BOSTON (CBS) – Recently I was the facilitator for a focus group where folks talked about money regrets. The subject was a landmine. We have all done dumb things with our money at one time or another.

Sometimes we should have known better but it sounds so good we can’t resist or worse we are pressured into buying stuff we don’t need.

So I thought we would spend some time looking at the money regrets people have and maybe how to avoid them.

Jeff Yeager of AARP produced a great article 10 Common Spending Regrets. The article starts off with the pitfalls of Time Share ownership. This is one purchase where folks really get pressured into buying. It all sounds so glamorous; you can swap your deal for places all over the world. Most buyers regret purchasing them.

The majority of folks I spoke with were unhappy with them, especially the high maintenance fees, and wanted to get out of their commitment.

Next in the article was buying first generation technology. Better to wait until the bugs have been worked out. Prices definitely go down. So all those folks who stand in line all night to be the first to buy the next new phone should just stay home and wait it out.

The third regret was purchasing ‘As Seen on TV’ products. The commercials state that these products do incredible things, renew old furniture, knives that cut thru anything, and blenders that will make you healthy. I have seen racks at Target and Walmart with some of the products that you may have seen on TV. You can then decide if it is truly something you want or need.

A very simple question to ask when purchasing anything is, “Is this something I need or is it just something I want?” If it falls into the need category then get it. If it’s the want category think about it for 24 hours. Impulse shopping almost always produces regrets.

Money Conference Alert!!

On October 11th I will be the key note speaker at The Money Conference which is a FREE one-day event presented by The Office of Massachusetts State Treasury. It will be held at UMASS Boston and the first 500 registrants will get a free copy of my newest book, Money, Your Personal Finance Guide.

There will be afternoon classes on everything from budgeting to buying a house. The Financial Planning Association of Boston will have volunteer financial planners there to help answer questions. You can set up a meeting with a Money Mentor when you register. If you have questions about the conference, contact Sheila O’Loughlin of the State Treasury at (617) 367-6900 ext 615.


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