We have all felt buyer’s remorse at some point, and boy, isn’t it painful? It stings a little for sure – that gut-wrenching feeling is all too familiar.

It may be easy to dismiss this feeling since we’ve all done it. But it’s the pesky little things that can lead to doubt, a lack of confidence, and the inability to trust yourself with financial decisions.

You can prevent future buyer’s remorse by identifying the factors that contribute to regrettable money choices.

Below is a quick exercise you can do once you feel buyer’s remorse.  

The goal is to help you identify patterns and triggers so you can become aware of them. For example, some people tend to spend more when they’re with other people and they’re feeling pressured. Yet others spend more when they’re alone. Some of my clients spend when they’ve had a bad day and use a shopping purchase to make themselves feel better. At the opposite end of the spectrum, others celebrate by spending when they’ve had a good day. And then there are some clients who realize they spend when they’re truly just bored and they’re passing the time by shopping!

How To Stop Having Buyer’s Remorse

Write down the following:

  • The date of the purchase
  • The item purchased
  • The amount you spent
  • Where you bought it
  • Were you alone or with someone else/others?
  • Was the item on sale?
  • Was it a planned purchase or an impulse buy?
  • Did you use cash, debit or credit?
  • What kind of day were you having?

Your goal is to first identify the patterns that could lead you to feel buyer’s remorse. Then you can get creative and brainstorm ways you can avoid those situations.

If you tend to regret spending choices you’ve made when you’re with someone else, what steps can you take to overcome those situations? A solution might be clearly communicating your goals and financial aspirations to your friends and asking for their support. Would it be easier if you left your wallet in the car? Maybe you only go shopping alone.

If you tend to spend when you’ve had a bad day, what’s a new way to overcome the frustration or irritation instead of shopping? Perhaps you call a good friend on these days instead of walking into a store. What if you journaled, listened to music or read a book for 15 minutes instead? Personally, nothing can cure a bad day better than a silly, dance party in my living room with my toddlers!

Tell me in the comments what are your biggest spending triggers? What observations or patterns can you identify? Most importantly, what steps can you take in the future to overcome those situations?

There’s beauty in simplicity don’t you think?