As you go through life, you’re going to make a lot of purchases. Some of these purchases you’ll be proud of, while others you’ll regret and wonder what ever possessed you to make them. The key to not regretting the purchases you make is to avoid making those you’ll regret in the first place. While you probably aren’t going to be able to avoid all poor purchases during yur lifetime, one way to limit them is to know what purchases others have regretted making in the past and learn from them. Below you’ll find eleven common things that people purchase which many of them ultimately end up regretting buying in the long run.
Most people are happy with their timeshares when they are using it, but the moment that they are no longer able to use it and want to try and get rid of the timeshare, they immediately have a change of heart. Anyone who has tried to sell in this economy knows that it is nearly impossible to sell a timeshare, and many times you can’t even give a timeshare away for free. While there are some advantages to timeshares, being a good financial decision isn’t one of them and in the end, most timeshare owners wish that they had never made the purchase.
Remember when you promised yourself you’d start working out if you bought a treadmill? Maybe you decided to buy a yoga kit. Or maybe it was a bicycle. How many times did you actually use it? Once? Twice? Maybe you never even used it. You might have decided to sign up for a gym membership instead, paying $50 a month, and only using it once. Many people are guilty of buying gym memberships or exercise equipment and then never using them, instead letting the membership or equipment sit idle as a reminder of what a waste of money the purchase was. While there are certainly financial benefits to exercise, you need to be sure that you follow through and do your research on how to save money on exercise equipment to not turn these purchases into regrets.
Extra Accessories for Electronics
Electronics come with so many accessories. Whether it’s a new, high detail lens for a camera or special additions to your computer, there are plenty of options to choose from. Sometimes you’re tricked into buying them because you think they’ll be necessary. many times you buy these accessories and never use them. Regardless of the price, many people end up regretting these purchases.
Many people are guilty of purchasing popular items, whether it’s a brand of clothing, an electronic gadget, or a type of entertainment. But fad items only last for a short time period for a reason. Fads are quick to enter mainstream culture and equally quick to exit. A year or two after the fad is over and everyone has moved on to something else, most people are left with an item they no longer have any use for wondering why they ever bought it in the first place.
As Seen on TV Items
As Seen on TV items are similar to fad items, except they never seem to go away. Like fads, they seem like a great idea at the time. Of course, when you’re watching TV infomercials at two in the morning, this should be an alert that you might not be using your best judgement. At these early hours, who wouldn’t want a kitchen gadget that can cut any type of food or a cleaning product that promises to clean anything? The “special” deal might seem like a bargain – especially when that buy one, get one free deal is tacked on at the end – but the items are usually useless. Most people end up trashing the item or wondering what possessed them to buy it in the first place.
Clothes and Shoes
Clothing and shoes cause shopper’s guilt for many people. Some people prefer to buy high end, designer clothing at an outrageous price. Some people buy a lot of clothing that they never wear. Some people buy shoes that hurt their feet or are ruined shortly after their first use. And some people regret buying poor quality clothing and having to replace it frequently. Whatever the reason or cause, many people regret spending so much or so little on clothes they don’t need, don’t wear, or that don’t fit. It’s important to know how to shop for clothes to make sure that the purchases don’t end up being regrets.
Sometimes people just want to treat themselves to something nice. It might seem like a great idea at the time, but it’s not so great when your credit card statement arrives. Did you really need the $2,000 in clothes or that overly expensive sports car? Many people, especially those struggling with money or those in debt, end up regretting their luxury purchases. They’re items that are almost always frivolous.
How many times have you walked into a store and seen a large appliance, electronic, or entertainment system on sale? And how many times have you made an impulse buy, saying that you’ll never find such a good deal again even when you don’t even really need or want the item? Sales are designed to entice your impulse buying habits, and most people usually end up regretting these purchases.
DVDs and Video Games
Almost everyone owns DVDs or video games, but how many DVDs or video games have you bought and never used? Sure, that $4 bargain bin movie might have seemed like a deal, but if you never plan on watching it, what’s the point of having it? Same goes for video games you might play once before discarding it for something else. The price might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re constantly buying movies or games you never use, the price adds up.
Extremely Cheap Used Cars
Used cars are great, especially if you’re on a budget. The used cars most people buy are a couple years old and have don’t have a huge amount of mileage on them. However, some people prefer to buy the cheapest car they can find, and these cars are often cars that are very old and in desperate need of repair. Buying a used car for $500 might seem ideal until you factor in the price of constant repairs. And what happens when you need to replace it with another used car after a year?
Purchasing items on eBay is dangerous and sometimes addicting. It’s easy to rationalize spending a lot of money on something you think you need. The item could be a “limited edition” or something you think will be worth money. But sometimes what you see is not necessarily what you get. Worse, sometimes people pay an outrageous amount of money for an item that is worthless or unnecessary. How many times have you made an impulse buy only to regret it when the item arrives. Most of those items have a no refund policy, as well.
Purchases that become regrets are different for everyone, but they usually have the common denominating factor that they weren’t really thought through thoroughly before the purchase was made. In the end, every purchase that you end up regretting is wasted money that could have gone toward your financial goals. What are some of the things that you most regret buying?
(Photo courtesy of Alex E. Proimos)