to wait around all day (“Deliveries are between 5.30am and 9.30pm. Sorry we cannot be more specific”) only to realise on its arrival that another laptop/ tablet/phone was what you really wanted…

10. Anything that claims to boil or poach an egg “easily”

They lie. It won’t. It just won’t.