Have you ever looked back on your purchases and realized you made a mistake? This past weekend, as I cleaned my room, I was reminded of the 5 worst things I ever bought. Below are the items that gave me the worst cases of buyer’s remorse. Plus, the lessons I learned to avoid buyer’s remorse and become a savvy shopper.
- Sony CD/Radio Portable Player – Do people still carry these around? Mine just sits in a junk drawer collecting dust. About a year after forking money from my savings at Best Buy, Apple announced and released their brand new invention called the iPod, which essentially rendered CD players obsolete. Don’t even get me started about being able to listen to radio on the Internet for free. I passed on buying a super expensive iPod and settled for an MP3 player a few years later. Such a waste of money. A few hours of research would have enlightened me. Cost: $150 Lesson Learned: A little research before making purchases goes a looong way. And don’t be so eager to adapt to new technology — it’s crazy expensive, many times buggy, and better will always come along.
- Checks – I don’t know anyone my age who writes checks. But having checks is not the problem. I regret not listening to my dad when I opened my checking account. As we sat with the banker, he insisted I get the complementary checks. So what did I do? I bought Betty Boop checks. I can hear my father saying “I told you!” as I write about this purchase. I was a preteen and the plain ones where not as attractive as the ones with designs. Every time I write a check I’m reminded of my foolishness. I still have an entire box to go through! Cost: $35 Lesson Learned: Don’t pass up on the freebies. Oh, and listen to your parents — they’re probably right.
- 4 Drawer Plastic Storage Unit – In my sophomore year in college, I needed a dresser for my clothes but couldn’t afford anything I liked. So I settled. I headed to Target and bought a plastic storage unit. Aside from being sick of my clothes smelling like plastic, the unit is an eye sore. If I wouldn’t have been so impatient, I could’ve waited to save money and then hit the store. After all, having a few piles of clothes around isn’t a big deal. But NO, I had to have it then. Now I’m doing things the right way. Yard sales here I come! Cost: $100 Lesson Learned: Don’t settle with your money. Save up till you can afford what you want and then check yard sales and thrift stores first.
- Motorola Flip Phones – Remember when flip phones where the hottest tech toys? I do. I had two, mind you, not at the same time. I accidentally bumped my Motorola T720i phone a month after I had purchased it and that was the end of it. I bought a second Motorola phone — this time a Razr — three months later only to have a nasty fall on the street and to see the phone tumble across the concrete floor. Nope, I wasn’t texting. Just walking down a cracked sidewalk at night. The pain was unbearable. I don’t know what hurt the most: My scraped elbows and knees, or losing two expensive phones in less than a year. I took this as a sign and used a prepaid phone for years after that. Cost: $650 Lesson Learned: Read the fine print on insurance docs, or later you’ll find out the insurance doesn’t cover dropped phones. Rats!
What’s on your list of worst things you’ve ever bought?
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