What are some impractical, overpriced impulse buys your peers have purchased?

In another thread I mentioned my friend purchased a Geek Chic table that cost $10,000. I know I can’t be the only one with spendthrift peers, so share your other stories of friends/family buying very extravigant, over-the-top purchases.

Sure, everybody values something differently, but we can weigh it based on practicality, income, and research. If someone saved up for 10 years to buy something over-the-top, I wouldn’t consider it as bad as if they bought it as an impulse buy.

I had a friend who received an inheritance, not too big, but big enough so that a few years later he wishes he could start over as he blew through about $50-60k.

One of the things he did was, in a trip from Florida to Athens, GA, he and a friend of his got REALLY baked and ended up in some store off I-75 that sold wicker furniture.

2 hours and $5,000 later, the deliriously happy store owner loaded up his own truck to follow them, as there was no way my friend could load all that crap in his little Honda Civic del Sol.

My brother bought a $20,000 (ugly) desk. I think it was an impulse purchase. I also think he’ll be sick of it in 6 months.

Several of my brother’s wives have a passion for designer handbags ($1,000 up in price). I think that is impractical especially as some of these really look tacky.

We dropped $10 g’s on a 1966 Hearse and shipped it from Florida to Colorado…does that count?

Well, that’s still a car at the very least. Ten grand isn’t unreasonable for a decent-running, rare, or highly functional automobile.

Aside from a house full of wicker furniture, what did he do with the rest of the money? Did he own his own home? I could think of a lot of productive things to do with $60 grand…(buy a house, first and foremost).

It’s more partially mobile artwork…we put less than 300 miles a year on it…but it surely wasn’t a necessity.


He inherited it when he was 18 years old, about the worst age in which one could dump $50 grand on a person.

Saturday morning my wife paid $5.99 for a common yellow tail male guppy.

Anyone else really wanna see this desk?

I guess my peer group doesn’t have enough disposable income for foolishness. About the only example I can think of is the friend who cashed out his 401k to buy Redskins season tickets.

A friend of mine spent something like $1500 on a flute because he thought it might be fun to teach himself to play the flute. As far as I know, he never got around to it.

Indeed. I got $11k when I turned 18 and blew through it in less than a year on things like $30 taxi rides home from school because I was feeling too lazy to walk up the hill I lived on at the time. :rolleyes:

My parents had perfectly functional furniture in their living room that they decided to replace. It was scratched up from their pets and kind of worn out so they threw it out and bought several thousand dollars worth of really nice leather furniture and heavy wood tables. A year and a half later they look horrible, full of claw marks, scratches, and other damage from those same pets. I encouraged them to keep what they had but they refused. I told them to get slip covers but they weren’t interested. Now they want to spend several thousand more dollars to replace that furniture with newer, undamaged stuff.

My father bought an iPhone and iPad for no reason whatsoever. I mean he really has no use for them at all. He has a land line, he practically never leaves the house, he doesn’t like video games, he has a dedicated GPS built into his car and never drives anywhere he doesn’t know where he is anyway, he doesn’t have Netflix streaming (he just gets the DVDs), doesn’t really read books so has no use for the e-reader, prefers reading the (physical) newspaper rather than online, and so on. He’s aware of all these things, but has no use for them, and yet was the first in line to get both of them. Just bored in retirement I guess.

My in-laws just spent $1200 on a golden retriever puppy. While perhaps not totally stupidly exepnsive for a golden, my MIL is battling stage 4 colon cancer and has barely had the energy to take care of herself, much less a puppy and all the messes it will inevitably be making.

I have friends who buy lots of guns. Not like “sawed off shotgun to protect the home” or “mid-range reliable handgun for protecting myself”, but rather tricked out AR-15s and 45 automatics, and impractical stupid stuff like Taurus Judges (humongous revolvers that shoot 45 Long Colt & 410 shotgun shells). One friend in particular must have upwards of 7-8 grand invested in the past 3-4 years.

My impulse buys don’t seem very pricey by comparison; a $50 game here or there, and the occasional $100-200 piece of computer hardware isn’t nearly so interesting as buying a $500 45 auto.

Actual phone call I received at work one day:

“Kevbo, Duane bought a $800 vacuum cleaner from a door-to-door salesman and we’re all making fun of him…get your ass over here!”

It was a Rainbow vacuum, FWIW, and $800 went a bit farther back in 1987 or so.

In college one of my friends joined a “savings club” for around $2000. It was supposed to save over 50% off many major purchases including cars, and if you could find a better deal then they’d refund the difference. But the way it really worked was that it didn’t really offer all those deals and the amount you’d get compensated for the difference would add up to much less than $2000.

Then there’s the friend who bought a timeshare/club membership in Cocoa and he lives in Orlando. I think his thought was that we all’d come over on weekends to party.

A bit off topic, this is a sort of reverse-situation reply:

Years ago friend and I decided to buy electric guitars. I had a bit of experience playing, but he had none. So one day we went out and got guitars. Not cheesy, el-cheapo knock-offs, but an American Standard Telecaster (his) and a Stratocaster (mine). Spent around $800 for those and decent practice amps. This was around 1990 or so, ie these were not cheap guitars. We took them back to his apartment and his roommate came in. Couldn’t believe what he saw. He didn’t know me, but knew my friend quite well and knew he couldn’t play. You guys are crazy, he said. What were you thinking?!

As it turns out he had just got back from a ski trip to Vail, Colorado. Spent well over a $1000 on the trip. I could have replied, wait, you just spent all that money on a skiing trip, and what do you have to show for it? What did it get you? You’re nuts! But I didn’t…