If you are anything like me, you have experienced buyer’s remorse. It’s that feeling that comes a few hours (or days) later, where you begin to think, “Why did I buy that?” A few weeks ago, I had it.
Yes, I write often about finances, and even get to write frequently for ChristianPF.com. I preach sermons on how to handle money God’s way. But, well, I’m human. Thankfully, the remorse was only regarding a couple-of-hundred-dollar expense, and not thousands.
A Buyer’s Remorse Story
It was Saturday morning and I was alone with my kids. My wife was away at the church building, getting Sunday school materials together, so I was having some “daddy time.” The kids and I had played together and done some work around the house together, as well. As the morning was nearing its end, I was tired. So, I let the kids watch a little TV while I rested and thought about what to do for lunch.
That’s when it happened. A guy knocked on the door and asked if I wanted new mulch put on our flower beds. The work we had done was okay, but I knew it was going to need to be redone next year. He quoted me a quick price, and I just said, “Sure.” About an hour – and over $200 – later, the job was done.
About an hour after that, it hit. I just spent over $200 without so much as thinking about it! Thankfully, I had the money, but it was still not the wisest use of it.
I’m sure there will be times in the future when I will have that same feeling – that same buyer’s remorse. But, as I reflect on this most recent case, it has reminded me of some lessons. What caused me to have buyer’s remorse?
What Caused Buyer’s Remorse?
1. I thought about what was easy.
Yes, the mulch was going to have to be redone sometime, but my wife and I had done a good job on it, and could have done it again. But it is pretty hard work, and it is just easier to let someone else do the labor. I should have considered the cost of that labor, but just thought about the easy way.
2. I thought about the short-term.
This is the biggie! I had the $200, so what was the big deal? The big deal is that the money could have been used for several other things, either short-term or in the future, but now it can’t. It was the definition of “impulse buying,” and now that money is gone and cannot be used in the future.
3. I bought when I was tired.
Physically and mentally, I was worn out from the morning with the kids. It was a good day, but a tiring day. It is harder to concentrate then, so I just did what was easy. (By the way, why do you think stores have so many “kid-friendly” items at the checkout counters? You’re tired of saying “no!”)
4. I bought without communication.
Maybe my wife would have agreed to this work (she wasn’t mad about it), but I did it without even consulting her. Instead, I should have at least called her to check, but I just saw another item off the checklist.
5. I fell for a good sales job.
The man who knocked on the door spoke fast and only spoke about how pretty the beds would look. (And they do look good.) He just threw the price in at the last minute, after “selling” me on the beauty of the work and how quickly he could get it done. I’m quite certain I wasn’t his first customer!
So, I spent the money. Now it’s gone, and while I do have some nice-looking flower beds (and an article idea), I don’t have the money any longer. Chalk it up to a moment of just being human, and another lesson learned.
What have you bought (and why) that you later regretted? Leave a comment!