Help! What Was I Thinking?

If you’re a regular reader of personal finance and self development blogs, you’ve probably read about someone’s mistakes. I’ve made some big mistakes myself in the past, but part of maturity is learning from them and taking proactive steps to correct them as soon as possible.

I received this email from Jill:

Help! I’ve been guilty of overspending in the past and I’m really struggling with it. My weakness is shoes and clothes, but last month I bought myself a new electronic gizmo even though I didn’t need it at all! I feel like I made a mistake and I guess I’m experiencing buyer’s remorse. How do I get rid of this guilt? –Jill

Well Jill, first of all, you need to forgive yourself and decide to move on. Learning to forgive ourselves is very difficult, but what’s done is done. All you can do is make certain to not let it happen again.

Here are a few other things you can do when you find yourself in a “WHAT WAS I THINKING?” moment.

Return the item to the store

If you kept the receipt, it’s pretty easy to do this provided not too much time has elapsed. If you didn’t keep the receipt, ask if the store can look it up by the date and item number. If returning the item is outside of the store’s policy, nicely ask to speak to the manager. Ask if you can return the item for store credit. If you can’t get satisfaction, ask to speak to the district manager, then the regional manager, or the VP of Operations.

The point is to ask, ask, and ask again, all while being the nicest person they ever spoke with.

Sell the item

If your request to return the item fall on deaf ears, Ebay, another online auction site, or even your local classifieds can be a great way to convert any item to cash and pad your pocketbook.

Donate the item

If you can donate the item to a charity, you can take the tax deduction for the item’s value all while knowing that it helped someone else. Chances are that charity will sell the item for cash.

Keep it

Yeah, you read that right, keep it – as a reminder of a bad decision in the past. Let it bring to your mind the fact that you have moved on, that you’ve decided to choose thrift and frugality from this point forward.

Again, making the choice to forgive yourself is the first step. Do forgive, but don’t forget. Always try to remember your mistakes so you don’t make them again!

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