The $100 Lamp

I started at the digital readout on the till and read the number again, it came to just under $100 with tax.  I was I looked down to what I was buying: a table lamp.  My frugal mind was having a hell of a time processing this purchase and I was finding it a little hard to bring up my hand that held the cash.  I managed to ask myself one last time: had I lost my mind?

The lamp in question was a Tiffany table lamp (ie: stain glass lamp shade) which I will completely admit I didn’t need.  This purchase was purely a ‘I want it.’  Yet this wasn’t an overnight want, but rather I’ve literally been looking on/off again for a few years for the right lamp at the right price.  So far in my search many of the lamps were out of my price range, regardless of how much I know these are worth I just can’t bring myself to spend  more than $100, so my max price range was $99.99 with tax.  The other complicating factor on when I would find a lamp under $100 was the colours were often wrong like pale pink and yellow….ick or the wrong pattern as I wasn’t settling for flowers or overly geometric patterns.

In fact I wasn’t prepared to settle at all on the style/colour I wanted or the price I was willing to pay.  Those were the rules for this want, I was only ever going to buy one of these lamps in my lifetime so I better damn well LOVE IT.  So far about a week later I still walk into my living room and smile.  Yes I still love that damn lamp.

So what did my overly priced method of having a reading light teach me?

  • It is ok to just purely want some things.  Not everything you buy must be practically, buying the odd item for pure beauty is ok.
  • Set rules around the want to avoid going too far.  Wants are highly emotion things, so you need some level of logical rules to follow to keep you spending on it in check.
  • Keep some money for wants.  I paid for my lamp with a little excess spending cash I had previously built up.  This happens to me every once in a while, as I don’t really buy much for long periods when I’m busy.  So I roll it over into these odd purchases.
  • Don’t settle.  Buy only want you REALLY want, if you are not sure, then wait and think about it more.  Put the item on 30 day wait list if you have to or you will regret buying the want and may end buying something else down the road because your not happy.

What have your ‘want’ items taught you?  Or what was the last purely want item that you bought?