From The Frumious Bandersnatch (“the least trustworthy source of news on the web — free and worth twice the price”) comes this list of 1000 Ways to Waste Your Money.

Weeks of research have been dedicated to the preparation of this “how to” guide to assist the American consumer in throwing away his or her money. We can absolutely guarantee that if you utilize this guide to assist you in purchasing goods or services, you will be had. But, unlike your fellow consumers, you will waste your money with your eyes (and your pocketbooks) open. You will be comforted with knowledge in some detail as to how and why you have wasted your money.

Suggested ways to waste your money include:

  1. Buying a new car.
  2. Buying a used car.
  3. Reparing your car.
  4. Charge it.
  5. Brand name vs. generic. “Always buy brand name goods as opposed to generic if you are serious about wasting money. [...] When you buy brand name you are telling the company you like the artwork, quality of printing, the color, and the type of container the product comes in, and you love their snappy television and magazine commercials. This will insure the brand name company will continue to strive to make their packages even more attractive, and continue to increase their advertising budget.”
  6. Buy by mail.
  7. Telephone sales. “Those in the know say telephone sales are an excellent opportunity to waste money.”
  8. Buy only in stores with carpet on the floor.
  9. Never read a contract. [Note: Kris and I drive places crazy because we actually read contracts. This makes closing on a home, for example, last much longer than is typical.]
  10. Long-distance telephone service.
  11. Sales.
  12. Fly first-class.

Canny observers will note that the article only provides twelve ways to waste your money, and not the promised one thousand. I suspect a not-so-subtle point is being made here. The piece concludes with the following General Rule:

Any enterprise that has been deregulated from government control is a good bet to be a potential opportunity to waste money. In the name of protecting consumers, government has thrown consumers to the wolves, stripping them of quality protection and price regulation benefits in order to cut the cost of government and allow those saved tax revenues to be spent on toilet seats for aircraft carriers.

Funny stuff, but oh-so-true.

[1000 Ways to Waste Your Money — Don't try this at home.]