I don’t have very many regrets in life, as things you wish you could have reversed or changed can be great learning opportunities. However, money regrets and things that I spent money on that I really wish I hadn’t are a different matter. There are two things that I spent money on that I wish I hadn’t of spent money on. I have no trouble spending money on things that I find value in. One of those things is travel. I’ve spent $5000 on a single trip (month long trip of course) that I still have fond memories of to this day. I like to travel and find great purpose in it. Things, perhaps not so much, but I guess I didn’t realize it at the time. Of course, I’m not beating myself up about it, but the money I wasted could have been spent better elsewhere.
Yamaha Sports bike
About 10 years ago (when I was in my early 20’s, all flush with cash from my first job out of university) I spent money on a sports bike. I took motorcycle riding lessons with my boyfriend at the time (and spent $750 on those lessons, safety first!) because I wanted to be able to ride a motorcycle with him. I barely passed the motorcycle road test but I ended up getting my license.
So of course, with that in hand, I went to look for a bike. I found a 1989 sports bike that was in mint condition for $3000. It was really nice and pretty to look at. However, the problem was that I barely road it by myself and when I did, it was just around a predictable route. I did enjoy the wind in my hair but I was a bit scared of the bike and never really advanced or road anywhere by myself. I also liked that it only cost $10 to fill up the tank. My boyfriend and I at the time did go for some motorcycle rides on the highway but not that many.
The reason why I regret spending money on a motorcycle was that I could not pick up the bike. I dropped it two times, and the fairing cracked (if there are any motorcycle enthusiasts reading this, I’m sorry you had to read that!). It was pretty embarrassing, one time I dropped it at a gas station and couldn’t pick it back up. Another time I dropped it on a hill in the middle of traffic and someone had to come help me pick the bike up and I stalled traffic. I also didn’t like how the insurance was so expensive (it was similar to insuring a car, I guess sports bikes are high risk for insurance companies) and how maintenance was so expensive.
In the end, 2 years after I owned it and a mere 1300km on the bike later, I made the decision to sell the bike on Craigslist. I was able to sell it for $2800 thankfully, so I was just out $200 technically. However, the motorcycle riding lessons, the maintenance, and the riding gear (helmets, motorcycle jackets, riding boots, gloves) didn’t come cheap.
I think the lesson learned was that you shouldn’t spent oodles of money to project an image of someone who you really aren’t.
I suppose I was hoping I would look cool as a biker chick but that wasn’t really who I was. To this day I’m a bit scared to even ride on a scooter! 🙂
Via spiga boots
Fast forward to just a few years ago, I was on a weekend trip to Seattle with my sisters and at Nordstrom Rack (outlet and ‘rack’ shopping is my weakness) and saw these black boots by Via Spiga. I tried them on and they looked really nice. I walked back and forth along the aisles with the boots on, checking their comfort level. They were so comfortable! They looked so nice! They actually fit my calves (most knee high boots don’t fit my small calves) and the leather was so soft. I think I walked back and forth in the aisles for about 1-2 hours, debating whether I should buy them.
I became infatuated with them except I wasn’t pleased with the price tag of $250. I told myself that they looked so nice and they would be worth it if I could wear them frequently and get my money’s worth.
Unfortunately, to date, I have worn them about 4 times. They are not comfortable at all and my feet ache whenever I wear them, perhaps they seemed comfortable on linoleum or whatever the flooring is in department stores but they are not comfortable on concrete. I can’t walk very far in them or very fast in them. They still look really good though! They make my feet look smaller, which is always nice.
I’ve learned that it’s never a good idea to impulse buy. When I was making that quick decision, I don’t think I was thinking properly…
I had the equivalent of beer goggles on and thought those boots were going to be my new favourite pair of black boots when I was in the store.
Of course you might think it’s easy to return the boots but it’s about a 3 hour drive from where I live and frankly not worth another trip, also I was telling myself that I would probably break them in. I’ll probably try and sell these boots through consignment, if I’m lucky perhaps I’ll get $20 for them.
That’s the problem when I go shopping. Sometimes I get into a ‘state’ where I become infatuated with what I want and then I get it. That’s why I avoid shopping and avoid malls. When I eliminate the temptation, then the urge to buy is gone.
Now that I live in 450 square feet with a family of three and a dog, I need to evaluate whether I what I buy is really need because it just ends up being more stuff I need to find more room for.
Yes, those are my money regrets, I’m not proud of them but in the end, I suppose I only wasted under $500 which is not too bad. I know that I have many more money regrets but these two, I am much more cognizant of.
What about you? Do you have any money regrets, any purchases that you wish you hadn’t made?