Money Regrets: 12 Millennial Women On The Splurges That Weren’t Worth It

Money Regrets: 12 Millennial Women On The Splurges That Weren’t Worth It

A few months ago, I decided to treat myself to a mani-pedi combo at a trendy nail spot in Brooklyn. After an hour of being pampered, I was blindsided with a $130 bill. Turns out, I was paying for more than just a fair wage for workers—something I’ll never regret spending on. No, in this case, I had misread the menu and spent almost $100 more than I had planned to — a complete waste of money by my estimation. In shock, I handed over my credit card and let buyer’s remorse take the wheel.

If you’ve ever suffered through a friend’s prix fixe group dinner, let a sale email tempt you into an online buying spree, or gone wild after getting your tax refund, then you probably know that inexplicable feeling of regret, too.

Splurging can bring up a whole host of emotions, whether you planned for the spend or not. Sometimes, the big-ticket purchase turns out to be 1,000 percent worth it. More often though, that’s not the case. And  we’ve all been there. To drive that point home, we talked to 12 millennial women to uncover the splurges they regret the most. Their candid (sometimes cautionary) tales, ahead.

The traveler who bought a timeshare in Mexico

“I got swindled into buying a $3,500 timeshare vacation package while vacationing at a resort in Mexico. It sounded appealing, but you have to commit to a specific timeframe to schedule your vacations within, which of course becomes challenging when life has its hiccups. Fortunately I still have time to take advantage of it, but I lost out on a lot of time, which feels like a waste of money.” — Jessica, 27

The self-care enthusiast who fell for a buzzy product

“I spent $500 on a NuFACE skin electric pulse thing and it’s done…nothing.” — Morgan, 27

The New Yorker who regrets going to brunch

“Going to brunch every weekend for the first two years I lived in NYC was the biggest waste of money. The food, coffee, and drink every week added up to be way more than I thought about at the time.” — Rose, 29

The creative questioning her pricey art school education

“A private art school education is my big regret. To be $100,000 deep in student debt and work in a creative field isn’t worth it to me in retrospect. But also, who knows if I would have a job if I had gone somewhere else!” — Hailey, 26

The fashion editor who splurged in the name of Gucci

“I bought the (nearly $1,000) Gucci Princetown Loafers with fur—which at the time were a big deal—with money I got from consigning my clothes. Since it was basically found money, I figured ‘what’s another $100? I’ll get some knit socks to go with them!’ It was winter and I barely wore them because of the snow, so they sat in their box wrapped up for a year. I can’t believe I spent so much on them. I only got half of my money back when I sold them recently. What a waste.” — Marissa, 28

The luxury shopper who never wears what she buys

“Buying sexy lingerie I never wear is a regret. At Agent Provocateur, I’ve purchased three bra-and-panty sets that are around $350 each, and I don’t think I’ve worn them more than once.” — Stef, 27

The woman who’s in debt from a vacation with her ex

“I regret a $2,000 trip to Mexico with my ex-boyfriend because I put it on a credit card I’m still paying off. And we broke up shortly afterwards (not because of the trip— it was a longtime coming).” — Alex, 27

The trend-setter who paid too much for the wrong hair color

“I went to get my brown hair bleached to a platinum blonde. After four hours in the salon my hairdresser told me that the tone of my now bleached hair was ‘too warm’ to be the icy blonde I wanted. She said she could add a ‘dusty rose-blush’ toner to make it a cute light pink, which I was down for. $450 later (excluding tip) I walked out with neon, hot pink Troll Doll hair. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I hated it so I went home and ended up fixing the color myself. Keep in mind I had to spend another $30 at Ricky’s to buy Color Oops and a blue hair toner. I was much happier with my hair after I went home, cried, and fixed it! But it’s definitely still recovering.” — Zanni, 26

The floral designer who regrets her political science degree

“My degree is my biggest regret! If I had taken a gap year I probably would have found my calling faster. My political science and philosophy degree taught me so much, but if anything it just delayed me figuring out what I actually wanted to do. Now, I’m $45K in debt for something I don’t see myself ever actually needing. I listened to other people too much about what will and what won’t make you money. It was drilled into me that if I didn’t go to college I’d end up completely destitute, but clearly that’s not the case.” — Narcisse, 25

The professional who thinks work clothes are a waste of money

“Buying professional business clothes for my ‘casual attire only’ office was a huge mistake. I bought three pairs of pants for $80 each and a blazer that was on sale for $70. I wore it to the interview and was told not to wear it again.” — Kelsey, 23

The woman who showered her ex in gifts

“One of my money regrets is showering my ex-boyfriend with gifts that he didn’t really appreciate and take care of (or would lose)—practical gifts like nice wallets and sunglasses. I only spent about $500 over several years, but it still bums me out.” — Shezeen, 25

The long-distance lover who blew through her travel miles

“I used thousands of my saved-up travel miles to fly to across the world to Sydney for a guy. He ghosted me after I got back to the states.” — Kelsey, 28