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My wife and I just finished up an amazing, restful vacation down at the Outer Banks, NC (OBX for short). Since our 19-month-old doesn’t last very long in the car, we selected OBX as our destination this year. The 4.5 hour drive ended up going smoothly aside from the last 30 minutes when little MSM had had enough. We were at least grateful for the 2+ hour nap he took in the car. Win!
As most of you know, I am a huge fan of recharging my battery from all the drainage that occurs between work and everyday life. I believe there are some major benefits of taking a vacation.
With that said, my wife and I really love OBX. We have been trying out different beaches on that coast over the years. So far, we have stayed in Corolla and Kill Devil Hills (what a name, right?) and have visited some other areas as well. Corolla had a beautiful beach but was a bit isolated.
This go-around, we sought to stay closer to more of the action, so that is how we decided on KDH. They have a much greater variety of restaurants and shops and even the Wright Brothers Museum, which we didn’t visit this time.
To save on money and avoid the crowds, we try to vacation slightly before or after peak season. The weather is still pretty nice, yet the prices can be 75% off of the mid-summer prices. That is nuts to me, but of course it makes sense. I have a hard time imagining paying four times the price I am for the beach rental that I’m currently in, but hey, people do it.
Thinking of Ways to Spend $$$
Inevitably on vacation, when I have too much time on my hands, my mind starts to wonder about various money making schemes like buying a beach rental property, or worse, figuring out how to spend money needlessly.
Since I have been advised NOT to buy a home with a pool, I have set my eyes on something else.
A hot tub.
One of the requirements when I was looking for a place to rent for the week was a private pool and hot tub. I figure if I’m not going to own a pool for myself, that I’d get as much use out of one at our rental.
One Dream Crushed
Having the private pool for the week was a bit of a wake-up call for me though. Thankfully nothing bad happened, but watching my son run around the pool deck area was terrifying. The thought of him slipping into the water was enough to totally deter me from wanting a private pool, especially if kiddos were in the picture. Needless to say, I concede. Getting a pool is dead.
Another Dream is Born
The hot tub, on the other hand, has been a great amenity. Since the barrier of entry is higher, there is no fear of my son falling in, and I am able to lower the temperature for him to safely join me. Everyday that we were down at the beach, I soaked in the hot tub. The best part was that the hot tub was under the deck, so even when it rained, it didn’t pour on me. I would sit in there multiple times per day, just reading and relaxing or playing with my son. It was bliss.
I have to admit, after that first day, I casually started to look up hot tubs online. By the third day, I was convinced that I needed a hot tub for myself. I began to arm myself with facts to convince my wife that this was a worthy investment.
- The jets nozzles would release warm water, massaging my body, which in turn would help relax tight muscles and relieve stress.
- I would age slower because stress and anxiety are the leading causes of premature aging.
- The temperature in the hot tub would raise the body’s temperature, which causes blood vessels to dilate, which increases circulation and blood flow.
- The increase in blood circulation would allow for a reduction in joint inflammation.
- A warm body is able to fall asleep quicker, which would allow for improved sleep.
My wife thought these were all great benefits. But she is more of the saver in our relationship. She was concerned I would buy the hot tub and not use it after a bit of time. And as a result, she thought I might have buyer’s remorse.
The more and more I think about it though, she brings up a good point. I have made some really stupid purchases over the years. Of course, at the time, I needed those items. Back when I was living with housemates, I bought a pool table that we barely use now. Just a couple years ago, I bought a plasma TV for the basement to complete my man cave, which has transformed into a play area. The pool table is also conveniently located amidst all the baby toys as well. Notice a trend here?!
I remember that initially, I was ecstatic about both purchases. But after a bit of time has passed, I look back with some regret.
The biggest positives on both of these purchases were the great deals I got on them. I probably spent less than $2,000 total on both of these purchases combined. On top of that, they weren’t impulse purchases. I spent years researching brands, trying to determine the best deal before I pulled the trigger.
A Normal Feeling
It appears that I’m not the only person that feels buyer’s remorse from time to time. According to a survey done by Credit Donkey, 55% of people feel buyer’s remorse sometimes or often.
Even scarier, according to Redfin, 25% of Americans have buyer’s remorse when it comes to their homes. Those surveyed with buyer’s remorse indicated that if they had to do it all over again, they would not have purchased the home that they did. That is not a comforting thought as my wife and I search for our next home!
So how do you deal with buyer’s remorse?
When the Price Drops Afterwards
Sometimes you might experience buyer’s remorse because an item goes on sale after you purchase it. If you have bought it with a credit card, most credit card companies offer protections in these cases and can refund you the difference. This is a great credit card feature and one that I can attest that I’ve used.
If it’s a major purchase like a car or house that you’re regretting, stop looking and start appreciating what you have. Doing some self-talk will really help. Tell yourself that you made the best decision you could with the information that you had at the time. There’s no point in beating yourself up after the fact, and it’s time to move on and enjoy the item. There has to be at least one or two redeeming aspects you can focus in on.
If you are an impulse buyer, and that was part of the reason you feel buyer’s remorse, I’d suggest finding an accountability partner. It could be a spouse if you are married, or a close friend, as long as it is someone whose counsel you would listen to. Preferably, select an individual who is more of a saver than you, who will ask you those thought-provoking questions before you execute on a big purchase.
In many ways, I think buyer’s remorse is a frequent occurrence when investing in the stock market. Think about it– you buy a stock, and then all of a sudden it drops. It’s my infamous Chipotle stock situation. But don’t worry about it. Everybody makes mistakes. Here’s to hoping that stock goes back up!
Finally, if it’s an item that you’re just not using, remember it’s a sunk cost at this point. So you can either keep it and try to use it more, or sell it to try to recoup your costs. At least by selling it, you won’t be reminded of an expensive mistake on a daily basis.