Money regret is pretty useless. Dwelling on a spending mistake makes you more apt to repeat it, so it's best to leave the past in the past and move on. Still, it can be hard to shake some expenses. If you have a hard time dwelling on mistakes, try a "money regrets" budget.
Money picture from Shutterstock.
Like a lot of people, I kick myself when I unexpectedly spend money out of my budget. It could be a parking ticket. Or a higher than average electric bill. Maybe I just got carried away at dinner and spent more than I wanted to. Whatever the expense, you know financial regret when you feel it. You can't stop blaming yourself, and you can't shake the mistake.
To combat this dwelling, I use a "money regrets" budget. I write down my spending mistake — let's say it's a parking ticket for $80. Then, I work on getting that amount to zero, either by cutting back or writing off windfalls. For example, let's say I earn $10 in savings account interest that month. I'd deduct that amount from the $80 in my "money regrets" budget, bringing it to $70. Then, let's say I'm at the grocery store and I decide to put back some ice cream. My regrets budget would drop to $65. It's a variation of Ramit Sethi's "Stupid Mistakes" savings account, but instead of dedicating an entire account to your mistakes, you simply keep track on your own and then work to erase the flub.
If you don't have trouble letting go of spending issues, this is probably serious overkill for you. But as someone who has a hard time with financial regret, it helps. Full disclosure: I wrote about this tactic a while back at my own personal blog, but it's a mental trick that's proved quite useful over time. Sometimes the simple act of writing down the mistake is enough to forget about it and immediately feel more in control.
Bonus points if you hold yourself accountable and end up zeroing out that budget, but it's mostly about letting go of the mistake so you can get on with your life and prevent yourself from repeating it. For more detail, check out the full post at the link below.
Make a "Money Regrets" Budget to Get Over Mistakes [Brokepedia]