I thought this list would be an easy one. I was so incredibly wrong. I don’t know if it’s because I am incredibly frugal and wait for sales (most of the time) or if it’s because I seldom have extra money to spend on things other than bills? Or because when I get something home and realize it was a dumb purchase I go back to the store and return it? Actually, that would be a pretty fun list. 10 THINGS I BOUGHT AND RETURNED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER RECOGNIZING SPUR OF THE MOMENT MADNESS HAD OCCURRED. I bet that list would be a cinch to come up with.
So yeah, I actually struggled a bit with this one. But it was an interesting discussion to be had at dinner with the girls last night. I think about six answers came easy to me, but after that it was a stretch (as evidenced by the last two or three!)
10 dumb purchases
- When I got my KitchenAid mixer, I got a doozy of a deal on it. So much so, that I also got a deal on the attachment kits. I asked my brother if he wanted it, and he jumped at the opportunity. So I figured why not? I’d get it too. The mixer? Love it. Use it all the time. That attachment set? Yep, still in the original paper wrapping. And let’s be real–why on earth would I ever want to make my own sausage?
- About four years ago, I was determined to get a Wii with my Christmas bonus money. I waited until there was a going out of business sale at Best Buy, I got games buy two get three free, I was a Nintendo deal finding machine. Know what? I think I’ve played with it about ten times. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I truly do. But I’ve determined that it’s more of a group thing, and my house is too small to have many group things in it. Could I live without it? Absolutely. Was it a stupid purchase? No question. But you know what? On the rare occasion I am sick it provides great entertainment.
- I think what I have determined is that I tend to participate in extra curricular in phases. Watch every movie released in 2004? Done. Fly kites? Love it. Scrapbooking, reading, etc. All have had their moment as my favorite pasttime. Right now, it’s knitting/crocheting. Might have something to do with the niece that I’ll get on my birthday this year (what a way to turn 40, right??) But for the last year or two, I’ll come home, see a big box on my front porch every now and again, and think “what on earth did I do?”. I mean seriously. If you need $25 of stuff, and free shipping starts at $50, there is no need to order another $220 of items to make it work, is there? So much yarn, so much pretty pretty yarn, and no idea what to do with it all.
- When my grandpa died a few years ago, I was given a little bit of money. Mostly I used it to pay bills that added up during my several years of unemployment. I did buy a Macbook with it, as my fourth-laptop-in-two-years burst into flames while sitting on my lap. Don’t regret that at all, it’s still going strong. I also bought a Nikon DSLR. Don’t regret that either. Bought it from a friend that is a professional photographer and it was in pristine condition, for a cheap price. I then bought a Tamron 18-270 lens the next summer. Now that I think about it, the before the rebate cost more than 2.5 times what I paid for the camera. Granted, I got it about $350 cheaper than you can buy it at a store, because there were rebates and discounts and so on, and it is my favorite lens of all time, works as both wide angle and telephoto really, and I use it for everything, but seriously, did I need to buy it? Absolutely not. Insane that I spent that much money on it. This sucker better last me for another 15 years!
- Like every other woman on the planet, I have watched infomercials on at-home exercise equipment and thought “that looks easy enough, I’m sure I could get into that!”. Rarely, though, do I succumb to such thoughts. On occasion, though, I have. I think I have about ten DVD’s for the Core exercise ball. Love the ball, use it while sitting at my desk. DVDs are still in the wrapper after about eight years. So forgotten, in fact, that I can’t remember the distributing company and grabbed a random product photo off the internet for this one:
- About four years ago I was at a retreat and saw a woman with this fabulous bag that had a hard wire frame rectangle and would hold a ton of stuff. I asked her where she got it, and she said Thirty-One. I started looking for 31st street stores that carried totes. Nope, it’s a company. There was one representative, and she lived 75 miles away. She did a house party for me, I got $300 of free stuff, and bought another $150 I think while I was at it. Now, I think I can name at least a half dozen people that sell it. It’s everywhere. No longer original, dangnabbit. But for the first two years I bought stuff all the time. Now, I just want basic black, and all their black has flowers all over it–yuk! Yet there are still a few messenger bags, medallion slouch sacks, etc from the Thirty-One catalog that I have. And that rectangle tote? I have four of them in various colors. I haven’t bought anything from them in over a year at least, and it’s still all over my house! Oh and this image? Don’t let it fool you. I quickly learned that they will retire any pattern you buy within about six months of your initial purchase so having everything coordinate? Not possible. I still love their stuff though!
- Yeah, remember when I was talking about yarn a few seconds ago? Same case can be made for scrapbooking supplies. I just gave a away a ton of stuff. I go to the convention and stock up on albums marked down from $29 to $5, paper packs from $19 to $6, stuff like that. I gave a way a ton of it not that long ago, but still have quite a bit. And for the longest time, if there was a new font cartridge out for the Cricut, I just bought it. Don’t know that I’ll ever use it, but I have it. I’ve been trying for the last three or four years to only use the stuff I have and only buy adhesive. Might be why my enthusiasm for scrapbooking has greatly waned over the least year or two. Nothing new to play with=boring!
- Again, you know how I said I go through phases? For awhile I was obsessed with kite flying. Still love to do it, do it often. But all spare cash went to ripstop nylon and carbon fiber spars. Love to fly kites. Have some really cool ones, like the Kichi Taco, the EO6, one that is nine feet across at the base–it’s a lot of fun. One July day, I was out at the best local field, and saw a guy flying a Beamer. What’s a Beamer? Well, let’s put it this way. You know those guys that kite surf or go kite buggying? They use something like a Beamer. The guy on the field was nice enough to let me try it. My first experience with power kiting, it was AWESOME. The quiet gliding, the power behind it, I loved it. So yes, I bought one. Do I love it? Yes. Do I get to fly it? Rarely. See, when I go flying it’s almost always either at festivals or the beach–places with lots of people. You can’t do this with lots of people. You’ll get tangled. The thing is, you have to be careful. A strong gust and you’re airborne. I was on a baseball field 0nce, got a strong gust, and took a fantastic two second flight from second to third. The good thing is all you have to do is let go and you’re down. Instinct, however, has you holding on. Watch this video, and you’ll see how much fun it is and how careful you have to be in strong winds. Around 25 seconds you’ll notice that these guys are tethered–to a truck. Yes, I’m jealous. But for as often as I get to fly it? Not the best purchase.
- Okay, now is where I’m starting to stretch. Ebooks. What is wrong with the library? I need to remember this phrase: What is wrong with the library What is wrong with the library What is wrong with the library What is wrong with the library What is wrong with the library. Look, I love to read. I mean I love to read. And I get emails about books that are $2.99 or less daily. And I buy them. But seriously it adds up! I have gotten much better about that, though. I’ve hijacked my sister in law’s library card so that I can not only check out my local library but the one in Northern Virginia as well.
- When I like something, I tend to do it over and over. Favorite meal, favorite book, favorite movie. So instead of renting it over and over and over again, I got in the habit of buying previously viewed VHS and DVD movies (this is before the age of Netflix and On Demand!). I’m much better–I have only bought one DVD in at least the last six months, and I think only five in the last year. (And come on, you have to have the latest Pixar and Marvel superhero movies for the collection, right?) But for awhile, it was pretty bad. I then found swapadvd.com (sister site to paperbackswap.com and swapacd.com) that lets you trade ones you don’t watch any more for those on your wishlist. I’ve gotten rid of SO many DVDs and paperbacks here, but I still have quite a few!!!