The other day I stumbled across a video on buyer’s remorse that simultaneously made me wince and smile.
Her story made me wince because I hate it when money is spent without thinking. I hate it when money is unnecessarily wasted. And I smiled because I know I have done the same thing in my life. I know that feeling of regret and embarrassment for having spent money you didn’t need to spend on something that ends up being totally useless.
I’ve bought things for my children that they’ve totally ignored once the money left my hands. I’ve bought clothing that has hung in the closet without ever being worn. And don’t get me started on all the money I’ve spent on exercise equipment I don’t use.
Buyer’s remorse is something everyone feels from time to time. We are human, after all.
So how can you deal with it? How can you keep buyer’s remorse from making you discouraged? More importantly, how can you keep it from happening again?
First, I think whenever you make a buying decision you regret, you have to stop and analyze the emotions that led up to making the bad purchase. Were you feeling social pressure from friends, family, or even sales clerks? Were you caught up in the thrill of a sale? Were you shopping because you were depressed or bored or tired or sad? Were you in a hurry?
Figure out the reasons for the bad decision and make a note of them. Then, the next time you are about to make an impulse buy, stop and ask yourself how you are feeling and your motivation for buying something. Making yourself aware of why you are buying can help protect you from buyer’s remorse by making you reconsider your motives.
Secondly, and this is something Kat alludes to in her video, you’ve got to own your spending mistakes. Sure, you bought that ridiculous sweater because it was on sale. It’s yours now. So either start wearing it, or sell it or donate it and move on with your life. Leaving your bad purchases to haunt you in your closet or under your bed does nothing by create clutter-inducing stress. Accept that you messed up, make a plan to either use or get rid of the item you are sorry you purchased, and move on.
Remember that we are all doing the best we can. Mistakes happen. Learn from them and let the guilt go. The most expensive thing you can do is repeat those mistakes that cause you buyer’s remorse.