Is There Some Kind of Rule that Says Big Purchases Must Lead to Little Purchases?

Have you ever noticed that big purchases tend to lead to a bunch of little related purchases? Buy a house, and pretty soon you buy curtains, light fixtures, and furniture to match. Buy a car, and pretty soon you’re off buying floor mats and maybe getting the windows tinted. The list goes on and on.

I’m starting to think that there must be some kind of rule that says big purchases must lead to little purchases. Well, ok, not really, but it IS easy to decide that you “need” additional things to go along with your most recent purchase.

For example, I made a big purchase this past weekend for my business: an iMac. I could have followed that up with a bunch of other purchases, but so far I’ve restrained myself, with one exception.

I was offered the chance at buying a few other things before I’d even left the store: did I need AppleCare to go with that? Or any software? How about a better keyboard? A better mouse? A printer?

The only one I said yes to was the printer, and that was only because it was completely free after rebate. (And you can bet that getting that rebate form submitted online was the very first thing I did after getting home from the store.)

Once I got home, the temptations continued. I use Photoshop for my business pretty often, so it might be nice to have that on the Mac. Except Photoshop is expensive. I did find out that I could upgrade to the latest Mac version of since I have a valid Windows serial key for my current version. But I’m trying to keep costs down, so instead my husband kindly set things up so that I could remote desktop to the PC from the Mac whenever I need to use Photoshop.

For the time being that should be just fine. We’ll see how long I hold out.

Have you experienced anything similar? Surely I’m not the only one tempted by add-on purchases.


  • Jackie, there may as well be a rule! You’re right about this. If I find one product, then there’s that mentality ‘ah well, I need This and THAT too!!’

    It’s easy to fall for it…..

  • Meghan

    I totally agree! The other day I bought a new TV stand for my TV and I started thinking of other things I’d like to go with my “new TV stand” like a home theater system. =) I did search a few out on ebay but I think I’ll hold off on it for a little while and find the perfect one at the right price and save specifically for it. ;-)

    We’ve got to stay on our guard!

    • Saving up for it is the way to go, that’s for sure. The funny thing is that sometimes when I do that, by the time I get the money I don’t want what I was saving for anymore…

  • Ace

    I know one for sure that’s just as bad as what you mentioned just on a MUCH larger scale. When people buy a new home, they’re normally opening themselves up to the world of “little purchases” to follow. New furniture, new blinds, new carpet, new decorations, the list could go on and on.

    Very wise of you to resist for the time being. You can always choose to go back and get those things later, when there’s less momentum of spending. I wonder how many times I’ve fallen for this?