Save, Invest, Build Wealth

Impulse Buying Impresses No One

By in Guest Post, Saving, Wealth | 21 comments

UPDATE; Over the next month my family is moving across the country to a new home. Please enjoy a variety of guest articles from top notch bloggers and sponsors. Also, catch up with earlier favorites from Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.

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Enjoy this guest article from Buck at Buck Read more about his story and how he started out at About Me.

Since Barbara Friedberg loves personal finance stories, I dusted this one from my archives. Make sure you check out her own story at How my Parents went from Poverty to Wealth and Taught me Life Lessons for Financial Independence.

We Like The Cars That Go Boom

When I was a teenager, many light years away, I was a little different from my friends. They were big into their cars and audio equipment. If you were cool, you had to load up on your car with boom boxes, extra bass, and extra treble. Cerwin Vega anyone? The craze was everywhere. Music blaring from cars so loudly it could blow out the drivers eardrums! I don’t know what we were thinking. Honestly, it was actually too loud to think! Were we purposely trying to deafen ourselves? My wife thinks I’m deaf most of the time. Perhaps it is because of those teenage boom box years.

Psst, Yeah You, Over Here

One day, my friend and I were walking along, minding our own beeswax, when two unscrupulous characters asked us if we were interested in stereos.

My friend immediately waved him off.

I don’t know what possessed me, but I asked, “What you got?””like I was too cool for school.

Long story short, this guy had an extra set of Linear Phase speakers. (Yeah, I never heard of them either!) He said they normally go for like 800 bucks, but he would give us a deal for $300. Keep in mind, we were teenagers and $300 was a lot of money.

I was possessed and said , “I’ll take them”.

I still remember the shock and horror on my friend’s face! We had to go to an ATM, pull out the daily limit, and hand it over in a parking lot like a drug deal.

They dumped the speakers on us and took off. I still don’t know how we got the speakers home!

What Were You Thinking?

Looking back, this is what went on in my insane brain.

I’m getting something that normally goes for $800 at the amazing price of $300. My friend was big into his car and stereo system. In a warped way, I was trying to impress him. It was also a meager attempt to rid my reputation
of not being into cars, stereos, and being cheap.

Yeah, I know, real mature, Buck. Doing a little more research, we learned that this was a known scam.

Luckily for me, the boxes actually worked and I did get some use out of my insane purchase.

Final Thoughts

I still don’t know how I survived my teenage years, but I did learn some valuable lessons.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is not true.

I was momentarily brain washed with $800 slashed to $300. What a great deal! How young and naive I was.

Don’t impulse buy as you’ll most likely regret it.

Now a days, I spend time comparison shopping, doing research, and analyzing all the options possible. I never did anything like that again.

Thankfully I learned my lesson.

Don’t buy things to impress others, only buy them for yourself.

(Those teenage years were some of the worst in my life. Puberty, zits, trying to fit in, the list goes on and on. Now that I am a little more mature, I buy things for me. Till this day, my friends occasionally rib me for those speakers.)

What’s your story?

Stay Inspired!

Buck Inspire is living a fulfilled life within his means while delving into personal finance sprinkled with dining, entertainment, pop culture, technology, and travel. If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing to his RSS feed or following him on Twitter.

image credit; Scott Spiegel


  1. Cool post Buck! But thinking in my own warped way, that buy was a cool deal if it did work! 🙂

    And I agree, you shouldn’t attempt it again if there were to happen today!

    (Psst! I got an iPad 2 for $60!)


    July 25, 2011

  2. Thanks! Wait a minute, didn’t you used to work for a stereo company? Haha! iPad2 for $60? Two please! 🙂

    Buck Inspire

    July 25, 2011

  3. Buck, That guy went on to become Craig of Craigslist! I think I’ve bought a few random discount items from him too!

    Car Negotiation Coach

    July 25, 2011

  4. So… the other story here may be “don’t by cheap electronics from sketchy guys on the street because they’re probably stolen.”


    July 25, 2011

  5. I managed to miss out on those opportunities, because I did not have $300 when I was a teenager. When I did have that kind of money I needed for spending money in college.


    July 25, 2011

  6. Hey Kellen,

    Good lesson, too. In this case, I believe the product was not stolen. The value was enormously inflated. I thought I was getting a killer deal. There’s a sucker born every minute, right?

    Buck Inspire

    July 25, 2011

  7. Hey KC,

    I was saving away my lunch money for a big splurge. Didn’t dream it would be stereo speakers from a van. Haha! Lesson learned and made for a good story.

    Buck Inspire

    July 25, 2011

  8. Sometimes it’s true, sometimes not. I made a few impulse purchases that I do not regret 😉


    July 26, 2011

  9. I’m glad yours worked out. There are exceptions for every rule. Thanks for stopping by!

    Buck Inspire

    July 26, 2011

  10. Great post here!!!Teenage years for me is tough not just for surviving school life but surviving the life itself while studying…

    Clark Minn

    July 26, 2011

  11. Thanks Clark! Teenage years. Not fun and awkward, but many a lessons learned!

    Buck Inspire

    July 27, 2011

  12. Buck, I think those speakers were Phase Linear brand. I know a couple of people besides you who got taken with that scam.

    Bret @ Hope to Prosper

    July 31, 2011

  13. This post is really great! I hope people will know how to value the things that they are buying. For me, we should buy the things that we need rather than what we want. We can live without the things we wanted but not on the things that we needed.


    August 8, 2011

  14. Hi Bret,

    You’re right, it was Phase Linear. Thanks for reminding me. Hopefully they didn’t scam too many people. Buyer beware!

    Buck Inspire

    August 8, 2011

  15. Hi Ron,

    Thanks! Great advice on buying what you need instead of what you want. Better read your post so I don’t grow man boobs!

    Buck Inspire

    August 8, 2011

  16. You have a great post here,people should know how to value things that they buy,anyway, thanks for sharing…


    August 15, 2011

  17. Thanks Melody! I’ve learned my lesson. Hopefully others will, too!

    Buck Inspire

    August 15, 2011

  18. There are a lot of blogs telling this and that but they aren’t helpful in any way…This one is exempted…

    Cher Shives

    August 18, 2011

  19. Great for me that I found your Blog… I just started with my own Blog, can I reference to this post? I want to write something on similiar topic!


    October 12, 2011

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