I like getting refunds. There’s something inherently satisfying about exchanging merchandise I purchased to receive back the original money. Not just because the thing I bought didn’t work out, or was broken, or was the wrong size. It is like I can redeem myself from being frivolous, I can undo a bad spending decision, I can turn cash into fleeting ideas and then back to cash.

Unfortunately, I am powerless to return the things I would like to return most.

For example, if I paint my kitchen the wrong color, I cannot return the paint for a full refund. Nor can I swap it for a better color. If I pick mission-style cabinets when I should have chosen something more contemporary, I’m stuck with the bad choice. If the pinkish-grey tile were a better match than the mauvish-grey, I cannot have it torn out and replaced without incurring a cost.

I’m probably not the best judge of where to invest my money, so I rely on balanced funds that are devised by more financially adept minds. Just as my neighbor would replace my jig saw if he destroys it making a bad decision to cut something such as granite, I think my broker should reimburse me for my losses due to his bad investment choices.

I’ve taken some great vacations and some lousy ones. I think if my travel plans turn out to be awful, I should be recompensed by the travel agent, the airline company, the cruise ship operator, or the hotel. They should be smart enough to not allow me to book travel to a lackluster destination like Camden, New Jersey or a cruise through Somalian pirate waters.

As an American citizen I feel I’m entitled to a refund of any tax money that is spent on a law which is rescinded by a new administration. If the battleship sinks, the jet fighter has a major design screwup that forces the project to be scrapped, or the weapon of mass destruction is defused and decommissioned, I should be reimbursed. If I spend money on a political party that loses the election, I should receive back every dollar I contributed to their victory effort.

Marriage costs money – money for the license, the flowers, the ceremony, and all the periphery that goes along with it. There are things I would not normally purchase had I stayed single: a house, a lawnmower, a snowblower, an SUV, the home improvements I mentioned before. There are the gifts for Valentine’s Day, the spouse’s birthday, the wedding anniversary. If my wife and I ever get divorced, I want all that marriage money back.

Then, there is the insurance – health insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, long term care insurance, property insurance, car insurance. Though I realize when I’m dead from old age there is not a lot I can do with money, I still want to be reimbursed for all those claims I never made, and the payments I paid in.

Try to get all the refund money to me by the last year of my life so I can blow it all on world travel. And if the travel doesn’t pan out, and I need to get a refund, I can reclaim the funds, and spend it all on two things I’d never return: chocolates and cheese.