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50 People Fess Up To Their Biggest Spending Regrets

July 6, 2020

purchasing
By pleather GoGo boots to bartending school, 50 courageous spirits spill the beans regrettable buys – large, little, and everything between.

Maybe it had been a Facebook advertisement that caused you to pull your wallet out. Perhaps your favourite fashion celebrity donned the latest fashion fad on the red rug and you couldn’t pass on the chance to try it out yourself. Maybe you finally gave in to the fiftieth email promotion to upgrade a subscription. Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all had points of weakness when a trend or persistent marketing persuaded us to purchase something that we either immediately or eventually regretted.

For me, that buy was a package of 30 Boston Celtics tickets. The amount tag was $3,000. It was a friend’s rave review of the seat location, as well as the thought of sharing the experience with friends and family. But I ended up using only 12 of the 30 tickets. Luckily, I was able to sell some tickets and gave others away as gifts; however, there were a few games when those seats sat empty.

This Public Airing of Regrettable Purchases Will Make You Feel Better About Your Own

If you think you’re the only one who makes regrettable purchases, think again. More than 50 people told us the funny, weird, sometimes cringe-worthy buy they’d take back in an instant if they could. Here’s a rundown of their regrets:

  1. I spent $45 on one of those five-foot outdoor inflatable Santas. I set it up the before all else year I got it, and then came to my senses, and well. . .never again! -Charlotte, healthcare administrator
  2. White, pleather GoGo boots that zipped up the back. I had to have them. I was 12. -Patricia, teacher
  3. I once bought a battery-operated weed wacker. . .total waste! It could barely trim freshly mowed grass. -Anna, teacher
  4. Not one, not two, but THREE faux New England Patriots snuggies – from CVS. What’s worse is I can’t allow them move. They’ll lurk and irritate me for a long time ahead. -Cindy, writer, speaker and funny storyteller
  5. Even following several family and friends told us to not purchase the wipe warmer for our infant, we purchased it. In 5 minutes of plugging it , it put off the fire alarmclock. We even tried using it . -Molly, golfing pro
  6. I believed I was becoming proactive by adding items for my Amazon wish list but I must have double-checked until I added them into my cart and bought. As soon as I received my new spade, scale, and wheelbarrow, I understood I inserted the kid edition of those three. -Jackie, AM planner
  7. We purchased one of these machines which make soda water. However, for that sense, perhaps something happened to the bottles that came on this, we overlook ‘t use it anymore. We purchase cans of Spindrift lemon-flavored soda water or we purchase Pellegrino instead. But that soda water machine continues to sit on our shelf; what an eyesore, waste of money and space! -Nancy, teacher
  8. Bitcoin. -Spencer, commerce partnerships manager
  9. For a trip around the world, I thought I had to have a "backpackers back " (even though I had never traveled with one prior to this trip) and bought the Osprey Farpoint 55 for it’s "clamshell launching " and matching day-pack. I’m pretty sure I started loathing the damn thing (day-pack included) after about a week, yet felt obligated to use it for the entirety of my 15-month-trip. I finally broke down and traded bags with my mom when she met up with me towards the end of my trip. Never again, Osprey! -Liz, creative partnerships producer
  10. I purchased a pair of orange shoes. Never wore them, hated them. -Bette, legal secretary
  11. I bought brand new skis, boots, poles, goggles and a travel bag for a ski trip to California. I used them three times while on the trip and then never again. -Ariana, engineer
  12. Trying to save money, I bought an inexpensive dresser from an online site. Sleek look, but within weeks it sagged in the middle and leaned precariously forward. When I compare it to a dresser I bought at a yard sale for $15 and must be partially 25 years old, but is well built and still sturdy, this is definitely one buy I regret. -Lynn, teacher
  13. Four years ago I made the mistake of online buying the most horrible little orange futon daybed-lounger to use as my apartment couch. I swear I checked the measurements and read the reviews and it looked VERY mod and chic but when it arrived, well, it was like a mini mod and chic couch for kids. I got it at a discount (though it still wasn’t economical ) and couldn’t return it, so I used it for years. Sad. -Jessica, graphic designer
  14. Prepaid community coach bus tickets to NJ for my niece’s birthday. They changed the schedule without updating it online and the ticket agent told me to refer to the website for the schedule. -Steph, shopkeeper
  15. Many years ago, when I was too young to know better (26), I let the contractor building our house choose the stove for the kitchen. It was an expensive, state-of-the-art stove with bells and whistles like a grill and griddle. It was a monster to keep clean. Too many money that I didn’t need, and a lot of hours (I didn’t have to spare) cleaning it. -Deb, teacher
  16. I bought an Adobe membership (like $50 a month). My new job requires me to use different software, and I forgot to cancel [Adobe] and paid that for like two years. – J., video producer
  17. I regret purchasing hipster-style glasses. I’m not a hipster and my Bostonian family and friends made fun of me. I was trying to change things up – never again. I lost them and don’t regret it. -Alex, manufacturer
  18. I purchased a set of Nike Roshe One’s in that which I believed was my dimensions – that they ‘re roughly half a size too little. I couldn’t refund them, and out of principle of not being wasteful, I still wear them… I should probably see if they spark joy. -Kathleen, HR operations
  19. One time I went shopping for jeans. Tried on this blue pair and loved them. So I grabbed a black pair right next to the blue pairs and bought them without trying them on, assuming they were the equal. The black ones had buttons instead of zippers. I hate buttoning my pants. – Julia, producer
  20. I think my biggest regret was a $700 payment to bartending school. I went for a few weeks, and then got a corporate job and never did everything with that little paper certificate. I do know how to make a mean margarita though. – Melissa, accountant
  21. In my early twenties, I won a raffle for laser hair removal services. At the end of my last free session, the receptionist convinced me to buy an expensive package to do my legs. She had to work hard to persuade me but I eventually caved and handed her my credit card. I immediately regretted it (I didn’t have the money to invest on something which frivolous) and returned a few days before giving up and cutting my losses. I wasn’t impressed with the results (I found little of this baldness sworn ) and have to shave frequently. -Stephanie, job coordinator
  22. My personal New England college education. I want I’d considered a state university and also believed about how faculty loan debt was about to influence me. -Mary, social studies instructor
  23. The charcoal toothpaste, Carbon Coco, I purchased after seeing the advertisement on Facebook countless occasions. It had been way too cluttered to ensure it is worth the hard work and has been gross. -Caroline, attorney
  24. I regret purchasing a French butter dish. I convinced myself it’d create butter more flavorful and spreadable but it simply lurks empty in my countertops. I’ve tried giving it off but nobody else needs it. I’m sticking into my bathtub of Land O’Lakes. -Beth, teacher
  25. I completely regret the rug I bought for under my dining room table. We never use the dining room except for holidays, but the playroom is next to it and the rug is just the worst colors. I love my dining set and wall color but I think the rug ruins the whole room. And I don’t need to purchase a new carpet after all we never utilize the space. I wish I didn’t rush and buy it in the before all else place! -Courtney, director of marketing technology and wWeb
  26. I made an impulsive buy online purchasing ridiculous shiny silver platform boots in the defame size and the cost to return them is almost the equal cost of the boots. -Jen, higher education administrator
  27. I regret purchasing a manual knife sharpener because my son-in-law gave me a many nicer and more expensive electric sharpener. -Margaret, retired
  28. I regret purchasing a Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer to warm baby bottles. I was desperate to obtain my daughter to take a bottle and was willing to try everything! But it didn’t help. And had been a pain to experience the practice of utilizing. -Ashley, instructor
  29. In 1972 following a summer in Aspen I purchased an uninspected 1963 VW Van for $300 and led for some cousin’s house in Vermont. I chugged on the Rockies and drove through the night. The following day bopping over I-80, the motor blew and I had been hammered to Des Moines, Iowa, in which the garage mechanic gave me $50 to your van. I hitch-hiked the rest of the solution to Vermont. Looking back I must have chosen a Greyhound out of Colorado, more dependable but a whole lot less enjoyable. D., author
  30. Having sold our 1800 square foot house of 13 decades, and needing to touch what I have, I was completely astonished at what I had. I held up things and thought, what the hell did I think I wanted this for! Who wants three sets of measuring spoons? Michele, self-employed small business director
  31. Any monthly gym membership after the before all else week. Liz, restaurant supervisor
  32. "Doggles" or puppy goggles. Concerned about cataracts, I purchased a set for our puppy but she awakened on the floor head before all else hoping to eliminate them. If you have known better than to attempt those on a really blunt puppy. $25 and shipping – a gigantic waste of cash. Nancy, retired physical therapist
  33. I regret purchasing a bathtub headset from Amazon. We needed to put every bit together and then bits were broken and it won’t match properly. We ended it up. -Whitney, behaviour consultant
  34. I regret purchasing a guitar. I meant to take classes and never ever did. -Jo, forester
  35. One thing I regret purchasing was a Free People apparel I simply had to own. I wore it once. And needless to say, nobody needed to purchase it from me. Lesson learned! " -Kelly, actress
  36. During one of my "self respecting " phases, I impulsively purchased a "Learn How to Play the Guitar with Keith Urban" package complete with guitar and 6 follow along CDs. Honestly, WHO can resist Keith Urban?! The whole package is still in the attic waiting for my next attack of "self-improvement. " -Kristen, teacher
  37. I paid almost $1,500 to a Wellness/diet coach for a year’s membership. It was supposed to include weekly weigh-ins, private counseling, meal planning/recipe help, and vitamins. I went twice. Ugh. -Cathy, receptionist
  38. A commercial ice maker that broke after a month. -J., restaurateur
  39. About 12 years ago we joined Direct Buy. They sold things at discounted amounts and after all we were buying a new home that we wanted to furnish we got sucked in. The amounts were discounted but the moving fee to obtain the furniture from the warehouse to our home was totally ridiculous and made up the difference in the cost of the furniture. We had a three-year contract and we did use the company quite a bit but still thought we got suckered in. -Maureen, retired banker
  40. A hunting camp for my husband. I haven’t seen him in 8 decades. -Liz, shop owner
  41. A brand new car bought a couple of months later my husband passed away. Never create massive purchases/decisions if you’re not in a fantastic place mentally. -Lyn, rRetired administrative helper
  42. I am typically quite careful with cash and spend some time considering my options and comparing amounts on bigger purchases. Following buying and renovating the older Victorian house a year ago, I had been in Lowes ordering several pipes fittings. I had been drifting through the appliance place and found that a stackable washer and dryer which was recorded available and indicated "lowest amount of the season. " The amount was so great, the measurements were correct and I decided on the place to buy the place. It’s constantly that inspiring hazard that the amount won’t ever be good that suck you . As it was, I didn’t need to install the w/d for 6 months after I had purchased them, which meant that they were totally in the way of every person working in the house. I then had to pay 2 moving men to move them from the basement up two flights of winding "old Victorian" stairs. The closet that had been retrofitted to use as a laundry area was too tight to slide them in already stacked. To make a very long story short….it took 4 adults, some engineering knowledge, a lot of bumps and bruises and a few swear words to finally obtain them in place. Oh no, that’s not the end of the story…I was so excited to finally use the washer….and then it sounded like a rocket ship about to take off through the roof. Put a call into my plumber. He demand if we had removed the shipping bolts. Ummm, no. Four adults then had to take the stacked machines apart again….you obtain the picture. I’m never allowed to call them for a favor again! -Erin, cafe owner, and retired laundress
  43. I regret purchasing fitness magazine subscriptions when I was in my twenties. I’d read the before all else one or two, and then they’d just pile up. -Tammy, partnerships dDirector
  44. A push lawn mower. -Lillian, technical recruiter
  45. I bought a Winsor Pilates DVD set in college. I think I used them for maybe a week, and then maybe five more times after that over the next decade. I spent more time thinking about how I didn’t use the DVDs than I did really using them. -Christy, senior applications engineer
  46. I signed up for a free one-week trial of Youtube TV so that my roommate and I can observe a few March Madness games out of house rather than spending money in the pub. I would like to cancel the subscription prior to the trial ran outside and ended up spending over I would have if I had gone outside. -Jenny, manufacturing accountant
  47. I have a pair of plastic Adirondack chairs a few decades back. I believed they’d appear better at the weather in comparison with the timber variation, and they arrived in quite cute colours. They lasted about a year before breaking up and receiving pollen stains, which I ended up moving back to get a pair of wooden ones. I must ‘ve gone together with all the timber ones from the start. -Sally, adjunct professor
  48. This is kind of contentious but…I actually don’t like my cat and I travel a lot for work. I’ve had him for a couple of years, and I’m trying to find another home for him now. -Barb, sales director
  49. Quicken for tracking home finances. When I bought the program in 2017 there was no mobile option and it requires a new buy after two years, so further investment, which feels unfair. Would have preferred the mobile option with a low yearly subscription over what I bought. – Caroline, lawyer
  50. I regret purchasing a large Milo tree for my property in Maui. The plantsmen I hired to plant the tree pruned it back to half its original size. Larger trees cost way more, so I would have done better with a smaller one. At least the Milo shows she is super happy now with vibrant new growth and huge leaves. -B., retired teacher

Got spending regrets? Fess up with the rest of us on the judgement-free Intexchange private Facebook group.