Poll: What’s The Most You’ve Ever Spent On An Impulsive Purchase?

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See, this is why I don’t go to the mall. Even though we don’t like pet stores and the associated puppy mills, we came perilously close to buying another puppy today. It looked very similar to this little dude (We already have a Cavalier).

(image from CuteOverload)

Impulsive means you woke up that morning without any plans to buy something, but by the end of the day you had it in your possession. Mine was probably a laptop that was “too cheap to pass up”. Leave the fun details in the comments πŸ™‚

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  1. Who hasn’t gone into a casino with a fixed amount of dollars and thereafter wished they hadn’t brought along their ATM card as well?? Not really an a buy, but impulsive nonetheless (though, perhaps, a caveat for the craps players- a “buy” on the 4 and 10?)

    Given that my expenses are low and I save well over 50% of my income, it doesn’t distress me too much though…

  2. I spent about 1000$ on a plane ticket to Japan, and then a couple thousand more while I was there. It was one of those slightly unwise summer-break-from-college-and-I-have-a-credit-card-and-nothing-to-do-next-week impulse buys…

  3. Probably an iPod. Right when the 80gig iPods were released, the 60 gig ones were available for like 240 at the Apple refurb store online, the day before they were 400 at the online store, I needed to replace a broken one so it seemed like perfect timing.

  4. About $35,000 on my Acura TL-S. I bought it for 28,000, but rolled in 6500 in negative equity from a recently purchased Saturn (just out of college), plus tax, tag, title, and extended warranty.

    Then I almost plopped down close to $40k a year later on a Lincoln LSE (limited edition), but my fiance (now wife) quickly talked me out of that. I was only one signature away.

    I kept that Acura for 4 years then got a Honda Ridgeline. It’s nice to have a truck when you’re a homeowner, but that still costs alot.

  5. I spend $19,500 last weekend on a used truck. That was pretty impulsive. πŸ™‚

  6. Peter Charles says

    Chinese marrige bed – $4,500 but they go for over 10k

  7. Printer and digital camera on the credit card. Looking back on it, not a good idea. I barely use both of them. Oops!

    Best to sleep on any purchase if I don’t “need” it. Helps a lot!

  8. Nony-mouse says

    Got up one day….was driving by and saw a nice mercedes at a dealership. I am the kinda idiot who thinks that if i dont buy it now, someone else will come 5 minutes later and buy it. Ended up writing a $30,000 check and driving home a mercedes benz. Didnt even do a carfax report. Got a horrible trade in value for my car but i didnt care at that moment, coz i was under a spell.

  9. $450 snowboard.

  10. Rob Rubin says

    33 acres of land with a 14 acre pond for a vacation home. Walked around it for 15 minutes and bought it on the spot. That was in 2000 and we built a cabin on it since. The cabin is another story — we bought it online as a kit (www.wildernesscabins.com) and assembled it ourselves (me, my wife, family and friends) in 2.5 weeks.

  11. A digital SLR. I got caught up in an eBay auction. πŸ™‚

  12. My laptop was $1,500, back when $1,500 was a screaming deal for a nice laptop with all the bells and whistles and 3-year warranty. So I’m in the $1,000-$10k category.

    Nobody said Flat Panel TV? Just went to Costco yesterday, and guess what’s the first thing you see? I think they specifically made the TVs to fit nicely in one of those bigger shopping carts…

    I’m pretty sure if I wrote a $30k check for a car I’d be dragged by the ears back to the dealership the next morning πŸ™‚

  13. a brand new Land Rover, where 60 miles after the warranty ended 4 years later the engine blew up.

  14. Toyota Prius, $25,000

    We were going to “just look” at the an economy car for the wife (Yaris ~$12K), but my legs didn’t fit in the thing. I test drove the prius “just for fun” … but didn’t like the option package they had.

    Couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I went home, did my reasearch and found the $3500 tax CREDIT would be reduced by 50% in 5 days.

    I rationalized the purchase with the incredible feul economy (I average 56.8MPG over the first 7,000 miles of ownership) and top-notch resale value. I turned down the $500 floor mats and $700 undercoating and wax (which they applied anyway, free of charge)

    To this day it’s the purchase I am most happy with in my life. (Unless you count the hospital bill for the delivery of my son)

  15. $2,000 even.

    42 inch sony lcd.

    not for tv use….

    for xbox 360/ps3

  16. I went to a mustang car show where my parents had entered their 64-1/2 mustang… it was right next to a dealership where later that day, I drove off with my own convertible mustang… No plans to buy anything but I’m happy I did, I love it!

  17. Like several others, mine was a car. I am usually not impulsive, but I had decided to look on craigslist for an Audi A4, and at the top of the page was a recent post from a guy selling an 11 month old A4 for $18,000. It had cost around $40,000 new, a mere year before. I figured there was a catch, but I apparently was the first to respond to the ad, the car checked out and two years later, it’s running beautifully.

  18. Bose Ipod dock for Ipod….don’t regret it for a second

  19. I am big book worm and paid $100 for a book that was signed by everyone that worked on the book.
    One time, I went to a 50% off sale at a book store. I was only going to spend like $30 dollars and ended up spending $300+.

  20. I bought a special foldable biking from England for about $1200. It was the only touring/road bike I could find that would fit in the trunk of my car.

  21. On a whim I went to an auction and hauled home a bronze sculpture along with bunch of other useless items. The sculpture costed over $1400 after commission and taxes. At least it was a cute one with a boy and a terrier retailed for over $4K. You would have approved Jonathan πŸ™‚

  22. Spent like $130 on some slightly better RAM than I put in my new self-built computer. It was a one-day sale, so it was definitely to get an impulse buy out of people.

  23. …just a tad over 1500… on 2 gryson purses…they were just soooo pretty!

  24. I’m sorry, but $1500 on purses? I know I spent 10s of thousands of dollars on impulse, but they were on things that actually get me someplace for years.

    What do you do with a purse other than stuff crap into it and can’t find it?

  25. Clever – Are you trying to start trouble? πŸ™‚

    I’ll preempt the reply with this – What does an Acura do but be a fancy Honda? The premium is probably more than $1,500 πŸ˜‰

  26. OK, once I bought a plasma TV on impulse, but it was financed at 0% for 36 months. I have a question for you regarding this…I want to aggressively pay this thing down, would it be wise to open say a Discover card at 0% for 12 months, transfer the balance and close that CompUSA card later on? I know I have the promotion until 2009 currently, but I don’t plan on ever using that card because the normal APR sucks, I just don’t want to close something that has a decent history.

    Ideas for consolidating my impulse buy?

  27. When I was house shopping (just starting) an acquaintance said I should tour their home. I balked that their home probably cost too much for me, and they name their price–exactly my top price, not over, not under.

    It was actually on my drive home, so I could hardly not look at it. I took my wife over, and we toured around. It was lovely.

    I called them an hour later and said we’d take it. Of course it took a month or so to get all the paperwork in order and such, so maybe it doesn’t count as impulsive.

    $125,000 but we love it.

  28. My name is and I am a Caraholic. I buy purely on emotion–I’m such a sucker.
    I DO get killer deals though, mostly because I have done the research and negotiation so much for friends that I am pro. I just seem to crave replacing my car too often, when I really don’t need to.

    Your blog has been my treatment program. I am a lot more serious with my finances now, and don’t dive in just because I can afford it at the moment. However, every once in a while the arm starts to twitch–I need it man, I need it bad. πŸ™‚

    Like Friday I almost bought a 2007 VW GTI 4-door, and the week before I almost walked out with a new Prius (Touring Edition).

    How bad is it? In 2002 I almost traded negative equity in my Civic to buy a 325i, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE DO THIS? I came to my senses and stopped myself, thus currently I own 1 car, a used 318i which I quickly paid off a while back.

  29. Nony-mouse says


    The wife was there with me when we made the purchase (mercedes) πŸ™‚
    Took it to the dealer few months back to change the spark plugs. They charged me $650. I told them im not paying and told them to call the cops…..they quickly reduced it to $350 (I was even mad at this amount).

    Clever Dude..are u kidding me? If I was interviewing a lady and she had an LV purse/handbag, she would have gotten a few brownie points immediately. But then again, if I was a manager at Mcdonalds looking for a cashier….i would be cautious.

  30. Nony-mouse says

    Jonathan….u started a war now!!

    Lexus LS series have camry engines.

    Geo Prizm is the EXACT same car as the Toyota Corolla yet the prices are different. If you open the hood of the Prizm, it even says Toyota on the engine. I would still rather buy the toyota though πŸ™‚ (RESALE)

  31. A trip to Paris! We just decided to go for a week and it was the best $2,000 I spent (trip for two, hotel, transport, and food).

  32. Not trying to start anything. I agree that Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, GMC, Cadillac, etc. are just “upscale” versions of a much more discounted vehicle. I bought the Acura 6 years ago and traded it in for a Honda.

    I also had a Volkswagen Passat GLX and traded DOWN for a Chevy Malibu. That GLX has the lowest reliability rating for that year of all sedans. We lost on negative equity, alot, though.

    I’m finally learning how to handle vehicle purchases though. I got the Honda dealership to sell me the Ridgeline at invoice and give me private party rate on my Acura even though it had some frame damage a few years back.

    We’re finally becoming more comfortable with the idea of buying used, which was our major problem (other than just not being happy with the cars we have).

    I just have a problem with wanting new cars, but at least I don’t go too far out of what I can afford.

  33. I was watching this reality show called “It takes a Thief” and these 18 year old girls had nothing but $1500 purse laying around.
    So I guess we us men will never understand.

  34. I am glad you dont go to pet stores, you are right about puppy mills, its much cooler (humane, economic) to give a little critter at the pound or humane society a home. I think your current puppy is pretty cute but I dont know about the mac he’s in front of.

  35. I bought a car two days ago for $2000. Before you judge me I sold my old car yesterday that I’ve had for 13 years. I bought it when I was 15 for $500 and sold it yesterday for $600.

  36. Mine wa a $450 purse. I was starting my summer job and was giddy at the prospect of the high pay (ok, it was at a law firm and I was going to get paid over $10,000 per month). I went to an outlet to buy a purse and get some business casuals, found and bought a “sensible” purse at $200, then at the next store fell in love with the $450 purse. It was 50% off and adorable. So I got that too.

  37. Clever – I’m just kidding, I just know the love between some women and their purses. They get attached to brand names just like some guys with their car brands. I can’t imagine them with a t-shirt of Calvin peeing on the Coach logo though πŸ˜‰

    Our dog was from the humane society, but it was a purebreed. They up the cost of purebreds to subsidize the other dogs, so we felt good about it.

  38. Over $30k for a Prius, I didn’t even have my check book with me. The dealer let me drove away with it w/o paying a dime. I just left them my old car.

    Of course, eventually I paid, I went back with a check the next day. ;P

  39. $410,000 on a 2/2 condo in Silicon Valley…

  40. Wow seeing these comments really makes me feel good about my decisions… the only thing I’ve impulsively bought was a $350 dollar TV that I got for $200 because it was open box.

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