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Hello friends, and welcome back to the blog! I’m continuing with the listicle theme and talking a bit about things I regret buying. If your finger is hovering over the “Buy” button, this will prevent you from making the same mistakes I did.
1. Clothing subscription boxes
As I’ve grown, I’ve experimented with different looks all in the effort to find my own style. I went through a super formal phase and a streetwear phase (think cropped shirt, sweatpants, and chokers), among others. As I was struggling to figure out what I liked, clothing subscription boxes were starting to become really popular. I first ordered Golden Tote for a few months, then switched to Frank and Oak. I don’t have any pieces left from my Golden Tote days, while I still wear some Frank and Oak pieces.
Looking back, even though Frank and Oak ended up being more my style, I was still overspending. Subscriptions always get me because the bill is passively taken from your credit card every month. It’s why I’m wary of subscribing to anything nowadays. What I needed was to really think about what pieces I was lacking and wanted to buy.
2. Knockoff Airpods
This one might be a bit controversial because Airpods are notoriously overpriced. I have an iPhone and iPad, and I didn’t realize how much easier it was to pair these Apple devices with Airpods than with regular Bluetooth earphones! For years I’d hated Bluetooth earphones because of their connectivity issues, but it’d only be because I hadn’t gotten good quality ones. I’d rather have bought Airpods from the beginning rather than going through a series of other Bluetooth earphones.
I swear this post isn’t a love letter to Apple – in fact, I’m writing this from my PC right now. But I’ve gone through my share of $20 iPad cases, and nothing compares to the Apple Smart Folio. It has the perfect viewing angle and writing angle that you just don’t get with other cases. I’ve learned that, at least for me, Apple accessories go best with Apple products and others just really can’t compare.
4. Bento box supplies
Moving on from the red fruit. I’m not a very good cook but often go through phases where I swear a particular type of preparation method will transform me into a very prepared cook. One of these was the Bento box phase. Have you ever watched Youtube videos and TikToks about women who make Bento box lunches for their husbands and kids every day? I wanted to be that woman, that husband, and that kid!
I got in such an internet tunnel one day that I convinced myself if I could just get the supplies, I’d make Bento boxes every single day. So I got all of the non-perishable ingredients on Amazon because my local grocery store didn’t stock them – we’re talking Japanese mayonnaise, bonito flakes, seaweed, sushi rice, umeboshi paste. None of it qualified for Amazon prime shipping because they weren’t frequently bought products.
Can you guess what happened? Yep – by the time they arrived, I’d realized to make a bento box every day would take up too much of my time and had lost interest. I never used any of those supplies.
5. Picnic mat
When I first started dating my boyfriend, it was the middle of the pandemic and there weren’t too many dates you could go on. I, therefore, got it in my head that I should plan a picnic because picnics seem cute and romantic don’t they?! By the time the picnic mat arrived, it was too cold for picnics. By the time the weather warmed up again, we had settled into the pace of our relationship and had decided it was too much effort to make food, pack a cooler and actually go out. The picnic mat lies unused in the living room to this day.
Looking back on the things I buy which I regret, I realize they usually fall into one of two buckets:
- Things I buy without really thinking it through, because I’m going through a fad. Sometimes it just takes leaving the item in your shopping basket for a few days to really think about whether you’ll use the item in the long term.
- Bad-quality items I buy because I think it’ll “game the system”. There are certain things where I consider price over quality; clothes for example are an area where I don’t want to spend too much because I know I’ll get tired of the piece in a few months (very different line of thinking from anti-fast fashion activists, I know, but I still haven’t nailed down my personal style yet!), and it’s the same with skincare (my SKII serum has done nothing noticeably different for my skin than other $30 serums). But for certain things like technology, I don’t like to skimp because I can really tell the difference in utility. Of course, these categories may be different for different people, because we all live different lives and use products differently.
Before I end this post, I do want to caveat it by saying that in no way am I discouraging trying new products. Even as a minimalist, I feel like life is too short to not try new things. A lot of the most satisfying purchases I’ve made, I never would be using had I not sought to first “try them out” – maybe I’ll do a post about those things another day!
What are some things you regret buying?