The Day I Wasted A Ton Of Money At Home Depot

In my semi-ongoing series about my job history, I wrote about how I was let go and how that took me by surprise.  That was March 1, 2005. On March 2nd, I wasted a bunch of money at Home Depot.

I woke up thinking: “Hmm, what should I do with my time?”  I knew I’d spend time looking for a new job, but I also knew I’d still have hours in the day to fill with time.  Instead of planning on sitting around watching movies or messing around on the computer, I figured I would tackle a bunch of little things around the condo.

The condo next door to mine had recently been foreclosed on, and sold by the bank.  The new owners had bought it as a place for their nanny to live, and a friend that they knew had him come in and do a bunch of repair and fix-up work.  It wasn’t a major renovation but he added a lot of finishes around the house, and I was inspired.

Problem was, I didn’t have the money to do any really big stuff, nor did I have the experience to tackle anything more than painting.

So, I thought that getting stupid little stuff would somehow add up to something big.

I think I dropped around $350.  While some of the stuff I did was probably legit, looking back I would say that probably 80-90% of that was wasted.

I’d split the waste into three categories:

  1. Stuff I actually did that really didn’t need to get done – For some reason, I decided that I needed to replace all the switch plates throughout the entire condo.  At a buck or two a pop, it didn’t seem that big a deal, but I probably could have just cleaned the ones that were there and saved over $30.  I also bought a bunch of new doorknobs for the inside doors as the ones were getting scratched.
  2. Stuff I bought that I could have used but never bothered with – Those doorknobs I just talked about, I replaced about half and then forgot about the rest.  When I moved out of the condo, I just left them there in case the new owners wanted to use them. They didn’t match anything in our new house and with all the chaos of moving, I didn’t want to bother with selling them, nor did I want to take it with me.  Probably wasted $50 in doorknobs.
  3. Stuff I bought that was absolutely wrong – There were a couple of closet doors that didn’t stay on their track.  I bought stuff that was supposed to fix them but it wasn’t even the right stuff. Of course, by the time I got to it, a few weeks had passed, and I had no clue as to what I did with the receipt.

Looking back, I didn’t see that I was panicking at the time, but I think that I was, and that I wasn’t making rational decisions after having just lost my job.

I guess in the grand scheme of things, $350 or thereabouts isn’t as bad of a waste as I could have seen.  I could have booked a big trip or bought something really big.  So, maybe it was the most responsible of the irresponsible type of decisions I could have made, I don’t know.

Either way, you know those closet track thingies I thought would work?  I actually still keep them, just as a reminder of myself of the stupidity of that purchase, hoping that I wouldn’t repeat the waste.

Have you ever bought a bunch of stuff with good intentions only to realize later that it was a complete waste of time and money?

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3 thoughts on “The Day I Wasted A Ton Of Money At Home Depot

  1. Sounds like 5 days in the last 2 months for me, haha. Still, 2 rooms closer to our goal!

    More relevant, yes. We have loads of stuff from both Big Box stores from our purchases where we estimated too many materials or realized something didn’t work. We’ve been trying to pawn them off on our friends… which works to various degrees!

  2. {sigh} It does sound like a moment of desperation…”gotta justify my existence now that I’m not going to work”?

    Home Depot is a snare for the hapless homeowner. Not to say “money pit.” I often buy things there that aren’t right or that I just end up not using. Over time, I have learned to take stuff back, though. They usually will refund your money, if you’re even faintly reasonable about it. But it’s a nuisance.

    Best to just stay out of the place. 😉

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