The First Time I Returned A Pricey Item I "Couldn't Live Without," But Did, Proved I'm An Adult

Think about the moments leading up to your latest shopping trip. It was a super busy time, because, let's face it: You're a busy gal. Everybody needs a treat now and then, and what better treat than a trip to the mall or your favorite boutique? It didn't take very long before you were at the counter with an overpriced item you desperately wanted. Do you need it, though? The first time I returned a pricey item I "couldn't live without," but did, I was convinced I am a real adult. Turns out, it wasn't such a must-have after all.

Over the years, I've set myself some guidelines for shopping. On the one hand, I've given myself limits on how much I should spend, according to the current balance in my bank account, and avoid stores that make me want to swipe on something that's impractical. On the other hand, I've given myself the freedom to splurge or buy an impractical item every now and then, within reason.

Sometimes, it's difficult to shop like an "adult." I mean, owning a super expensive waffle maker is kind of an impractical luxury for a working girl in her 20s. Even though it would be amazing to have waffles (with strawberries and whipped cream) for breakfast, who really has time to make them on the regular? So, returning an impractical purchase like this is truly an adult move.

I Realized The Difference Between "Need" And "Want"

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Learning the difference between "need" and "want" is crucial. It's realizing that some things aren't so necessary to your everyday life, and you really could live without them. In fact, some things you buy and sort of do live without, because they sit in the closet or cabinet and never actually get used.

When I decided to return a very pricey piece of clothing for the very first time, it was because I realized it just wasn't practical. There were no pieces in my closet to even match it. Why did I pay for something that I wouldn't wear? I wanted it, but didn't need it after all.

I Became More Resourceful With What I Already Had In My Closet

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The reason why I splurged so much on that one item was because I put it on a pedestal in my mind, ever since the first time I saw it on Instagram. The social media post made me feel it was something super cool I couldn't live without. It made me splurge on something that I wanted but clearly didn't need. Returning that pricey item forced me to be resourceful and use what I already have to create the look that I was seeking.

I Opted For Items In My Budget That Were More Useful

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As sad as I was to see that one item go, it left room in my budget for other items that were much more practical. I was able to pick up a few items that I knew I would actually use (and would stand the test of time).

I'm trying to be better about spending money on affordable things I will actually use, and returning items when I really shouldn't be buying them in the first place. In the process, over time I can save towards other, larger ticket items like trips, cameras, and new furniture for my living space. Granted, returning one impractical item isn't enough to buy an entire plane ticket. But, it will definitely add to that jar of future funds — and that's enough to make me feel like an adult.