Money Regrets: Two Things I Spent Money On That I Wish I Hadn’t

Money Regrets

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

Money Regrets: 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

Money Regrets 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?

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About genymoney

GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle.

20 comments on “Money Regrets: Two Things I Spent Money On That I Wish I Hadn’t

  1. Thanks for sharing your mistakes. 🙂
    I’m sure I have plenty of buying regrets too, but I can’t remember them anymore. I usually just forget it and move on.
    Some clothing, I’m sure. Some stuff looks good in store, but I rarely wear it. That’s probably the same for everyone.

    • @Joe- Haha, yeah I usually forget it and move on too, except those boots were staring me down every time I saw them. The opportunity cost of wasting money on clothing is so great, because it’s hard to sell clothes for what you paid for them (at least if you’re buying middle of the range stuff/ not high end).

  2. I was tempted to get into motorcycling at one point. I kept on hearing on how it’s really cheap to fill up on gas and just riding gave you a great rush. I had friends get into it and always rode together to the mountains and wanted to get me part of their crew but I figured it wasn’t for me.
    There is a boxful of books and movies I have in our closet and I think of the money I wasted on them. I should have borrowed them from the library or watched it on Netflix and it would have eliminated the space it currently uses up on top of the money spent. At least I can donate them one of these days.
    Kris recently posted…My Financial MistakesMy Profile

    • @Kris- Riding does have a lot of collegiality to it, when you see a rider that is heading the other direction, you give them a ‘waist height’ wave lol and it makes you feel cool for a split second. Great idea to donate your movies and book collection.. some people collect VHS these days and people love buying DVDs for $2- we just had a garage sale this summer and I was also surprised people bought so many DVDs.

  3. Dear GenY,

    If a $500 “regret” reminds you not to make the same mistakes again than I think you got off pretty easy.

    As for me, I wish that we hadn’t bought our house in Canada but we were “house people” (my husband still is) and that’s what we do.

    The problem is that we like to travel and are never around our homes long enough to maintain them and when we are there, all we do is work on them instead of relax.

    We sold our home last week and I have no plans to make that mistake again. I’d rather live in a “van down by the river” with our kids and pets than own a home. Hopefully they’ll want to live with me (in said van) 🙂

    Besos Sarah.

    • @Sarah De Diego- Congratulations again on selling your house! That’s great that you were able to get that burden off your shoulder. Hopefully you sold for a profit too!! That’s a good ‘money regret’, and I think it is a money regret for a lot of Canadians.

  4. I was shopping with my sister and was taking a long time deciding whether or not to purchase a purse. She asked me, “Will you regret not buying this later”. This statement has helped me a lot when I could potentially make an impulse purchase.

    • @Laurie- That sounds like what I went through (taking a long time deciding whether or not to buy something). Thanks for sharing that tip! I’ll ask myself that next time I’m at an outlet mall or warehouse sale.

  5. wow look at you biker chick! My bf rides his bike to work on Saturdays (not when raining tho) and it’s also fun to ride as a passenger. I don’t think I can ever ride one myself, I’m pretty sure I will drop it and get the stink eye by the bf lol!

    Even though you spent all that money, at least you can say that you were once a biker chick and you have the pics to prove it!

  6. Even though you spent a lot of money on the lessons and the gear, I don’t think it was an unreasonable amount for the experience! Now you know that bike chick isn’t really your thing!

    I feel like my poor spending is death by a thousand cuts, instead of a couple of large purchases. A good meal and a good beer are my weaknesses.

    • @Jax- That’s true! I’m surprised I didn’t spend too much. Though I don’t think I counted the gear, I spent a lot on the gear and recouped some of it back by selling it through Craigslist. A good meal- I never find that a money regret, unless it was a bad meal or perhaps unless I was eating it by myself (e.g. daily work lunch). I enjoy spending time eating with loved ones, they are always great memories.

  7. I think I regret habits more than purchases… but a big purchase was an elliptical machine that sits downstairs and does nothing. I’ve tried to sell it but it didn’t sell. Suppose it’s time to try again.

    • @Stephanie- I don’t think you’re alone, a lot of people have treadmills etc. that are hanging out in their homes. I guess it’s hard to sell because people don’t have the means to pick it up (they are so heavy usually, I think!). Good luck!

  8. I agree that travelling is worth every penny! I used to travel every chance I got. Of course, I still looked for ways to save (e.g. staying in youth hostels) but I didn’t mind spending a bunch of money on airfare. I don’t have any major regrets about buying material things though. I’ve bought books and DVDs that I didn’t really need but that’s about it.

    One thing I probably shouldn’t have done was taking education leave from my job. I had come up with the idea of going back to school to be a physical therapist. I needed to complete some undergraduate courses first, so I took eight months off. I had to dip into my savings to pay for living expenses + tuition while I was in school. Then there was all the lost income from being off work. I don’t know if I could go so far as to say that I regret it because I love to learn new things, but in the end I decided it was better to stay at my current job. So I kind of wasted a lot of money on that!
    Five More Years recently posted…November 2017 Expenses and EarningsMy Profile

    • @five more years- going back to school after you started working is really really difficult. The opportunity cost is huge. Well, added knowledge and education isn’t a waste but I can see how it was hard to spend all that money!

      Sorry about the day trading loss! That’s a lot of $ but you are doing well now and 5 years away from FIRE! I tried day trading for a few weeks and couldn’t wake up early enough haha.

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