Avoid purchases that are likely to depreciate rapidly. Spending $50,000 on a car is sometimes considered a waste because it's likely that it won't be worth half that much in five years, regardless of how much work you put into it. As soon as you drive a new car off the lot, it depreciates about 20%-25% in value and continues to do so each year you own it. [2] That makes buying a car a very important financial decision.