published November 23, 2020
ByJessie N.
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Real-Life Money Horror Stories

In the spirit of Halloween, we ran an Instagram contest to find out which purchases have haunted our customers the most over the years. Some of them were funny and some downright bizarre, but there were some strong themes around big ticket impulse buys, being ripped off by scammers (including people you know) and forgetting about hidden costs. 

Social learning theory tells us that behaviours can be learnt by observing the actions of others, which includes learning from other people’s mishaps. So here’s a bunch of our top picks to inspire you to reconsider your spending decisions this holiday season. Enjoy!


Facepalm worthy buys 🤦‍♀


A framed Shania Twain picture?

“Spending $1000 on a signed framed Shania Twain picture when I was 18”


A Burberry trench now catching dust.

“A Burberry trench I bought when I was in uni. I spent way above my means... It cost about $2500 and am too scared to wear it because I don't want to get it dirty. It has been sitting in my closet for about 3 years now…”


A $2800 plant.

“I purchased a rare variegated Monstera plant for $2800 and through my best attempts managed to kill it within 2 weeks 😭🤦‍♀️ major regrets!”


Surfboard goes wrong.

“Buying a $1100 surfboard 🏄 after a friend said how much he loved it. Turns out it's meant for people who weighed 70kg, and I weigh 100kg. It broke in half the first time I tried it out. Painful purchase that is filled with regret.”


Short-lived new furniture.

“A $1600 sideboard (pre Covid) to house my DVD collection, only for my new puppy to chew the corner off a week or two later in a split second of non supervision. 😜 I'll be #wisr in future!”


Good intentions backfire.

“Alcohol for my boss. A lovely bottle of red wine. But she was a recovering alcoholic.”


Totally ripped off!


$500 fake phone.

“I bought a Samsung Galaxy S5 from a person on Gumtree - turned out to be a fake, and it cost $500 😭 the most expensive paperweight ever!”


Sneaky online sellers.

“I spent $150 on a rug on eBay ... turned out it was for a doll house but they declined to mention that in the description 😂”


Get rich fast? More like a scam.

“Sometime between 2000-2015, I went to a seminar with my mum about selling on the internet. I got completely sucked in and paid $3000 but never did the course! I probably could’ve made “some'' money online, but the thought of me wasting $3000 back then still stabs me in the chest! 😖😖😖😭😭”


Car bargain turns into a nightmare.

“Purchased a snazzy beemer at 19 for 5k. No idea what to ask, just took the buyer's word for it. A month later it leaked oil like it was a freaking rig. Took it to the mechanic. A 5k job he said. Fixed it and sold it for 5k. Did I mention I took out a personal loan to buy? So now I have debt and no car. Happy days.”


Big ticket tragedies


Extras & hidden costs that added up!

“Getting duped on my new car loan. Negotiating what I thought was a ‘good deal’ only to realise I paid full retail 🤪🤪🤪 plus getting roped into extras like leather which made my loan higher than what the car is worth 😭 💔 I’ve since learnt my lesson well & truly”


Bathroom renovation disaster.

“We renovated our bathroom. It was supposed to be six weeks. Three and a half years later we are still not finished. Past problems included dodgy tile laying, sparky who was unlicensed, damaged cabinets, chipped tiles, overheating walls, clunky towel rails, and the list goes on and on and on. Latest problem this week is water leaking under the cabinet...😱😔”


Most expensive drunk purchase.

“Drunk buying a $45k car online.”


Where did $30K go?

“That would be the purchase I DIDN’T make... 🙊 Took out a personal loan to buy a van with the intention of doing it up and taking a year off work to live the #vanlyf. Instead I blew the entire $30k loan on... honestly, I don’t even know what! Shopping, trips, stuff - who knows?! 😬 I’m still paying it off 3 years later, but thanks to @wisraustralia I’m almost done and debt free 💪😁”


That was a wild ride, wasn’t it?

Especially when the holidays come around, our spending has a tendency to get a little out of hand. When we’re spending more time socialising with family and friends and spoiling them with gifts, we often see that money starts to disappear a lot quicker during this period as well. 

So keep these tales of caution in mind the next time you find yourself out shopping or perusing online. If you need a hand affording anything this season, you can learn more about what we offer below.


DISCLAIMER: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Services Pty Ltd does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change.
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