Buyer’s Remorse

I was doing some thinking about how I spend money—both my personal and planned.   As of right now, I do not have any personal money.  However, I took my boyfriend’s mom out to lunch and made it my treat over the weekend.  I enjoyed doing so.   We went to Olive Garden and then went to Wal-Mart where I was able to buy the baby shower gift for this upcoming weekend.  The gift buying was planned and I don’t feel at all guilty over spending what I did on it.  I don’t feel guilty for paying for lunch either.

This brought up thoughts of buyer’s remorse for me.  I would often gain this in the past—over little items and big.  Did not matter the monetary amount—just the thought of spending money would get me guilty.  And I realized that part of it was due to how I planned…or should I say lack of planning.  For instance, in college I rented an apartment and did not have any furniture whatsoever.  I bought a ridiculously expensive couch that wasn’t planned or really thought out.  I now look back on that couch and wonder what I was thinking.  I shopped around for maybe 2 days at the most—and in the end was frustrated and went with an $1100 sofa.  Granted I bought it in cash (that would be one of the final times that I had that much money in a savings account) but that was cash that could have gone to any number of things (i.e. paying down student loan debt).  And it didn’t stop there.  One could wish it had.  Instead, I ended up buying 2 end tables for the low price of $120.  I didn’t even need them.  They were huge things with 2 drawers each.  My “reasoning” behind them (and that term is loosely used) was that the 4 drawers would come in handy and I would find so much use for them.  Um no.  They were mostly used for me to toss junk in—I can be quite a pack rat at times.   I regretted buying those three items about 5 seconds after leaving the store but talked myself into keeping them.

However, I did mention above that it didn’t matter about monetary amount.  Every now and then I will go to the grocery store and see something that is absolutely yummy and must be had.  Unfortunately, I’m a huge list person and hate to stray from that list.  I go so far as to create categories so I can avoid that potential trap (i.e. Frozen foods—can be pizza, pot pies, tater tots…you get the idea).  Well sometimes it doesn’t fit into my list anywhere.  So say I see some cupcakes that look absolutely yum-may.   I tend to buy them and spend the whole time regretting buying them that I don’t actually eat them.  Instead, my guy tends to eat them.

But surprisingly the last time I had buyer’s remorse was months ago—about the time that I started creating a budget and sticking to it.  I don’t know why but that budget really helps eliminate my buyer’s remorse.   I am pretty sure that it is due to the fact that I am more aware of where my money is and how much is able to be spent without breaking me until the next pay check.  The washer and dryer that I just bought would have been something that I would have regretted about 2 seconds after purchasing it.  But I think that the reason I haven’t is due to the fact that we discussed it and shopped around.  We agreed to buy a used set and to save up for them.  About a month went by before we actually bought them.   So its partially due to the fact that we shopped around, planned for it by budgeting it in, and also that we waited about a month before committing to the act of buying one.

Do you ever feel buyer’s remorse? Or do you find that building a budget and planning helps to eliminate that dread feeling?

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