Even the most finance-savvy and experienced shoppers are still susceptible to making a not-so-great investment—and there’s nothing wrong with that. Below, seven women share their worst purchase of 2018.
Therapist and author Heidi McBain shares a familiar scenario many of us can relate to:
“I took a lot of time researching the exact sandals I wanted and then ordered a few different pairs from Zappos. I chose my favorite and sent the rest back. I wore them exactly once and the strap broke! I wasn’t so bothered about the price and them breaking (and Zappos was great and did refund my money without me having to send them back). I was more mad at the amount of time I spent researching the ‘perfect’ sandals to then have them break while I was wearing them!”
Startup marketer Caroline Cotto writes:
“I took a solo trip traveling around Europe for an entire month, and found myself in Croatia in March. While Split, Croatia, is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to, March is absolutely not the right time to visit. I was the only guest at my entire hostel and most of the tourist sites I’d hoped to visit were closed until April 1st. I’d planned to spend six days there, but after three, I opted to take a $50 24-hour bus ride from Split back to Rome instead of paying $250 for a one-hour flight. Rookie mistake. If I’m ever in this position again, I’ll pay the additional $200 in a heartbeat to spare myself the sleep deprivation and soreness that comes from sitting in an over air-conditioned bus that stops every two hours at security checkpoints and never turns off the lights. Sometimes comfort is worth every penny.”
Sophie Darling, wedding expert and community manager at WeddingDresses.com, recounts a weekend trip earlier in the year:
“Back in February, my boyfriend and I decided to plan a spontaneous weekend trip to New Orleans. It being so short notice, our housing options were limited. So, we went for a private room in an Airbnb. The Airbnb was good for the most part; it had a nice, central location and a handful of great little eateries within walking distance. Unfortunately, though, it had thin walls—my boyfriend and I both woke up startled one night after hearing our host get into some loud ‘nighttime activities.’ We laugh about it now, but we would’ve liked to get more rest that weekend!”
Emily Clifford from Fueled shares that earlier in the year, she was spending $20 a month on foundation and concealer with lackluster results:
“I was constantly breaking out (and inevitably using more [makeup]) because of all of the chemicals used in the products. I had no idea they were the cause of blemishes until my dermatologist recommended using all natural products. Once I made the switch to slightly more expensive natural products, my face cleared up. Better than that, I now buy makeup less frequently because I don't need it as much, and I'm paying about the same amount per month as I was before!”
Julia Bleck, the blogger behind Bunny Baubles, says:
“I’m usually not one to fall victim to the subscription-type services, especially ones that you have to opt out of every month in order to not get charged. In this case, it was so difficult to unsubscribe (call in, fight back and forth with a representative about why you wanted to cancel, etc.) that I continued to hit ‘skip this month’ for years. In this case, I forgot to skip, and I ended up with $40 of credit in my account. I felt the need to spend it and ordered a black purse that was far too big to be useful. I convinced myself it could be a work laptop bag, but carrying it around was so heavy that I only used it about three times.”
“I searched and searched for my SteriPen Water Purifier for hours before departing on my most recent long-term trip, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in my house. So, a day before my trip, I bit the bullet, went to REI, and bought another one for $60. Then, as I was packing my bag, my old SteriPen—the exact same model—turned up, right in front of my nose. I ended up taking only one of them on my three-month trip and it broke during the first week. I left it behind at the hotel and have just been drinking filtered water since. That was definitely the worst and most embarrassing $60 I’ve spent this year, solely because I couldn’t keep track of my own stuff.”
Taking her worst purchase in stride with humor, content marketer Monica Mizzi writes:
“The worst purchase I made this year was a bronzer palette. It, in fact, turned out to be a contouring highlighter palette with visible glitter. I just picked it up in a rush because it was affordable and looked like a nice color combination. You can imagine my surprise when instead of giving me a nice bronzed glow, it made me look like a sparkly light bulb. Too bad I don’t make the age cut-off for Dance Moms with my new look!”
Joyce is a digital marketer and freelance writer who focuses on writing about personal finance on Financial Impulse. You can find out more about her work on her personal website or by following her on Twitter.
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