Money & Budgets

My Most Extravagant Impulse

We all buy things we shouldn’t, but when it comes to impulsive purchases, these readers shared some real whoppers.

An ADHD adult after having made an extravagant impulse purchase.

ADDitude asked: What was your most extravagant impulse buy?

I live paycheck to paycheck, so anything that is not essential is an extravagance. However, last weekend, I spent $57 (not including a $30 tip) on a cab ride to LAX airport to see a friend I hadn’t seen in three years. It was an impulse buy, because I planned on taking the bus, but poor planning made the cab the only way to get to see her.
-Ann, California

My biggest impulse buy was a $35,000 minivan that turned out to be a lemon!
-Ann, New Jersey

[The ADHD Guide to Saving Money]

Before I was diagnosed with ADHD, I came close to buying a grand piano. I had it all figured out. I thought I could borrow money from the bank and my parents, and charge the rest on my credit card. It seemed within my reach. Thank goodness, my husband talked me out of it!
-Judy, Maine

I bought some nice designer clothes that looked funny on me when I got home.
-An ADDitude Reader

I make lots of very small purchases impulsively. It’s the accumulation of these little things that gets me into trouble — like buying books, instead of taking the time to take them out from the library, or impromptu dinners in restaurants with my more solvent friends.
-Kimberly, Georgia

A house. Is that big enough or extravagant enough for you?
-An ADDitude Reader

[No More Overspending!]

I’m a “binge shopper.” I’m drawn to the sale signs in store windows. I rarely come out of a store with only the items I need. I often return items, feeling guilty about my purchases, if I can find the receipts and go back in time to be eligible for a refund (I have lots of store credit for this reason!).
-Christine, Quebec, Canada

When I became engaged to my second husband, I purchased three different engagement rings.
-Connie, Texas

I invested in a Disney timeshare in Florida.
-Denis, California

On the spur of the moment, I bought a mare. Yes, I bought a horse. I had to rent a stall and board her. What was I thinking?
-An ADDitude Reader

[How to Shut Your Mouth — And Your Wallet]

I built a laundromat on the advice of a salesman. I lost about $200,000, which is why I am still working at age 67.
-Charlie, Missouri

I spent a lot of money on a website that was supposed to help me make money. Problem is, it hasn’t gone live yet, so I haven’t made anything.
-Katrina, South Carolina

My car! I should have used the money to pay down back taxes, but, instead, I bought a car. A lot was going on in my life then, but it wasn’t the most responsible purchase I’ve made.
-Izzy, Washington

I purchased a three-bedroom house that sat on one-and-a-half acres of land, on an island in the Bay of Fundy. I purchased the house online, sight unseen.
-Judy, Alberta, Canada

Model trains, especially locomotives with digital command control decoders that sound like the real thing.
-Jack, Iowa

I spent $3,000 on a course to learn to be a yoga instructor. I love yoga, but I realized I don’t love it that much. Besides, yoga instructors are usually mellow. I’m too hyper for that!
-Rebecca, Pennsylvania

It hasn’t been much of a problem for me in the past 10 years, but I did buy a baby snake on impulse in college.
-Susanne, South Carolina

I bought an expensive camera, just after moving into a new flat, where we could barely afford the rent.
-Jessie, Cornwall, England

A $22,000 motorcycle.
-James, Georgia

I landed in New York instead of Boston because of a winter snowstorm, and, instead of waiting for the next flight or inexpensive transport, I took a taxi to Beantown that cost me nearly $400. All this so I could be with a girl I wanted to see. It was worth it, though.
-Julian, New York