My (Most Recent) Buyer’s Remorse Story


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 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!

Ready to Quit Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck?

Just click to join 163,000+ others and take our FREE email course to better manage your money, pay off debt, and save!

  1. Jeff

    Many years ago, when I was making more money and mistakes than I am (both) now, I financed a used car from a dealership. After much research, this one seemed like the BBD (bigger better deal). But taking on that car payment just didn’t feel right after I started driving it and it drove great! I returned it 3 days later. I had to pay 3 days worth of finance but I was relieved. I don’t remember a lot of the details, but i do know that God made it clear that was not the best choice.

  2. Jeannie D'amico

    Talk about Buyer’s remorse. A little over a year ago my beloved 2002 Chevvy Cavalier died.. It was 4 yrs old when I bought it and only had 35,000 miles on it. It had almost 150,000 miles on it in the fall of 2012 and I really thought it would live forever:-) I faithfully changed the oil and never had to put much money into it…tires, brakes, a little bit of exhaust work, but the bad news was that the undercarriage was rusting out and my mechanic had told me it would NOT pass inspection (due in January) again. But it was paid for and I really loved it. Then problems…something went wrong and it would cost about $600 to fix. I weighed my options: #1 Invest the money knowing that in less than 4 months I would still have to get a different vehicle because of the rust problem (the really sad part is that there was NO visible body rust!) . #2 get another vehicle as soon as possible. Bumming rides to work got old really fast and so I went to the dealer and bought a little 2008 Aveo with 59K on it. It is smaller than I like,. I don’t really feel safe in it on long trips, I wonder if it will even last until it is paid for. I probably should have put a little more time and energy into finding something else but I rushed into it and now am making payments for a long time. Hopefully, I am wrong and it will last another 3-4 yrs!!! That would be an awesome answer to prayer. But I really wish I would have waited awhile longer!!!

  3. Britta

    About 5 years ago, my husband retired from his “real” job. Several months into retirement, he took a job with the airlines so we could take advantage of the wonderful flight benefits. About 3 years ago, we were on a trip in a touristy town and were approached to go to a presentation about vacation clubs, and we received a free trip to Mexico just for attending (which, by the way, we never used!). I am usually the strong one when it comes to financial decisions in our marriage, but I really let my impulse take over on this one!!! All I kept seeing were the beautiful resorts all over the world, all of which we could rent for a week for only $200 as members, and thinking it wouldn’t cost us anything to fly there because of my husband’s benefits. My husband for once didn’t want to join, but I pressured him and got my way. We joined, paid a downpayment of $1,000 and had to finance the rest — “only $95 per month.” I was so blinded by the luxury, I didn’t even look at the finance charge and the annual membership fee! Here it is 3 years later and I am still paying $95 per month (at 30% interest!!!!!!) and I have hardly made a dent in the original amount, becaus every year they add the annual membership fee onto my account and I can never seem to catch up! I have such buyer’s remorse, it isn’t funny — but I can admit it was 100% my impulsivility and pressure on my husband to do this. I am now saving to try and pay the whole thing off in one big payment, and then I will only have to pay the annual membership fee each year, if we want to continue to be members. I sometimes think I should just pay it off and end the membership rather than pay any more money, because I am ashamed to say this, but after three years, do you know how many luxury vacations we’ve gone on, and used this club membership? ZERO!!!!!! I made a huge mistake and have really paid the price.

    • Katherine

      I wouldn’t even GO to the sales presentation..I run in the opposite direction, free trip or not..I hate sales people and these types are hard core..I am sorry you had to pay all this $$ and not even go on a trip! is there a way to sell it? I hope somehow the Lord can redeem the situation..if not it is a hard lesson learned.

  4. Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

    I always think, “If I buy this, I can’t buy that” and that makes me pause long enough to make a better, wiser decision. I keep my gate locked, no salesmen can get to the door without climbing a gate which, thus far, has prevented salesmen calling.

  5. Steph

    A few months ago, a young alleged “college student” came to our door purporting she was doing a survey on TV cable. Hubby was home alone first time she came to the door and said our electronic stuff decisions were mutual. He told her to come back a bit later. So she came back. We have a “TV room” so she looked at the “box” and asked what plan we had and how much we paid (we a “triple-play” type). She asked how would I like a plan for the cable TV that would never change. In other words she said that our TV choice of plans would always stay the same. I really questioned her about this several times. This has been an issue with us with the company we have now. Every year I have to call and re-negotiate a new price. So we started the sign-up process and I had even gone so far as to give her our credit card info for monthly billing. Then I heard her say ever so quickly that the price was good for only 2 years! Hubby said he wasn’t feeling right about the deal and I flat-out told her she had spent 2 hours lying to us. I am so glad hubby picked up negative stuff from her and I paid attention to what she said. We would have had serious buyer’s remorse if the 2 of us hadn’t been alert. The salesperson was quite upset with us for changing our minds and said she had just wasted 2 hours of her time. Really BAD attitude. FYI, since I had given her our CC info, I just had a feeling that I should cancel the card. I did and someone did try to access the account. Whew!

  6. Lloris

    That is really nothing in comparison with what I did. I bought a house on an impulse because we had the money and it sounded like a good idea. There was another buyer at the time and we had to decide quickly. I don’t know if there really was a buyer or it was a Realtor trick to get us put the deposit. Now, we want to move and we cannot buy the house we want in our new location without selling this one. Unfortunately, the market is very slow and it is unlikely that we can sell. We don’t want to rent it out and rent our new home. We are stuck and not happy. I am just hoping everything will turn out well at the end.

  7. Adam Faughn

    These are some good stories to remind us all that everyone has had “buyer’s remorse.” Keep them coming!

  8. Sila Henshaw

    1. What a co-incidence! .I just finish praying and came to open my email and there it is! I was praying about my daughters car I was going to pay for it. This will be her third car. The first one I help her put some money toward her car and it blew up on her with her girlfriend after attending university. The I have to buy and old car for about $300 and repaired it with another $1,200 etc. She had it for 2 or 3 months and she was involved in and accident after church. I was visiting a patient in the hospital when she rang up that she had an accident. I quickly asked if she was okay and she said yes, what about the car I asked. She said mum the car is right off. I had peace, the incident did not move me at all and starting praising God for the incident. Then it hit me inside of me and thought. Was this the Lord’s idea for me to buy this car and now it’s right off? Anyway, I didn’t bother to help her buy another car.

    Now she finished UNI and she desperately needed a car to drive to work for her new job in March this year and I told her that I will be buying a car for her from one of my client so I am saving up for it.

    Before I came here to check my email I was praying if it was God’s will for her to have this car that I was going to buy.. And the Lord says no, I will give her own car. I realized that I didn’t asked God about the other 2 cars before. I was acting as her god to provide for her. It was a lesson for me.

    2. I also applied for a course online to which I did. But then I regret later that it was a mistake. Then later I applied for another course instead of the first one. The thing was I signed the contract already and there is a certain period that was given if I need to cancel it. But I didn’t cancel it so I went further with this other course it costs much more than the first course. from over $2,000 to over $5,000. It was a big lesson for me..

  9. Vick

    When purchasing, often times, “sales talk” influenced me in closing the deal. Probably because I felt like the agent has made his/her effort in that I should thank him/her for it by closing the deal. After which, I get remorseful for what I purchased. LOL.

  10. Dave Hilgendorf

    I had about 8 years of buyer’s remorse after quitting my job and chasing after get rich quick schemes, ending up depressed and bankrupt. Then I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and started seeking His will for money and everything else. What a difference. Now my life is totally awesome! God’s way is always best. This looks like a great website. I benefited a LOT from Dave Ramsey’s FPU. We’ve been following his plan to the T for about 6 years now. We later taught the class and are teaching it again next month for the 2nd time.

    • Katherine

      Praise the Lord He had mercy and redeemed you. Sounds like he is using you too to bless others, Awesome.

  11. Anna

    This past November, I purchased a pair of cowboy boots for $70.00. I had fallen in love with a pair of boots about 5 or 6 years ago and I’ve been looking for a pair like them ever since. First of all the boots that I bought are not exactly like the ones I’ve been searching for. Secondly, I don’t really have anything to go with these boots. The style and the color don’t match my wardrobe. Talk about buyer’s remorse. I could have used that money to pay down a bill or towards building our emergency fund. I plan to call the store to see if I can still return them. Although I still have the receipt, I’m pretty sure it’s too late. Next time I’ll make sure that I love the boots, can wear them with the clothes in my closet and consider if they’re a need verses a want.

  12. Katherine

    This is a weird kind of experience.. I believe that we are to bless the christian church family as needs arise, as we are given much, we are to love much. There are times when I can give cheerfully and not expect anything back, as I believe I am doing it unto the Lord and not unto man. But sometimes I find it hard when the receivers ( not my friends or not even my acquaintances sometimes) don’t even acknowledge the gift. It’s not like they owe me anything but a thank you would be nice. Then I wonder, was that a wise use of my money? So it is not buyers remorse but giver remorse if there is such a thing. Then I ask myself, do I have the right attitude? is it pride.? The Lord knows my motivation.