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A discussion on buying "toys" responsibly

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    I'm in my 30's and I still find myself wanting to go on a toy shopping spree every once and a while. It's probably some subconscious memory from my childhood that triggers a dopamine reaction every time I go out and splurge... we all have our issues, ok? Anyway, when I say toys, I'm talking about stuff like motorcycles, kayaks, bicycles, cameras, tools, camping gear etc. Have you ever found yourself in a buying stuff rabbit hole? I have many times. I'm a research nut. The research itself can almost be just as satisfying as buying the item. Or at least it only furthers my desire for whatever I'm researching. I become an overnight know-it-all snob on the subject, and I'm armed with every "educated" excuse as to why I "need" this thing.

    So how do you grown ups out there responsibly spend your money on gadgets and stuff? Does anyone have a checklist that they go through in their head that puts your justification for buying something on trial? My main trick has been not having enough money in the first place because the cost of living takes first priority. (Yeah, I know that's what I'm supposed to do, but long long ago, I was lucky to keep my fridge stocked instead of buying a new gaming system.) I got so used to spending very little on "fun" over a long period of time, that it sorta broke me from spending splurges. Plus I think I grew up a little bit, and realized that stuff is just stuff at the end of the day. Don't get me wrong, I still pick up a knick knack or two every once and a while. So, what are ways that you responsibly acquire new things? Do you research an item before you buy it? And does that research compel you to want to buy it even more?

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    Have a lot of the same problems myself. I try to spend rarely on 'toys', and think on spending a chunk of money for months before I pull the trigger. But when I do I also try to balance my spending between investing in something I will ACTUALLY use routinely, buying quality and researching for the best deals/value. If I can't say I will use something enough to justify its price tag, and especially if I can't find a good deal, or the only thing I can afford is subpar quality, that's when I walk away from the idea.

    Though you are right, the more you research the more you find yourself thinking that not only do you need the toy you are trying to justify, but you also need ALL the accessories that accompany it. And in that scenario, if I have the money, I will spring for whatever with the knowledge that I can always return it if it doesn't work out.

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    Sometimes me researching acts as a perfect stand in for actually buying a toy, meaning if I pretend shop, or window shop, that satisfies the itch and I get most of the fun from thinking about buying whatever vs actually spending money that I shouldn't and regretting it.

    That is only sometimes, but happens more often the older I get.