You ever have that hankering to buy something you aren’t even sure how to justify? The day gets slow and your thoughts immediately goes to that thing on your mind. The one sitting in your Amazon cart that you keep putting in and taking back out. Or maybe it’s at a store. You make up excuses about needing to do an impromptu grocery run just so you can stop by the store and marvel at the product because it’s so amazing.
Someone asks “Why do you even want it? Just save your money!”
You’re not dissuaded by what they say. Eyes are still on the prize. The thought of buying it and seeming materialist lingers in the back of your mind. The thing is just an ah so amazing kind of way.
Back when I was in college, working a low-paying crappy food service job and having scant savings, I went through feeling. It was my first semester of college and I wanted to save as much as possible. Despite the mindset of spending only on necessities, something caught my eye. A particular point and shoot camera. Brand: Cannon, higher-end (translation: more pricey) point and shoot camera with several features I liked.
I wasn’t set out on becoming a professional photographer or anything, I just wanted to get a camera and see where it would take me. It wasn’t some fancy DSLR that would require a month’s rent and part of my soul. However it did require a bit of money: $240 for the camera, bag, memory card, tripod, and extra battery.
Now $240 might not feel like a lot to most but at the time, to my broke college self, it was a lot. With a crappy living situation, an equally crappy job, and a full load of classes, I wanted an outlet to spend time on.
Keep in mind this was the year 2012 when smartphones had already taken over and people’s phones became the default camera option. Point and shoots were a dying breed. For some odd reason, I still wanted one.
This longing had been from a childhood obsession with taking pictures. I would use my allowance to buy a Kodak disposable camera once a month. Using those 27 exposures, I would take pictures of anything and everything. It was so fun.
So on a Sunday night after work, I clicked the purchase button. After putting in and taking it out of my Amazon cart for months, I had finally bought it.
Adrenaline was running high.
Throughout college and for the next several years I used every bit of that camera. Since carrying a backpack everywhere was looked at as normal for a college student (even when I wasn’t on campus), I was able to take my point and shoot with me almost everywhere. With one of those Eye-fi memory cards, I was able to wirelessly send the photos to my smartphone.
The camera went with me to South by Southwest festival, New Orleans, NYC, Chicago, California, and a bunch of other places. The little piece of machinery, I loved it so much. The camera is still with me to this day (three years of ownership so far). Looking back, even though I was broke and barely getting by, I’m glad I dropped the $240 on the camera.
Investing in yourself. Investing in your hobbies. That’s what the camera represents to me. (If you’re curious, it was a Canon SX260 HS I bought, the updated model is the Canon SX 610 HS).
Question: What has been something you decided to splurge on? Did you consider it an investment in yourself? Something to fulfill a curiosity or hobby?