What item would you spend a lot of money on and most people would think you were crazy to do so?

Inspired by this thread:

I said that I thought everybody had that thing that they’d spend what most “sane” people would think is an excessive amount of money on. Some people love expensive shoes or handbags, fine wine or liquor, a piece of high-end sports equipment…so what’s yours?

It can either be something you have spent a lot of money on and had to put up with your friends looking at you funny, or something you would buy if you had the money. Note I’m not talking about wild-fantasy stuff like Ferraris or such, but rather something that you would realistically spend a lot of money on because you love it, it would help you be better at your hobby, you think you’d look great wearing it, etc.

I’ll start: I have two.

#1. I play World of Warcraft, and one of the rare trading-card based mounts in that game is called the Spectral Tiger. It’s basically a ghostly cat mount. At the time I bought it it was unique (since then they’ve added a couple of other “spectral” type mounts to the game) and one of only two cat mounts available to the Horde (the other one was a non-spectral tiger that was an extremely rare drop from a raid). I preordered the card and spent $600 for it. In the four or so years I’ve had it I have never regretted this purchase, and I still use the tiger every day I play the game.

#2. I fell in love with a particular leather bag (unisex messenger bag thing with a dragon on it from Mark Nason) a year or so ago and spent $800 on it. If my friends knew what I spent on that thing, they’d think I was insane.

Normally I’m pretty frugal–I don’t spend a lot on clothes, fancy food, etc. But every once in a while I’ll find something I really want, and if I have the money at the time I buy it.

So tell us about your weak spot. :smiley:

Most people from where?

  • here?
  • my group of friends?
  • Nielsen ratings families?
  • 3rd world country?
  • China?

Frankly it would depend. I have spent a lot of money on things that people here have respon ded with surprise, while it is considered quite normal with my circle of friends.

ETA: and what is a lot of money? That too is subjective for different groups of people.

For the record, I work big-box retail and am a student, like most of my friends, so what I consider expensive is low-end for others.

I’ve been contemplating buying a watch that costs around $2000, one of the Tag Heuer Monacos. Not as expensive as they get, mind you, but certainly more expensive than the $20-$100 watches most would wear. I had one before-- a gift from my ex-fiancee that I returned to her when I broke up with her for cheating on me-- and really miss it. Not only do my friends think I’m crazy for wanting to spend $2000 on a watch, they also think I was crazy for returning it, along with all of her other extravagant gifts, to her when she was the one who had erred. “You wouldn’t need to spend $2000 on a watch you like if you’d, y’know, kept the one you had.”

I have a weakness for sharp-looking, well-fitted business and formal clothing, which is odd since so much of my time is spent in shabby work clothes, covered in cardboard debris and dirt. $50 shirts and pants, $200 shoes, etc. might be normal for a lot of people, but it’s an extravagance in my circles. (Though the cliches about saving money by buying more expensive clothing tend to hold up, since they last longer.) I’d love to up that even more, and would love to splurge on fully-tailored clothing.

Nice cologne is one of my other weaknesses, and I’ll happily spend $100 on a bottle of something that I like. Some of the cheap stuff smells good, too, but that $100 bottle lasts for ages, so the overall costs tend to even out over time.

Number one is probably a gaming PC. I haven’t yet but I’m considering dropping somewhere in the ballpark of two and a half or three grand on one that I’d imagine most people, even those who play games, would consider wildly unnecessary. Possibly included in this is a keyboard - I’m thinking of maybe getting a Das Keyboard, if I can ascertain that they’re as good as people say. I spend half my life typing various things, so this doesn’t seem so unreasonable.

To a lesser extent than above, dress clothes. I’m very far from being the biggest spender in the world in this department, and it’s definitely an area where the sky’s the limit, but on one or two occasions I’ve bought a shirt or a vest that cost quite a bit more than I really felt sensible paying. I’d probably do it again though, if I could afford it. I think part of my sense that people would think I’m crazy for this one comes from the fact that I mostly don’t care about what I wear outside of a formal occasion, so expectations are already low (as opposed to the gaming PC; people who know me don’t find that kind of thing surprising at all).

I puchased a Falcon Northwest Fragbox gaming PC and do not regret the purchase one bit. I would also spend a lot of money on watches, but so far, I have only bought one for around $600. One day, I am going to buy an IWC watch and every time I check the time, my heart will flutter with joy.

I think you’re being a bit facetious here. Clearly I’m not referring to what people in a third world country or China care about (unless you and your friends live in that country or China, of course).

And as for “a lot of money,” of course it’s subjective–it varies by the person. What I would consider an impulse purchase, someone else might have to save up for months to buy. Likewise, what someone else might just buy on a whim I might not be able to afford if I saved for a year. I’m talking about extravagant either (a) for you personally, or (b) by the standards of the item in question (for example, spending 10x the value of a perfectly normal and serviceable item for a “special” version just because you like it for whatever reason).

Does that help?

When I travel, I like to buy things that remind me of the places I’ve been to . . . but not typical useless souvenirs made for tourists. Probably the most I’ve bought have been neckties, jewelry and Christmas tree ornaments. Or silly things like a cicada wall sconce from Provence or a professional set of castanets from Seville.

The big crazinesses for me are gemstones/jewelry. The amount of money I’ve spent on gemstones in particular would make the average Doper’s eyebrow lift, I suspect. Until the Little One was born, which curtailed my spending habits somewhat, my gemstone and jewelry purchases were in the low thousands of dollars per year (usually only a couple hundred at a time, but that adds up!). Just writing that makes me cringe a little.

(Of course, by the standards of the well-to-do fashionistas, I spend very little money on gemstones. But the mostly-technical crowd I hang with generally sees no need for jewelry at all and would be hard-pressed to spend $50/year on it.)

They really are that good, IMO. I used to work a desk job, with a huge amount of typing. Got an aquaintance to bring me a Das Keyboard over from the US around 6years ago, and have never looked back. Very, very responsive; the noise factor is fun, and the blank keys make nearly everyone else do an enormous doubletake (particularly if you type in more than one language) so I think it was more than worth the money.

Not sure what it would be like for gaming, but for straight typing, can’t be beat.

I was going to say video games since I tend to spend at least a couple to a few hundered dollars on them over the course of a year, but then I read the OP and the $600 Tiger Blood whatever it was and I figured I’m out of my league.

I have a hard time spending money and probably always will, but my husband has got me trained to the point where I don’t try to keep him from spending. Last week we went to a very very nice restaurant where he paid about $400 for a meal for the two of us and we had a wonderful time. I don’t regret it.

He will likewise encourage me to buy higher quality clothes, and I admit it’s true that I’ll wear them forever, so maybe it is a bargain, after all… I’m not talking about eight hundred dollars for a scarf, though!

There are 5-6 authors that I will buy in hardback the day their books come out, no questions asked. It’s not $600 handbags, but by my standards it seems pretty damn extravagant.

We keep the AC way cooler than most people, and have the summer utility bills to show for it, but that’s really more my husband than me. He simply can’t be happy if it’s at all warm.

Honestly, though, I am pretty frugal. The list of surprising things I am NOT willing to spend money on would be longer.

I’m one of those pound-wise, penny-foolish people, so I rarely spend a lot of money on one single item. Instead, if I let myself, I could easily spend over $100 at the grocery store buying high quality food to last me one evening, or $200 after a spontaneous trip to an outlet mall.

(This is why I do all my grocery shopping by carrying a basket instead of pushing a cart, so that I’m automatically limited to what I can carry. Helps my wallet and my biceps. :))

I will buy new hardback books by authors I like.

My husband and I also spend money on travel to places that some other folks find to be odd. Sometimes it’s for special things like total solar eclipses (Libyan desert), and sometimes just to go someplace we haven’t been. I want to sail through the Panama Canal. I want to spend enough time in a far northern place to see really good auroras. We both want to see the Galapagos, Easter Island, more of the less-visited South Pacific and Caribbean islands.

Some of our friends find it weird that we don’t go to places with nice night clubs, casinos and shopping.

Food & drink. If I have extra cash, it’s very easy for me to drop it on restaurants or ingredients or high end wine. Cookware, too, though that’s getting harder as I basically have everything now.

I have an Hermes scarf (a silk one, not the one in the OP’s linked thread), but that was a gift, so I don’t know if it counts or not. I like it, I think it’s worth the money, but I don’t go crazy over that kind of thing they way I do about foodly stuff.

Computers, though a large part of that is a business expense. So I don’t know if that counts.

I was in Barney’s one day and they had a sale on a lambskin suede coat for $2,000 marked down from $4,000.

I almost bought it. Of course that was back in the day when I could afford it. Still if I win the Megamillions.


I spend $5,000/year on workshops and lessons, plus the odd master class, plus whatever I spend when I go out to hear live music, plus whatever I spend when I go out to a piano bar, plus whatever I spend on MP3s, plus whatever I spend on sheet music. I’m planning to spend ~$1,000 on equipment at some point this year, and I’m starting to think about replacing my keyboard (another $1,000-2,000).

Paying gigs won’t help much, because at this point they’ll pretty much just cover the cost of my band (and sometimes I might go a little in-pocket for that, too). Someday, though…

Other musicians get it. The rest of the world, not so much. :slight_smile:

My SO and I spend a tremendous amount of money taking vacations. It’s our single biggest expense and most of our friends think we’re nuts.

[li]Yup, people think I’m stupid for pay for Apple computers. My Mac Mini showed up yesterday. It’s the 12th Mac I’ve owned since 1990.[/li][li]Camera lenses. Non-camera people think it’s stupid, but I’m sure other camera people have no objection to dropping $1000 or more for a really good lens (note: it’s not like I can afford a new lens every, single week, people!)[/li][li]I’m seriously, seriously, seriously contemplating purchasing Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. I know that a lot of people are going to call me nuts due to the $625 price tag. I’m even contemplating it more now that I’ve looked it up on Amazon to post that link (it’s significantly less than $625).[/li][/ul]

Yep; we do.

WordMan, who will not discuss what he spends on guitars - but it would qualify for this thread. :wink: