Being a college student, if nothing else, has definitely taught me the value of the dollar. Life is expensive. While I used to depend on my parents for everything, I am slowly starting to pay for more and more. After working three jobs this summer, I still do not feel financially stable. I’ve noticed that since I spend a lot of my own money, I have become a lot less wasteful and a lot more frugal.
Sometimes, I wish I could get back the money I wasted over the years. Do you ever think about how much money you could have if you didn’t waste it on pointless fads or trends? I’m sure I am not the only with some buyer’s remorse. Everyone has made a few purchases they regret, and today I got to thinking about all of mine. Here are ten of my most notable regrets that I’m sure you can relate to.
1. Clothing Trends. My impulsive clothing buys are easily my greatest money waster. In the past, I tried to keep up with every trend. When maxi and circle skirts became popular, I bought every color that I came across. In middle school, I had five pairs of Uggs and two pairs of Coach sneakers. If something was popular, I wanted every color and every style. Since college, my style has become much less trendy, and I no longer wear much of what I bought. Recently at a garage sale, I sold over half of my wardrobe for one to two dollars an item. At the sale, I realized how much money I wasted that I will never get back.
2. iTunes. All throughout middle school and high school, I primarily used iTunes for music. I paid the $1.29 (plus tax) for each song with my debit card (or an iTunes gift card if I was lucky). With Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and various other ways to access music at no cost, I can’t help but regret all the money I spent on music.
3. Webkinz. Before my garage sale, I was cleaning out my hallway closet, and I found a bag with over 30 Webkinz in it (I am not exaggerating). Each Webkinz came with a code to play with the pet online. With every Webkinz I purchased, my online account lasted for a longer period of time. When I was 12, I wanted my account to last forever, so I bought every Webkinz I could get my hands on. To feel less guilty about this huge waste, I recently logged into my account and fed my Webkinz for the first time since 2008. Unfortunately, I still feel guilty, and I am still broke.
4. Virtual Worlds. Along the same lines as Webkinz, I was a member of a number of virtual worlds. I mainly played Club Penguin and Fantage, costing me $8 a month EACH. Both games can be played without memberships; however, my 12-year-old self wanted access to every feature. I am actually embarrassed that I ever spent money on these sites.
5. Mechanical pencils. This probably seems very random, but after sorting my school supplies from last year, I had to throw out over 20 mechanical pencils. They cost a lot more than traditional pencils, and they require lead refills. I have never been a big fan of buying extra lead, so if one runs out I usually throw it away. I used to try to refill them, but the process got annoying. Pencils in the trash = money in the trash am I right?
6. New Textbooks. Freshman year fall semester I bought mostly new books for my classes. Because I bought them from the campus bookstore, they were very expensive since they were new. This semester, I bought all used books off of Amazon. I now realize how much money I wasted on textbooks, most of which I will never need again. While I sold a few back, in the end I lost a lot of money.
7. High School Apparel. When I was in high school, I bought every single T-shirt sold. I have years of homecoming, prom, sports teams, and other types of T-shirts that now go unused. Many of my high school friends regret buying Varsity jackets, because no one wears them in college. At school, I rarely see people wearing their high school apparel, and I have never seen a high school varsity jacket. Everyone acquires college apparel that promotes the college itself, a Greek organization, or even a club. The 50 T-shirts I have sitting in a pile in my closet look to me like a pile of wasted money.
8. Justin Bieber Memorabilia. Through middle school and the beginning of high school, I was obsessed with Justin Bieber (like most girls my age). I had two cardboard cutouts, every magazine he appeared in, every album he produced, pins, his book, etc. After throwing out about $75 worth of cardboard the other day (his cutouts), I realized how much money I wasted being a fan girl.
9. Gym Membership. Getting a gym membership sounded like a great idea. I wanted to get in shape and lose the freshman 15 this summer. But, after injuring my foot, I hardly went. Even when my foot healed, I still did not go. Because I was so busy working this summer, I wanted to relax during my downtime. Unfortunately, I did not lose any weight at the gym this summer, but instead I lost a lot of money!
10. Chipotle. Just kidding! I have spent hundreds of dollars on Chipotle, and I can honestly say I do not regret a single penny. Only nine regrets came to mind, but "9 Things I Regret Spending Money On" did not sound as nice. I would 100 pecent pay for Chipotle every day and not regret it.
While I sometimes wish I could return everything and get my money back, these regrets are backed with memories I will never forget. I wore my high school homecoming t-shirts to the football games. I bought my favorite artists’ music on iTunes, and my memorabilia collection was very special to me. I regret the money, but not the priceless memories. To me, they are worth every penny.