I've come to the conclusion that everyone has their own definition of what constitutes a big purchase -- the ones you have to think about and analyze the hell out of before forking over the cash. I read an article recently that suggested we should use our gut/intuition for decisions our cave-person ancestors could relate to, (i.e. deciding where to live) but should use logic to make decisions our ancestors could not relate to (i.e. stocks vs bonds).
For me, I've realized over the years that my ability to make what most people would consider big purchases, and even impulse purchase, has nothing to do with the dollar amount involved. Or, at least, that's not the most important factor.
Not that I've really figured out what all the factors are. But I do know that I can fork over a scary amount of money for a fabulous pair of shoes with very little thought. Ditto on clothes. Ditto on fine craft items like ceramics, or glass or jewelery. I'm a sucker for well-made handcrafted things. (Don't even get me started on one-of-a-kind handmade shoes or clothes. Best of both worlds.) Okay, maybe I'm figuring out one of my factors here. I love beautiful things and when I see something I want, I can usually find a way to come up with the money to buy it. Self indulgent? Maybe. But I like buying nice gifts too.
Furniture is another matter... although I have a caveat. I have dining room furniture I love. And some beautiful antique pieces -- but they're all side pieces -- straight backed chairs, bookcases, consoles, sideboards. But a sofa??? Comfortable chairs to sit in??? I have never, ever, been able to fork over the bucks for anything like that. Instead, I have horrible, ugly, hand-me-down or garage sale pieces supplemented by a few pieces of cheap IKEA disposable crap.
Why can't I buy a couch? Some nice easy chairs?
My younger sister just moved into a new place and has no furniture (long story) and I've offered her the sofa-bed I inherited from the previous owners of my house (they were throwing it out) and the loveseat I bought for $50 from someone I rented from when I first moved back to Toronto. These are pieces of furniture I want to get out of my house, mostly because of the incredibly powerful inertia they seem to create. (Can inertia be created?) It's like they've a vortex sucking my decision making abilty into its depths. My hope? Once they're out of my house and I'm left with nothing to sit on, I'll finally be able to make a big decision and buy a new sofa...
Should I focus on design or comfort? Modern? Retro? Traditional? Funky? Neutral? Bright? Bold? Upolstered? Leather? Soft? Firm? Ack! What am I going to do?
What kinds of purchases are difficult for you? Which ones are just a little too easy?