A buyer’s remorse is a feeling of regret after making a purchase. It is common during economic recessions when people are worried about their finances.
Even during an economic slowdown, Americans continue shopping with no end in sight. We just can’t get enough stuff in our homes. Eventually, we are bound to buy stuff we regret buying.
You may have decided it was a great purchase at the time. After all, it may have been on sale.
But even if you paid less for an item, it doesn’t make sense if you never wear it or use it.
Buyer’s remorse is higher during holidays such as Black Friday or Labor Day. Stores offer heavy discounts, which makes it easy for shoppers to overbuy.
But regret can happen anytime, anywhere. It can be either a small purchase or a big one.
If you are ready to eliminate this bad feeling, this article is for you. We will show you different techniques to avoid buyer’s remorse and empower you to make the right buying decisions, and even reveal the power of money mindset.
Why do you feel regret after a purchase?
There are a few reasons why someone feels regret after making a purchase. Perhaps they didn’t do enough research and later found out that they could have gotten a better deal elsewhere.
Maybe the item wasn’t as high quality as they thought it would be. It’s also possible that they simply changed their mind.
Whatever the reason, regret is a common feeling, especially if it is a big purchase. A recent poll discovered that 70% of new homebuyers regret rushing to purchase a home.
Other reasons you might feel regret after a purchase:
- Item was out of your budget
- You liked the item, but you didn’t love it.
- Going against your gut feeling.
- You didn’t discuss it with your spouse before buying.
How to fix buyer’s remorse?
The best way to fix buyer’s remorse in the first place is to avoid buying something you don’t need. But when it comes to money, telling someone to avoid all unnecessary spending is easier said than done.
You require a strategy to avoid impulse buying. Here are some things you can do to avoid or fix your unwanted purchase:
Just give it back
When you regret buying an expensive item, simply return it. Do you know how lucky you are to live in the United States, where the customer is always right?
Most other countries in the world make it so hard to return stuff. So take advantage of the return policy and give it back.
Remember that stores make millions of dollars every year, and they budget for returns. Keep that in mind if you feel shy about walking into a store and asking for a refund.
After splurging on something I really wanted, I notice how often I use it. And if I don’t use it every day or at least every week. I returned my purchase and got my money back.
Apply the 30-day waiting rule
The 30-day waiting rule is a technique that helps you avoid impulse buying. In simple terms, when you need to buy something, wait 30 days. If you still have the same attraction to that particular thing, buy it.
Studies show that waiting that period of time helps you weed out unnecessary purchases.
The beauty of this method is that you can look forward to something if you can wait 30 days.
Social media is constantly showing us ads. After seeing so many, we are bound to come across something that catches our eye.
In marketing circles, they teach you to show your product to the buyer at least three times before they make a purchase. Companies understand this psychological trick and will do everything in their power to show you a product at least three times.
So if you wait 30 days without spending money, chances are that Instagram or Facebook would have moved on to showing you new ads, and the desire will fade.
Make a budget for it (Earn it)
You tend to appreciate the things you worked hard to get. In contrast, getting stuff we didn’t earn has a more superficial feeling.
Swiping your credit card at the store is not hard work. It’s a two-step process; you pull out your card and pay for it.
It’s actually easier now with tap-to-pay.
When you find something you truly want to buy, why not create a budget for it?
If you can cut back on another spending in your life and save up towards that purchase, you’ll dig deep and ask yourself if it’s something you want.
And if you can save up enough of your income, it will feel as if you have earned it. And in the end, you’ll appreciate it more.
Related: How To Budget For Busy People.
Get an agreement from another person
If you’re in a relationship, getting an agreement from your partner can help you feel better when buying something new.
Regret comes when, deep inside, there is a conflict in our minds.
An expensive cell phone or a new car may seem enticing, but if you don’t have the money for it, or you know it will affect your partner. You’ll feel regret shortly after buying it.
This is called cognitive dissonance, two opposing ideas fighting inside your head.
Anytime we have to make a big purchase, we like to talk about it for a few days. Shop around. And we both need to agree on it. This works great for us. Two intelligent minds are better than one.
When you ask the other person their opinion, you show them they matter. It can be easy to budget as a couple without fighting when both of you are on the same page.
Determine if it’s a want or a need
In order to determine if something is a want or a need, it is important to consider what the item in question is used for. If the item is something that is required to live or function, then it is likely a need. On the other hand, if the item is something that would be nice to have but is not essential, then it is likely a want.
For example, if your air conditioner breaks or is in bad shape. It’s not hard to figure out that this expense falls under the need category. You won’t regret buying a new air conditioner more than regretting sweating all summer long.
Things get a little gray with other purchases, such as a car. Do you really require a luxury car to get to work, or do you only want it to show your co-workers how “successful” you are?
If you’ve waited too long and your return period has expired. The next best thing to do is to sell it.
There is an online market for anything. You can sell most goods on Craigslist, eBay or offer up. Yes, it will take a little time and some back and forth, but getting some money for it is better than none.
Especially in a tough economy with high inflation, making the most out of the things you already have is the best choice to avoid guilt.
Have you ever realized you have hundreds of dollars, if not thousands sitting in your closet or storage space?
You can organize a garage sale, and you’ll get two things. More money and more space.
This time, though, try not to fill that extra space with more useless stuff.
Does it align with your financial goals?
Guilt and anxiety usually come when you delay something you’re supposed to be doing now. It’s a form of procrastination.
When you procrastinate on your financial goals, you start feeling regret.
Having a north star can help you stay on track and resist frivolous spending.
The key is setting attainable financial goals for yourself.
Some goals you can set:
- Paying off all your credit card debt.
- Purchasing a house.
- Buying your first rental.
- Dream vacation.
- Financial independence.
When you set long-term financial goals, you’ll think twice before parting ways with your hard-earned money.
Avoid buyers remorse in a recession
In a recession, it’s easier to feel regret when purchasing stuff you don’t need. When companies are laying off employees, you have to think twice before making unnecessary buys.
When you pay attention to your spending and create a budget, you create financial discipline in your life.
The decision you make now will have a lasting impact in the future.
But if you make a bad enough purchase, like a house you can’t afford. It will derail your finances for years to come, especially with rising mortgage rates.
Start thinking about becoming mentally disciplined before the holiday shopping season, when companies spend millions of dollars forcing their way into your social media feeds.
Keep yourself from Buyer’s remorse with the tips you found in this article and continue saving up for your financial freedom.