Some big purchases leave you feeling elated: that new car, or the couch you’ve been saving up for. But what about when that splurge turns into a mistake you wish you could immediately take back? We asked DailyWorth readers to tell us about their most regrettable purchases. And oh, did they spill.
1. “I regret spending $1,500 on a plane ticket to meet my then-boyfriend in Southeast Asia on the last leg of a backpacking summer trip. I thought we were going to spend two weeks catching up, being in love, and exploring a new country together. But instead, I found out halfway through our vacation that he had been cheating on me the whole time he was away. The rest of the trip was spent feeling like a fool, hiding out from him, and being completely livid about the whole situation. We broke up on the plane ride home.”
2. “I once purchased a gorgeous $500 white silk jumpsuit because I thought it made me look like Beyoncé. In truth, it kind of did. But I consequently learned that even looking like Beyoncé wasn’t worth the $500 plus tax I had dropped. I felt so ill spending that amount of money on something as singular as a jumpsuit (as opposed to, say, a winter coat), that I couldn’t even enjoy it. I returned it the next day much to the perplexity of the sales associates who said the jumpsuit was clearly made for me. Or Beyoncé.”
3. “I was living in London and saw a carpet beetle, which is harmless and very common — it's like a moth. But it sort of vaguely looks like a bed bug. So I spent six hours Googling bed bugs, and then had a complete breakdown in front of my roommates. I ended up paying £150 to an exterminator to tell me I didn't have bed bugs. It was crazy embarrassing, and my roommates still tease me about it to this day.”
4. “Throughout college, I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching, purchasing, and reselling designer bags. I got my first job when I was 18 and, for some reason, thought blowing every paycheck on expensive stuff was a good idea. I ended up dropping around $700 on a Louis Vuitton Speedy. I was never happy with the bag itself and I ended up selling it a few weeks later. Whenever I think about that particular purchase, I cringe.”
5. “Private college. I was 17 and stupid and had no concept of the fact that I'd be paying for my visual arts degree forever. Lest you think I've wised up: I'm heading to another private university for a graduate degree. Help.”
6. "Small impulse buys, like clothes that are made of synthetic fibers and are cheaply made — all of which add up to an absurd amount of money that I don't want to think about."
7. “I went to Paris for two weeks when I graduated college. I really wanted to splurge on a French fashion item, thinking it would be a special memento from my trip, and who knew the next time I'd be in Paris, and I'm an adult now so I should dress fancy (and every other reason or excuse possible). Well, I spent $400 on a pair of shoes that I never wore. Even now, in my thirties, I’d never spend that much on shoes. I can't believe I spent that when I was younger (and poorer) — I could have used that money for a weekend trip to the French countryside, or French opera tickets, or an amazing meal, or a hotel upgrade ... or, you know, just saved it. Such a waste.”
8. “A $90 book on Aristotle to impress my friends. An expensive collection of DVDs by director Pierre Perrault that I haven’t watched and accidentally scratched. They haunt me.”
9. “I impulsively purchased a $500 leather jacket in the middle of June. I haven't been able to wear it because it's been consistently 90 degrees. Go figure.”
10. “Anything I ever bought because I wanted to make myself feel better about something else. You know what will never, ever lift a bad mood? Trying on jeans. I've learned that lesson the hard way many times. Just go home and do a kickboxing workout until the endorphins are flowing. You save money AND you get to uppercut your frustration away.”
11. “When I first moved to New York, I joined a co-working space. I paid for, like, six months and maybe went twice. I kept thinking I'd go and be so productive and make connections. But, predictably, that didn’t happen.”
12. “I spent well over $2,000 on an Yves Saint Laurent jacket when I was 20. I was living in New York City for a summer and wanted something to commemorate the experience. That jacket is still hanging in the back of my closet, too expensive for me to wear in public and too sentimental to be sold.”