I saw a little saying on Pinterest a while back: “The only buyers remorse I feel, is for the thing I didn’t buy”. For some reason it stuck in my head, and I mulled it over in the quiet moments over the next few days. I’m not sure exactly why it stuck there, but I think that it was because the concept really grated with me. The idea that buying more will help us feel better is just wrong. It is far more likely that we will buy things and later wish we hadn’t.
I can honestly say that there are very few things that I wish I had bought. On the other hand, there have been many things over the years that I wonder why I bought. These days, the things that I buy are generally items that we genuinely need or want. I’m not much of an impulse purchaser (though I do fall into the trap from time to time still).
The problem with buying things that you don’t absolutely love or need, is that they become clutter. They fill up our houses, and take our time and energy to maintain. So here are some guiding principles we use to try and prevent buyers remorse.
Stop buying things just because they are cheap
How many times have you heard some one say “it’s only $10” or something similar. Those $10 items add up over time. Just because something is a good price, doesn’t mean you need it.
Buy fewer items that you really love, rather than lots of things that are OK
I would rather have one skirt or dress that I love, than 5 skirts that are OK, but I don’t love. I know I would wear my one skirt more often than other 5 that are just OK. So even if I spend a little more on the things that I love, I still have spent less all together, and (better still) I don’t have 5 skirts I don’t really love hanging in my cupboard to remind me of my bad choices.
Only buy an item on sale, if you would be prepared to buy it when it is not on sale
Never buy something just because it is on sale – if you wouldn’t pay full price for it, then you probably don’t really want it. If you find something you really love, and you know a sale is coming up, it makes sense to wait till the sale, but the reasoning that says “I have saved money by buying this” is a lie.
Don’t buy things that might be useful later/ fit you later
I would really like to get a dehydrator one day. I think that once our orchard is in full swing, I will enjoy making fruit leathers, and drying our produce. I saw one for sale second hand a few weeks back and almost bought it. I’m glad I stopped myself though, because I would have had to store it until I could use it, and it may not have suited me when I did need it.
Buying items ‘just in case’ is a guaranteed way in to increase your clutter, and get a good dose of remorse.
The act of having to part with cold hard cash can certainly help to clarify whether you actually want something.
Do not buy something that is going to change your life…
… it won’t! Things don’t change your life, only you can do that!
Have a plan
When buying clothing, consider if the item will go with what you already own, and your personal style. If not, don’t buy it – you will never wear it. Similarly, if you are buying home wares, consider if the item will go with what you envisage for your home. Avoid buying stop gap solutions that will fill a hole in the short term, but really won’t help you in the longer term.
Shop intentionally, not recreationally
Shopping can be seen as a hobby for many people… a way to spend a few hours with friends. Avoid going to the shops with out a reason and a list of things you need. You are much less likely to impulse buy items if you are not in the shops.
So there you go. My guide to stopping buyers regret, before it starts. I guess though, the over arching principle is to remember that stuff doesn’t make us happy. If we remember this, everything else falls into place much more easily.
Have you ever suffered from buyers remorse? What has been the thing you bought and regretted the most?