How to avoid buyer’s remorse

By Harper Banks

There’s nothing quite like bagging a bargain on a high-value item that rarely goes on sale. If, however, the joy attached to your purchase soon dissipates, you may be experiencing buyer’s remorse.

We consulted Giles Maynard, wealth manager at Carrick Wealth, to help you avoid making an acquisition that you will later regret.

Tip: If you’ve spent more than you can afford and you need help, start debt consolidation today.

What is buyer’s remorse?

Maynard says that buyer’s remorse is when you regret a purchase, and you feel guilty about it once the deed is done.

“This is either as a direct result of buying an item or service, or realising you should have spent your money on something else instead,” says Maynard.

Buyer’s remorse often surfaces when you buy a large item, such as a vehicle or home, but it can also be present during smaller purchases, such as a new kitchen item or clothing.

What you can do to steer clear of buyer’s remorse

Maynard says that you need to ask yourself whether you truly need what you’re buying, and if not, whether it’s an item that has long been on your mind.

“Impulsive purchases don’t usually bode well for those who are prone to buyer’s remorse. In fact, impulsive buying habits often lead to this,” says Maynard.

“It’s important to take time to think about things first, to shop around for the best price, and to figure out if it’s really what you want,” he says. 

Here are some more tips on how to avoid buyer’s remorse:

  • Calculate the working hours it’s worth: When you’re trying to decide on a purchase, calculate how many hours of work it would take to save up for the item. This allows you to put your purchase into perspective, and it prevents you from undervaluing the money you’re about to spend.
  • Give it a couple of days: If your purchase is truly as important as it feels right now, then you will still be interested in buying it three days later. Choose what you would like to buy, then think about it for a couple of days before clicking the mouse.
  • Log off and don’t save the information: Instead of allowing your browser to automatically save your login details and card information, force yourself to type this in manually each time. This will act as an extra buffer, allowing you to ask yourself “do I really want this?” one more time.

Maynard says that buyer’s remorse is particularly prevalent during the festive season, when we all spend more than usual. He urges that you must not forget about the “Janu-worry” that’s around the corner.

“It’s crucial to ensure that you have enough money to get through January, and that you’re not experiencing buyer’s remorse for the wonderful gifts and fancy food you bought,” says Maynard.

If you regret a credit purchase because you’re already struggling with debt, you can get help today.

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