To get or not to get?
This week I found myself in one of my favourite Vancouver boutiques, Hills of Kerrisdale. It’s a beautiful little shop that has everything you could possibly ever want. In fact, if you’re a Vancouverite and you haven’t been, I recommend checking it out sooner than later.
Originally I went in with the intention of buying a new pair of slightly distressed dark denim jeans. After looking around for a while I found myself leafing through a rack of heavily discounted sweaters. I came across a sweater I had seen at the beginning of the season that, at full price, was slightly out of reach. But now, post-Christmas sales had reduced it by 70%. I couldn’t believe it! The sweater I once lusted after was now totally in my price range.
I gave it a try, and loved it.
The only problem was, since seeing this sweater back in November, I had purchased several other similar-looking sweaters and really had no need for this new one. But, I couldn’t just leave it behind, could I? It was such a great price, it fit me well, the colour was perfect and it was comfortable.
So why the hesitation?
I knew, in my gut, I shouldn’t buy it. It wasn’t something I needed and I was really trying to keep my shopping expenses low for the rest of the month.
So, I stood there at the counter, staring at this final sale item, weighing the pros and cons of purchasing it. Normally, I would put the garment back have a think about it over night and go back and pick it up the next day. But, the item was coming off final sale the next day and it was already 5:03pm and the shop was closing.
The sales girls were lovely and offered their advice, but it wasn’t exactly what I needed and I didn’t have time to properly weigh the consequences of purchasing it.
I think what clouds our judgement in times like this is the fear of regret.
What if I wake up the next day and regret not buying it? What if I see it on someone else and I get angry at myself for not going through with the transaction? What if, what if, what it?
The truth is, buying something that you can’t return and regretting that decision is far worse than not buying something that you liked, but didn’t need.
In situations like these, I like to imagine myself sitting in front of my credit card statement and looking at the purchase from a strictly monetary point of view. Was the fear of regret really worth $140.00? And, maybe it was. Maybe I wear the sweater 10 times in the next few months and feel great about my purchase.
However, odds are I will wear it 3 times, and feel silly for putting so much pressure on myself to buy it in the first place!