This is how it’s been going:
– Wander around stores
– Something catches my eye
– “Oh, I’ll just try it on!”
– Think about it
– Debate about it in my head
– Decide I need it
– “No, I don’t”
– “Yes, I do!”
– Buy it
– Let it set there in the bag on my bedroom floor while I think about how I shouldn’t have bought it
– Feel bad
– Go back to store
– Return it
– Feel better (slightly)
I’m not sure why I am even putting myself in these positions of being in stores since it’s not working for me. Going into stores worked while I was on The Spending Fast since I just could easily say “Nope. No. Nooo.” to it all. That was easy. Shockingly easy compared to this. I’ve been putting myself in positions of wanting and since it’s not working out for me I’ve gotta cut this crap out. Why, am I continuing this “shop-feel-shitty-buying-cycle”?
Buyer’s Remorse sucks because it’s making me feel shitty but there’s also a good side to it since that feeling of dread after a purchase is helping me realize that I don’t have to keep an item “just because”.
I can change my mind. I can get that money back into my account. It’s okay. And man, it feels SO much better to have that money back into my account. Geez. A lot better. It eases the guilt. It eases the remorseful feeling. It “fixes” it. Puts it back together again.
It was fascinating to read (on Wikipedia) that Buyer’s Remorse is actually a real anxiety and not just all up in my own head. Other people go through this too. It’s nice to know other people go through it too. It’s nice to not be alone. You know.
Typically Buyer’s Remorse accompanies large purchases like houses and cars. I’m thinking that I’m experiencing it so much because compared to what I WAS spending ($zero) any spending feels like a lot A LOT. It’s all explainable. It makes sense really.
This is what Wikipedia says:
Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of big-ticket items such as a car or house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, of guilt over extravagance, or of suspecting having been “snowed” by a sales associate.
The anxiety may be rooted in various factors, such as: the person’s concern they purchased the wrong product, purchased for too high of a price, purchased a current model now rather than waiting for a newer model, purchased in an ethically unsound way, purchased on credit that will be difficult to repay, or purchased something that would not be acceptable to others.
In the phase before purchasing, a prospective buyer often feels positive emotions associated with a purchase (desire, a sense of heightened possibilities, and an anticipation of the enjoyment that will accompany using the product, for example); afterwards, having made the purchase, they are more fully able to experience the negative aspects: all the opportunity costs of the purchase, and a reduction in purchasing power.
Also, before the purchase, the buyer has a full array of options, including not purchasing; afterwards, their options have been reduced to:
- continuing with the purchase, surrendering all alternatives
- renouncing the purchase
Buyer’s remorse can also be caused or increased by worrying that other people may later question the purchase or claim to know better alternatives.
Buyer’s remorse, when evidence exists that it is justified, is a classical example of cognitive dissonance. One will either seek to discount the new evidence, or truly regret and try to renounce the purchase.