Financial Guilt

1500 Days To Financial Freedom had a very interesting post about Financial Guilt, i.e. things that make you feel guilty about spending.  For Mrs. 1500, guilt was triggered by purchase of expensive bras.

“I’m a personal finance/frugality blogger. I tell people not to spend money on frivolous things. I give examples of people wasting money all the time and do so with more than just a touch of disdain. How can I spend $100 on bras???”

I used to feel that way a lot, and I still do sometimes. However, since I’ve been on the frugal path for years, I only allow guilt for only one type of purchase: Stuff that I bought and did not use. It can be a $6 bottle of vitamins or a $500 handbag. I don’t care. If I don’t use it, it’s a complete waste of money!

Here are some things I’ve wasted money in the past. I tend to feel guilty if I bought it and annoyed if my husband did!

1) Massage machine

2) Bike (used maybe 5 times)

3) 1-year Gym Membership (I did not go at all!)

4) various skin care creams

5) A few online clothing purchases that did not fit well (and were bought on eBay so non-returnable)

6) Toys that my kids never played with

7) Kitchen gadgets designed for one use. Luckily we don’t buy these type of things often.

9) Traffic or Parking tickets.

10) Books I read once (before I re-discovered the library)

11) Everything that is stuffed into storage totes and hasn’t been used in years.

That’s a long list for someone who proclaims to feel little guilt for purchases, isn’t it?

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6 thoughts on “Financial Guilt

  1. My most recent thing was spending $179 for a necklace for #2’s wedding that I wore once and am going to give to my mother for Christmas (she knows it is used!). It was one of those things where I’d spent a day looking at jewelry and not finding anything and then there was finally something acceptable and I just did not pay attention to the price and paid for it with credit card. Shopping fatigue is a bad thing! (Then when my sister visited and babysat for us she was wearing the perfect necklace that I could have just borrowed had I known in advance.)

    Other things:
    Only doing 3 out of the 6 laser hair treatments I paid for. (They moved studios and then I got pregnant and then time passed…)

    Buying expensive older saplings right before a drought that then died.

    Two pairs of shoes with heels that are lovely and my friends badgered me into getting but I never ever wear heels. One pair of shoes that I knew were too small and bought for a wedding when I realized I’d forgotten to bring dress shoes but my sister and the salesman convinced me that I didn’t really want a size up. But they’re too small so I do not wear them ever.

    I have a new bike (and helmet) right now that I have not yet ridden more than 5 times, but I still have hope that I will actually use it.

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      • I don’t actually think those particular shoes cost that much compared to what I normally purchase. But I still never wore them. People think I should wear heels but I care about comfort over anything else. No matter how cute the heels, I am just going to wear comfortable flats.

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  2. Hmmm…well, these aren’t particularly money hindering, but sometimes when I go to consignment I’ll go to bag sales. I fill up the bag even if I’ve found everything in the store I like already. It’s $20 either way, so I may as well load up, right? About 25% of it I wear once and then never again…because I don’t really love it. The other 75% is a steal, though!

    My buyer’s remorse is probably stronger than my regret. I end up returning or cancelling things pretty quickly, even if it was something I really would have used. I think something’s wrong with me in that respect.

    In the initial part of the year, though, I went through spats where we were eating out waaaayyyy too much. Totally regret that, but can’t return it. :/

    Oh, and amen on the parking tickets. We haven’t gotten too many recently, but a few years ago they started really changing parking regulations in our neighborhood. The husband fought a few of the tickets and won. But there were still a few that really irked me.

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  3. I’ve bought clothing and jewelry while out window shopping during a lunch break. I have particular tastes, and I hate everything I’ve ever bought while window shopping, and I hate window shopping. Probably have wasted less than $200 bucks on this stuff over 5 years, but its still a waste.

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