We have all felt buyer’s remorse at some point and boy isn’t it painful? It stings a little for sure. There’s no doubt our clients have experienced that gut-wrenching feeling too.

It may be easy to dismiss this feeling since we’ve all done it. But it’s the pesky little things that can lead to doubt, a lack of confidence, and the inability to trust yourself with financial decisions.

As financial coaches, we can help our clients by helping them to identify the factors that contribute to regrettable money choices.

Below is a quick exercise you can give your client – either upon them feeling buyer’s remorse or in reflection of a past incident.

The goal is to help them identify patterns and triggers so they can become aware of them. Some people tend to spend more when they’re with others and they’re feeling pressured. Yet others spend more when they’re alone. Some of my clients spend when they’ve had a bad day and they use the shopping or purchase to make themselves feel better. Yet others spend when they’ve had a good day and they do so in celebration. And then there are some clients who realize they spend when they’re truly just bored and they’re passing the time by shopping!

Have your client write down:
The date
The item purchased
The amount spent
Where they bought it
Were they alone or with someone else/others?
Was the item on sale?
Was it a planned purchase or an impulse buy?
Did they use cash, debit or credit?
What kind of day were they having?

Your role as their coach is to first help them identify the patterns that could lead them to feel buyer’s remorse. Then you can get creative and brainstorm ways they can avoid those situations.

If your client tends to regret spending choices they’ve made when they’re with someone else, what steps can they take to overcome those situations. Maybe they need to clearly communicate their goals and financial aspirations to their friends and ask for their support? Or would they prefer to leave their wallet in the car? Perhaps they avoid shopping with others altogether?

If they tend to spend when they’ve had a bad day, what’s a new way to overcome the frustration or irritation instead of shopping? Perhaps you have them call a good friend on these days instead of walking into a store? What if they journaled, listened to music or read a book for 15 minutes instead? Personally, nothing can cure a bad day better than a silly, dance party in my living room with my toddlers!

Tell me in the comments what do you think of this exercise?

There’s beauty in simplicity don’t you think?