Goals - June 2011
Getting Rid of Stuff

DSRL, or An Impulse Purchase


I rarely make big impulse purchases…or impulse purchases at all. Usually I pour over product reviews and even once I’ve made a decision to buy I will still put off the actual purchase for awhile longer. But this past Friday I decided to start looking at DSLR cameras and the very next day I bought a used Nikon D80 from someone off of Craigslist for $550. That has to be a new record for me.

Here’s how I connected with my inner impulse buyer: I’ve been thinking about purchasing a DSRLsometime in the future. (Note the unspecified timeframe indicative of a pathological planner.) I’d like to be able to take better pictures, especially by the time we have a family, and I’ve always had an amateur interest in the art of photography. Last week I was out of town for work doing field work which required A LOT of driving so I had lots of time for day dreaming, mental list-making, and planning – probably some of my favorite activities of all time. Yeah, I know I’m cool.

Purchasing a DSRL camera was one of the things that came to mind as I was daydreaming about Things I Will Do In The Future while bumping along backroads in Utah. I realized I’m ready to start learning how to snap good pics now and not at some unspecified time in the future. Plus my car is running really well now and shouldn’t need any big repairs soon (knock on wood!) and my personal savings account is pretty healthy ($5,300 before the camera purchase). So when I got home from field work I started browsing for DSLRs on Craigslist. Lo and behold someone had just posted their used Nikon D80 for sale because they had upgraded to a newer camera. The camera was listed for $550 and online new the same camera and lens sells for around $1,000. I emailed the seller and the next day withdrew $550 from the bank and bought the camera!

Who knows if it was the mountain air that I enjoyed last week in Utah that cleared my mind or maybe it was all the bouncing around on four-wheel drive roads that shook me out of my comfort zone. But whatever it was I actually feel proud of myself for spending money on something that I’ve been wanting and will get a lot of enjoyment out of (at least I hope so!).

“Impulse purchase” has a bit of a negative connotation, at least to this planning-minded gal. But I also have to remember that money is for saving AND for spending. If I have sufficient savings and a biggish purchase is one that will bring me enjoyment I should go for it (occasionally). Granted, this purchase was a bit of a hybrid impulse purchase. It’s not as if I had never considered buying a camera before and I did get a great deal on the camera. But for someone who is usually so methodical, deciding to buy a camera and then actually doing it in the same week was a big deal. I’ll probably need several months to recover from the excitement but who knows when another impulse purchase could strike!