Money

7 People Talk Us Through Their Most Regrettable Purchases

We’ve all had moments where we finally decide to put down our hard-earned cash on something, only to have it wind up a total waste of money. But no matter the splurge, one thing’s for sure: there’s a cautionary tale to tell.

There’s an odd sense of comfort in knowing other people are out there making stupid purchases, too. So we spoke to seven Millennials about the splurge they’ve come to consider their most regrettable.

And they’re definitely regrettable.

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#1 The wanky car

Niels, 30: “Last year I invested in some personal branding and purchased a Land Rover 110 – a full-on army jeep with a camouflage paint job, which probably wasn’t the wisest purchase considering I live in the middle of a city. I poured an immense amount of money into restoring it and keeping it running, only to have it stolen by a group of 14-year-old rebel tweens who were caught driving it down the wrong side of the highway by the police. In hindsight I probably should have found a way to lock it.”

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#3 The justified purchase

Annabel, 25: “I have a really vocal internal justification meter – it’s always telling me that I need X to be able to do Y. Thanks to this pesky little negotiator I’ve been the proud owner of a bass guitar; kayak; engraving drill; skateboard; rollerblades; glue gun; embroidery kit; a slew of craft tools; unicycle; rock climbing kit; surfboard; novelty hats (this one doesn’t have a definitive purpose, but I’m in the 10+ zone); slackline; saxophone; Wacom tablet; and circus class memberships. And I am a professional of none of the above. Except the novelty hats. I excel at novelty hats.”

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3 / 7

#2 The Pokemon cards

Chris, 26: “When I was 10-years-old, Pokemon cards were all the rage at my primary school. Being the investor that I am, I decided to buy $500 worth of the cards thinking it was a smart investment both socially and monetarily. After a few months it dawned on me that Pokemon cards were no longer fashionable, and I had made a very poor investment. A few years later, Pokemon cards became fashionable again for a week, and I pounced at the opportunity to trade them in. I sold all of those cards for $15.”

4 / 7

#4 The loan to nowhere

Eloise, 24: “When I was 18 I got a $5000 loan and spent all of it in two weeks – mostly on beauty products; hair extensions; tattoos; clothes; and buying all of my friends lunches and dinners at cafes and restaurants. I have dozens of stories like this, which eventually led me to realise I have a spending addiction. I’m now seeing a counsellor and my parents control most of my money. I’m really nervous for when the time comes for me to have control over my own money again.”

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#5 The lack of foresight

Nathan, 30: “In my mid twenties I was grappling with a bit of an identity crisis, and was trying to convince myself that I was an adult by doing things I believed all adults did. This resulted in me taking my girlfriend on a romantic getaway where we stayed at an excruciatingly expensive hotel and dined on seafood for the weekend. It put me in a fair bit of debt, but debt was something I considered to be an adult norm. A week later my girlfriend broke up with me, and I was still paying off the weekend, months after.”

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#6 The absolute dud

Sydney, 24: “I’ve had my licence since I was 17 – but I’d never had a car and didn’t need one while I was at uni. But I finally decided it was time, and this bewdy little Corolla came up for sale for only $1300 – so I jumped in and grabbed it. Three weeks later I pack her up and start driving down the coast for a surf, and then boom. Smoke. One emergency NRMA membership, a leaky radiator and blown head gasket later and I was looking at $3000 to replace an entire engine. Should have bought a bike.”

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#7 The impulse experience

Vivien, 22: “I’ve always seen greater value in buying experiences over tangible things, so as an extension of this belief I’ve developed somewhat of an impulsive spending habit. Feeling restless at work during the day prior to leaving for an impulse weekend away at my first ashram retreat, I spontaneously purchased a ticket to a comedy festival. Of course the best addition to this equation is a bottle (or three) of vino. The next morning I found myself hungover as all blazes walking with monks through an ashram in the middle of god-knows-where. Safe to say my impulsive habits have taken me five steps backwards to finding inner peace.”

So what have we learnt from this? Don’t buy Pokemon cards. Just don’t.