People experiencing regret over purchases due to money anxieties

A large number of people in the UK regret making some purchases due to money worries, according to new research from the Debt Advisory Centre.

Some…

A large number of people in the UK regret making some purchases due to money worries, according to new research from the Debt Advisory Centre.

Some 82 per cent of respondents in the study said they wish they had not made a particular purchase, with 15 per cent of those individuals saying they did so because it cost too much.

The major things people buy that they cannot afford are pets (42 per cent), holidays (38 per cent), gifts (33 per cent) and cars or motorbikes (28 per cent). 

Many of these purchases are long-term commitments that involve ongoing expenses, while holidays and gifts can be large one-off costs that can cause financial problems if not properly budgeted for.

The most regretted items overall are clothes (62 per cent), shoes (36 per cent), holiday purchases (27 per cent), kitchen gadgets (23 per cent), gifts (20 per cent), gadgets such as smartphones and tablets (20 per cent), home gym equipment (19 per cent) and games (14 per cent).

According to the findings, there is a strong male and female split for some of these items, with 72 per cent of women regretting buying clothes, compared with just 48 per cent of men, and over twice as many women (46 per cent) as men (22 per cent) regretted buying shoes.

Other reasons for buyer remorse include not actually needing the item, not or rarely using it and that it is poor quality or broken.

Interestingly, upon experiencing regret, people do not always act entirely rationally. More than half the time (57 per cent), individuals simply keep the item, while other popular options are to give the item away (18 per cent) or sell it (16 per cent). 

Of all those who did experience remorse over their purchase, only eight per cent are returning it to the retailer for a refund.

Ian Williams, director of communications at the Debt Advisory Centre, said overspending is one of the main cause of debt.

"Buying things we can't really afford can be more serious. For some people this is just a minor blip in their budgets, but for others the situation can escalate and lead to more serious problems," he remarked.

By Joe White

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