The 5 Biggest Purchases of My Life

Sometimes I like to stare at my investment accounts and watch my dollars work hard for me. Other times, I’m a glutton for punishment and choose to focus on all the places my money runs off to instead. Today I choose the punishment ;)

And since I’ve never consciously made a list of the all-time largest expenses of my life, I thought – why not now? What else have I got going on?

So sit back, grab your coffee/tea/cocaine, and soak in the largest purchases of my adult life… You can make fun of me afterwards, but not until you divulge yours too (might not be so hilarious then!).

Here’s the code to decipher my results:

  • Red = Bad decision
  • Green = Great decision!
  • Orange = J$ in the dog house…

The Largest Purchases of my Adult Life:

  1. House @ $360,000 — Now our rental property by default.
  2. Babies (x2) @ $28,185.49+++ — Those +’s mean it’s growing, FAST. Both the kids, and the costs!
  3. Toyota Highlander @ $23,000 — Since sold during the Gas Crisis of ’08, as well as J’s Crisis of Having Car Payments circa the same time period ;) Despite my wife saying it’s a bad idea because “one day we’ll have kids and it’ll come in handy.” Oops.
  4. Financial website @ $15,000 — Also since sold, in order to re-focus and store up nuts last year.
  5. Wifey’s Engagement Ring @ $7,800 — I said it best back in 2009: “Some say it should [cost] 6 paychecks worth (3 months), while others say it should be 6 months worth. Wanna know what I think? MALARKEY. I don’t care what anybody says, you go out there and get a ring that you can afford without killing yourself. If the girl really truly loves you, she’ll admire and cherish it for the rest of your lives together.” #TRUTH

So three great decisions, one bad one, and one that the jury’s still out on… Not too bad? Except that the 1 bad one is THE BIGGEST ONE OF OUR LIVES! Ouch. But I’ve said my peace dozens and dozens of times by now, so we won’t dwell on that one again anytime soon… After all, it did lead to the creation of this site you’re currently reading right now!

To think those 5 items alone almost total up to half a million dollars though, crazy. I bet all the smaller, monthly, payments of our lives in general total much higher than that depending on how old you are, eh? Pretty freaky stuff… And the same if you consider all the INCOME you’ve received throughout your lifetime too – especially compared to your net worth! Haha… Reminds me of a quote I recently read by one Jackie Mason:

“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.”

Wise words, coming from someone who once won an Emmy as a guest role on The Simpsons (he plays the voice of Rabbi Hyman Krustofski. And yes, I had to look up who Jackie Mason was ;)). It costs money to live, no doubt about it.

How about you? What are your most expensive purchases of your entire lives? Do you beat my $434,000? It’s always good to step back and do a little “financial reflection,” if you will… Helps you to avoid being a bonehead down the road.

[Sacrilege photo by Mike Poresky]

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  1. Julia June 18, 2014 at 6:53 AM

    $230,000- yellow House (build myself, closed 6 weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed) Not a horrible deal, but is now a rental property.

    $60,000 green 401K/IRA personal contributions

    $50,000?- green- 7+ years of college (undergraduate and masters). Lots of scholarships in there, but trying not to cast living expenses

    $20,000- 2004 Ford Escape

    $6,500- orange 1987 Jeep. Awesome and fun to drive, but it is always broken

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      401k contributions?? Oh man, didn’t even think to include that one, haha… Though I did cheat and put my babies up for sale there, so well played ;)

  2. Lance Cothern June 18, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    I don’t think I can top that. Our top 5 are as follows

    House #1 (now a rental) around $80k
    House #2 (hopefully our forever/really long time home) around $200000
    Student Loans For My Wife (now paid off) over $80k
    My Car (Honda Civic) $16k
    Wedding $5k

    We probably have things that have added up to more than that, but those were the 5 biggest individual ones.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      It’s GOOD that you can’t top it!

  3. John @ Wise Dollar June 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    I’m not thinking I can top that either. Sadly most of my larger purchases, in the past, have been cars and that has ended as my priorities have shifted. Here they go:

    House – $125k. Houses are cheap in Nebraska. ;)
    Babies – God only knows…I need to use your tracker for that one :)
    Nissan Altima – $20ishk
    Jeep Cherokee – $20k
    Wedding – $12k

    Great point about the engagement ring! The one I gave my wife belonged to my grandmother. Cheap…maybe, but my wife loves it and gets comments on it all the time so I think I did good. ;)

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      I love rings with history!!! Would totally have gone that route myself if had the opportunity… regardless of money involved. So romantic :)

  4. Kevin June 18, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Other than retirement contributions…

    House – $205k (bought too big, maintenance & cleaning kills me!)
    Civic – $18k (slightly dumb, as we bought too new…only 7,000 miles)
    House renovations – $9k and counting (optimistic these are “invested” dollars)
    Baby girl – $6k for midwife at home birth (worth every nickel!)

  5. Holly@ClubThrifty June 18, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Our current house: $187,500
    2 Kids: I have no idea at this point
    Greg’s Prius: $17Kish
    Minivan: $12Kish

    I can’t think of a number 5!

  6. Natalie @ Financegirl June 18, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Love this list! Aren’t babies so expensive?! I’m writing a post about preparing financially for the little bundle of joy, and it’s just based on my 10+ years of babysitting! And regarding the ring-thing, you are definitely right! When I hear young women demanding expensive rings that neither they nor their fiancés can afford, I immediately think they really aren’t ready to get married! And finally, I only have two big purchases (one far outweighs the other!). My education, costing me a grand total of $208,000 (I refer to this as my mortgage because it resembles most people’s home debt) and my car which I paid $18,000 for. I can say that my car is paid in full and my student loans are down to $160k. I am hoping to be down to $130k in the next year (the 8% interest is just a killer)!

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      OH damn! 8% on student loans??? I always thought they were cheaper for some reason? Mortgage indeed, wow… Bet you got a helluva education though :)

  7. Brian@ Debt Discipline June 18, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    I think I might if I tracked my expenses for my kids over the years.

    House – $200k
    2nd Mortgage -$180K – dumbest think I ever did. was use for renovations and other bills.
    Honda – $27K
    1st Engagement ring – $6k
    2nd Engagement ring -$5K – purchased after house was broken into and 1st ring stolen.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      Hefty lesson to learn for sure :( But now never again, right?!

  8. Mom @ Three is Plenty June 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Our current house: 550k
    my previous townhouse: 214k
    Dad’s previous townhouse: 385k
    RAV4: 31k
    Daughter Person: no clue, but her NICU stay when she was 3 days old was billed at over 150k (thank $DEITY for health insurance!) and it’s just gone up from there.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      Health insurance is no joke :( And even more so when $hit isn’t covered…

  9. Becky @ RunFunDone June 18, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I was feeling pretty good, because mine would be House, current car (which was only $10,000), wedding ($5,000), former car (which was only $3500 and lasted me for 7 years). Then other vehicles that have all been under $3000. AND THEN I REMEMBERED MY STUPID EDUCATION…which cost more than some of the houses in my current city! Whoops.

  10. EL June 18, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    J. Money, you can’t purchase babies unless your into black market chinese illegal stuff. All the expenses associated with the little bundles of joys are all small compared to those big boys in your top 5. Time to substitue in that 70 inch tv you have in the family room or that massive coin collection. For my top 5, I would have 3-4 cars in there, and my MBA. (I know stupid)

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      Why would an MBA be stupid? I’m all for higher education!

      1. EL June 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        Well the stupid part was mostly for the cars, the MBA did come with some sizable loans. Even though it was a good experience I should have taken my time and paid cash.

  11. Beckey & Jeff June 18, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    House @ $144,000 — Primary residence, estimated at $240K now (only owned 2 years)
    Babies (x12 1 – 3 year old and 1 due in October) @ ??? too much!
    2003 Jeep Liberty @ $6,000 — Needed major work done and gas mileage sucked! Traded in for a Ford Focus which is great on mileage!
    Engagement Ring @ $850 — We got married in 11/2010, I got my engagement ring for mother’s day in 2013. I told my husband I didn’t need an engagement ring right away. :)

    1. Beckey & Jeff June 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      Should say babies x2 not 12! Yikes!

      1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:13 PM

        awww, well that’s no fun ;)

  12. Mark June 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    1. House – $315k – but bought in CA in 2011, so appraisal is up over $500k. Was crazy hard to swing the cost at the time but am glad it worked out.
    2. Education – $86k+ for undergrad degree. Boom! That’s paid and done as of 6 months ago.
    3. RV/Camper Van Winnebago Rialta – $21k – best decision ever. Full-on AdventureMobile. Like every RV though it needs graphics that don’t look like you’re going fishing – so might need a $2-3k wrap job too.
    4. Basement remodel – $14k – now I live out of it and rent my house.
    5. ’01 Audi TT – $7k – rad to drive, not expensive to buy. Fun hilly commute car.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      dude, you’re a hustler!! I love it!! (and totally jealous on the RV too – I semi tried to convince my wife to move into on for a more minimalistic lifestyle couldn’t even get the words out before I was declined ;) probably hard to do with babies, I guess…)

  13. Shannon @ Financially Blonde June 18, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    My biggest purchases by FAR have been my homes. We purchased a town home in Tampa in 2004, sold it in 2005 (because I was pregnant) and made 20%, we purchased the new home in 2005 and sold it in 2008 when we moved back to NY and lost 20%. So we were flat on our home buying in Tampa. We didn’t buy again until two years ago and according to our realtor friend, our new home is up 8%, so we are off to a good start on this investment. Other big ones, our wedding (best day of my life), my engagement ring (his money eventually became “our” money and even though I didn’t have a say in this large investment that would impact my family’s future net worth, I love it and love that he got it wholesale) and my son (ongoing and never-ending purchase, but best gift of my life). I try not to run the tally though because I am sure I could have purchased an island or something fun like that by now. I just try to focus on the fact that it is all part of life’s roller coaster.

  14. Will June 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    My biggest purchase was for a car (sub-$10k). I kind of regretted the purchase but 5 years later I worked hard and sold it for what I paid. So I luckily squeaked by that mistake. Plus, the stock market went down those years so I didn’t have a opportunity loss.

    I’m sure there’s a bigger mistake to come! :)

    I 100% agree about your thoughts on engagement rings!!!

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Hah! Interesting take on the non-opportunity loss. Usually it’s the other way around :)

  15. Samantha June 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    House by far the largest: $137,000 (ended up ok, but was bad decision at the time)
    Wedding (rings, honeymoon): $18,000 (awesome!!!)
    Mini Cooper: $16,000 (disaster loan – piece of crap car)
    Student Loans: $15,000 (a good purchase, but should not have financed)
    CRV: $7,000 (great car)
    Civic: $6,000 (even better car, bought with cash!)

  16. Paul June 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    House #1 $125,000 sold for $8000 profit after owning 2 years, so this one is green.
    House #2 $215,000 moved to a new city for job right after refinancing, currently a rental, but we will be moving back into it in Sept. I would call this one green.
    House #3 $180,000 currently for sale. It will be a short sale, so definitely red.
    BMW X3 about $45,000 it was a great car, but the payments were too much, so sold it and bought a used VW new Beetle, which is now paid off. Probably more red than green.
    BMW 328i $30,000 great car and has been paid off for 13 years, has 154,000 miles and still runs great, so definitely green.
    Total is $595,000 but I am almost 50, so I have had more time to make big purchases than J Money.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      BMW to a Beetle? Haha… don’t hear that every day :) Thanks for dropping by!

  17. Shannon June 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Previous House @ $110k (paid off)
    Grad/Undergrad Education @ $33k total, but use $20k in loans (paid off)
    Tigerwood Deck @ $10k (paid off)
    Weddingmoon @$7k (paid off) – that’s getting married while on your honeymoon trip
    Professional Landscaping @ $6k (paid off)

    I’d say they were all good decisions!

    Note there are no cars in the list. All my cars were/are pretty inexpensive. First car (Renault Alliance ’83) was $1700 dubbed the “rollerskate.” Became unsafe to drive and parents begged me not to drive it back to college. Then got a Saturn Coupe for $3300 which I had the longest. Great fast little car. I sold it to pay cash for an ex’s tuition. D’oh! Current car is another Saturn (sedan) that I paid $2200 and it’s still alive and kicking. 3 cars in my 21 year driving history.

    I was not there for the purchase of our current home (H bought it before I was a twinkle in his eye). Still working the mortgage, $160k left.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:40 PM

      Nice!!! Never heard of a Weddingmoon either – I like that :) Way to keep cars out of the equation!

  18. Broke Millennial June 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    I don’t even come close. In fact, I can’t think of a single HUGE purchase I’ve made yet…eep. Maybe my college education because I used scholarships to help pay, which would probably add up to about $80,000.

  19. Emily June 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    I feel like the “winner” here but only because for most of our lives we were living on so little income:

    House #2 (current home) in the city with large lot and 4 bedrooms being a foreclosure got it for us for a modest $50,000
    House #1 (now a rental) in the country with four bedrooms and 2 acres $40,000
    Kids I guess since we’re counting those. No clue but since we used cloth diapers, natural nursing, hand me down clothes, no daycare and have good insurance, can’t be too bad. (Although the 9 year old eats like a horse anymore.)
    Car #1 $4,000
    Car #2 $1,500
    Probably paid more for other cars (we’ve gone through over 25 in our 11 year marriage) but since the hubby repairs and resells they’re more income usually.
    All coded green.

    Not ranking:
    Education (Associates) Not sure how much but the first year I got a grant and the last few courses were paid for by work and I got 200% covered because I made sure to get A’s (how’s that for a deal!) so it probably was a wash.
    Husbands Associates was also a grant. That’s what you get for being poor! Now we’re both well employed and respected despite the tiny degrees. All this equals no debt. Only things we bought with credit was the houses and even they are paid off now. Not too shabby for 32! : D

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      Not shabby in the least! You guys are killing it – esp with those housing costs, my word… that would buy a door in the DC area, haha… or at least two doors if it were a foreclosure :)

  20. Michelle June 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Love this!

    House – $125,000. Luckily I live in St. Louis where housing is cheap, cheap, cheap!
    Schooling – Sadly, I don’t know how much my degrees were total. But I’m going to guess before grants, scholarships, etc., they were around $250,000 total.
    Cars – Ahh yes, I am a personal finance blogger who buys new cars. Camaro – around $50,000, Jeep – almost $30,000, Scion (bought when I was a stupid 18 year old) – around $23,000.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      You could buy 1/2 a house for those cars ;) But I’m a car guy too, so totally understand. I just so happen to like old cars that happen to be cheap, like my Caddy!

  21. Free To Pursue June 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    House – $200K in 2001 – GREEN: we did a lot of the finishing ourselves over a 10-year period and it has doubled in value (though we love it and won’t be selling for some time). Plus, it’s in an amazing neighbourhood and a 7-minute drive from downtown.
    Car #1 – RED Honda Pilot $38K financed, no negotiation: silly status car that we never really liked. It’s not made for short people.
    Car #2 – GREEN 2009 Rav4 Sport used $21K negotiated & paid cash: It’s a great car for road trips, which we have discovered we love to do…and we will be driving it until it dies in 10+ years.
    School – GREEN Graduate degree in business (MBA) – $28K: Worth every penny. Went from $20K to $67K in salary with a 1-year investment of time and money. Made my money back in just 2 years.
    Motorcycle – GREEN Honda CBR600F3, $11K: might sound like a silly purchase but I paid it off quickly, kept it 12 years and it saved me tons in parking fees and the gas savings made the higher insurance a wash. I loved it SO much! I only sold it when I realized I was only riding once in a while because I was working long hours and could not justify the insurance cost. (In hindsight, maybe the job is what should have been kicked to the curb.)

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      oh man, every year I keep saying I’m going to get my motorcycle license and then never pull the trigger! and now, with kids, I’m just so worried of getting in an accident that I probably won’t pull it until much much later… I want to just learn and get my license even for pure fun, but I know i’ll get tempted to then go get one too! haha…

      1. Free To Pursue June 19, 2014 at 9:33 AM

        I won’t lie. They are the ultimate adrenaline rush. The acceleration is like a drug. You want more of it, more often with every ride. I guess that’s why the term “adrenaline junky” is so fitting.

        They are dangerous though. My mom used to say “I thought I had a girl” or “I only have one daughter” whenever I would hop on my crotch rocket and head off to the drop zone. Ah, to be 20 again…I had no idea I was worrying her 1/2 to death.

        1. J. Money June 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

          I’ll tell you this much – it’s even sexier when a girl’s riding ;)

  22. Brooklyn Money June 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    House — 450K (so far so good)
    Grad School — About 50K (paid off)

    Those are the biggies. Never owned a car. Next closest thing would be furniture but not even close to the top 2.

  23. zut June 18, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    1. Let’s just lump these into what people call “Tax Loss Harvesting”….over the years I’m guessing I lost approximately $15k in stock losses. For some reason every time I hear the phrase “Tax Loss Harvesting” the song “Harvester of Sorrow” by Metallica keeps playing over and over in my head.

    2. CARS SUCK.

    1. I’m guessing most “financial savvy” people would call this RED but for me its definitely GREEN, so let’s compromise on ORANGE. Time Share anyone? $12.5k. I love our time share. Last summer we went to Maui and we are going back in the summer of ’15. I know…I know…but let’s think of the future value of a week in Maui or in the Caribbean in say another 20 years. I figure we have another 20 weekly vacations available to me with our bi-annual timeshare before I die. So I got that going for me…which is nice.

    2. MORTGAGE. The BAD: 4% interest rate + maintenance vs. The GOOD: 3% appreciation + 25% deduction on interest. Let’s call it a draw. We live there. Its nice.

    1. Two weeks in Italy. You can have my money. The experience was amazing. To me that vacation is what life is about.

    2. Dogs. They cost me a small fortune. One has Addison’s disease and the other destroys our house little by little. But I love them.

    3. Maxing out 401ks and HSAs = Freedom (one day).

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      Did you know i was actually a timeshare agent at one point? Hated it cuz it was all sales, BUT I did come across a handful of people that really DID make the most of their shares and have loved them for years. Hell, even my own parents had one throughout our entire childhood and we’d use up every year! So I def. see the value there… just sadly, as you alluded to, it becomes a big waste of money for many people… Glad you guys like it and will USE it though! That’s the key right there.

  24. Sable June 18, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    I’m in my 20s. :)


    Subaru Impreza – $14,000 – RED because I took out an auto loan, which means that $14k actually cost me $16k. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Not really a purchase, but rent: ~$45,000 spent in the past ~6 years with diddly squat to show for it (except, ya know, not being homeless). OUCH.


    The $3,000 I spent on my now-recently-deceased dog’s healthcare


    $1,500 spent on competing in figure and bikini – total waste of time, money, and sanity!!

  25. Wunderwriter June 18, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    House: $729,000 RED, RED, RED

    We are preparing the property to list for sale right now, should be able to make a good profit (after ten years), but I would have much rather invested the down payment and rented all these years.

    We won’t be buying another property with financing anytime soon, it’s been brutal making the payments all these years, waiting for the market to come back around. Now that it has, we can’t afford to wait for it to tank again. We’re doing all necessary repairs and selling.

    Here’s to being tenants for a while!

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      Oh man, that’s a lot!! But hopefully you indeed do have some good equity in there… Now you know what to do for the next one if you ever end up buying again :)

  26. Erin June 18, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Hmm, I don’t remember exactly how much my education was (grants, scholarships, and a bit of cash went into it), but my student loans were $36k for a Bachelor’s and half of an MBA (dropped the program, which was crazy expensive and unnecessary for career goals).

    After that, the Ford Focus (now sold) was around $14k.

    No other big purchases over here. Eventually, a house and kiddos will be on this list :)

  27. Even Steven June 18, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    I don’t think I can top you, so that’s a win for me I suppose. I will share one blunder. I owned a 1997 Mercury Tracer, Purple in color nicknames include the Traca you Can’t Replaca and the Purple Barney Car. Well this was about to die for the most part and I went ahead and purchased a used 2005 Mercedes Benz Black nicknames include Benzo de Lorenzo and the Money Trap. The car cost a little more than half my annual salary at the time and I left my job to move to Florida a few months later. I’ll make sure to write about this some day, let’s just say I have had made better financial decisions.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:53 PM

      Haha… at least you looked sexy driving it, I’m sure :)

  28. Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans June 18, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Don’t really want to dig into the actual numbers so as to avoid crying in public, but my top 5 so far are:

    1. House
    2. College education
    3. Car
    4. New furniture when I bought #1
    5. ????

    Honestly, I don’t regret #1 or #2 very much, but #3 is a different story. Some days I’m okay with the purchase, other days I’m pissed off at it – especially since it was brand new and my monthly payments PLUS insurance payments take up so much damn money each month!

  29. Brian @ Luke1428 June 18, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Primary residence – green
    Rental #1 – green
    Rental #2 – green
    Rental #3 – green
    4 Kids – although I won’t consider them a purchase; but they are green and still going up in expenses (and value)

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:53 PM

      Good gracious, man! Look at you go Trump!

  30. Not Quite Sexy June 18, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    1. $370k House: I’d have to call this Green. We have a lot of fun and plan on living here for decades.
    2. $40k Website Marketing: Red, and the only reason it isn’t orange is because my wife is understanding. I failed miserably in trying to launch a website that I spent about $40k on over 2 years and netted about $840 in revenue.
    3. $19k Sienna Van: Green-ish. We’ve had this van three years now and we’ll keep it 10 more years. With three kids, we love this ride. Could have maybe spent half as much as we did and gotten something reliable enough, but oh well.
    4. $11k Paint: Red. my house was about 4 different colors and had no texcoating on the back addition. I don’t think I needed this and I could have waited and eventually made this a do it yourself project.
    5. $10.4k Camry: Green: I’m working on my 10th year driving this baby. She’s at 130k miles and shows no signs of slowing down. I’ll trade up when an electric vehicle tickles my fancy enough to lease or buy. I had to get a loan to buy it from Bank of Mom, but I paid back my zero percent interest loan within 4 months. Probably got something nicer than we needed, but we had just struggled with a dying car and wanted something that would last a LONG time. Mission accomplished.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:58 PM

      #2 is a killer, sorry to hear :(

      Next time around you can hire me as your coach and I’ll tell you everything I know ;) I’ll make it my mission to do the opposite! $840 for me and $40k for you! Haha….

  31. the expat investor June 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    1) House #1 $130,000 – actually bought for my mom and I don’t even live in it.
    2) Rental House #1 – $97,000 Keeping this for the long term hopefully it appreciate and make a decent sale later on.
    3) Car – $21,000 (Don’t have it no more actally donate to my brother since I work oversea and have no use for it at the moment.)
    So those are my expensive items.

    1. J. Money June 18, 2014 at 11:58 PM

      What a nice son!! :)

  32. Squirrelers June 18, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Aside from a home, for me it was a graduate degree. Have to say, it has proven to be a good investment – and taught me that investing in oneself is a much better use of money than buying material things!

  33. Aimee June 19, 2014 at 6:15 AM


    Education (undergrad and grad) is around 40k before interest and not including books
    I bought a 2011 Nissan Versa a couple years ago for nearly $13k – financed (ughh!)
    My first car, a 1994 Dodge Shadow, cost $2500 I think. Paid too much, what a POS that was!
    The van Mike and I just bought for our road trip was $2400 plus $1700 in repairs. The cost is growing as we modify the inside.
    First laptop when I was a freshman was some Dell that ran me $1400

    I can’t believe 3 out of 5 are vehicles!! I won’t be buying an education again so I guess I know where the biggest chunk of my money goes!

    1. J. Money June 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      Yup, until it’s time to go house shopping :)

  34. Crystal June 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I don’t think you did so bad. :-) I’m surprised the engagement ring was on the list, but that’s sweet. Here are ours:

    1. Current home – $260,000 ($50,000 down payment and still have 28 years on the $990 mortgage). I know that technically this was an unnecessary purchase, but we love it and do receive $600 a month from our friends that live here too.
    2. First home/rental property – $114,000 (paid off). Great decision. Brings in $1200 a month now and was a great first home.
    3. Toyota Prius – $21,000 used in 2008. Paid off in 2010. Still going strong with 130,000 miles on it.
    4. Honda Fit – $16,356 bought new this year at 0.9% interest. I love this car and it holds it’s value well too.
    5. Friend’s failed game store – $15,000. AWFUL decision – lost the $15k and only made back about $3k via tax write-offs.

    1. J. Money June 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      #2 is hot yo!!! Complete opposite of #5, haha…. but I remember you learned a $hit ton from that “investment” so good to have gone through and be done with it, eh?

  35. Jacob June 19, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    Hundreds of thousands – Current House
    $24,000 + $32,000 = My wife’s schooling and my schooling. $8,000 in student loans left!
    $9,500 + $4,500 = Truck plus $4,500 stereo with TV, subs, xbox, backup camera, underglow, black lights…Yeah, I blew through $100,000 in 2 years….this is part of the reason why…
    $4,000 – 1993 Caddilac STS I bought for my mom
    $2,800 = Current car (1995 Toyota 4runner)

    I’ve bought a few other cars for around $1,500, they’ve held their value(ish).

    Fun (and scary) exercise!

    1. J. Money June 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Yeah Caddies!!! Your mom’s riding in style like me :) Mine’s a ’93 too!

  36. Femme @ femmefrugality June 19, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Definitely my barely used car…$14k. But worth every penny. Paid it off and it’s still running strong with minimal maintenance. I don’t think we have spent that much on our kids yet…had stellar insurance.

  37. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel June 19, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Hmmm other than college, I think my largest expense was a car I bought for $6,800. Yet I still have a negative net worth…stupid student loans.

  38. Marie @ Grad Money Matters June 21, 2014 at 4:51 AM

    Wow! Too much money spent. I never purchase something as big as that! I may be explode if I lose such amount of money. lol

  39. Michelle June 23, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    I love the breakdown with the different colors for your purchases (not counting your kids of course) ;)
    I am thinking about doing this with my past and current purchases.

    1. J. Money June 24, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      Do it! Puts things in perspective much easier/faster :) Plus it makes spreadsheets more fun!

  40. Cedes June 24, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Th only ones I can think of are:

    House – $170,000 – (which at one point i would have said red, but now I’m thinking green looking at what houses in my neighborhood are now selling for at $200k+)
    Car #1 – $15,000 – Bought new, with some money down, but I drove it until it died (the dealership could not figure out how to fix it) So I guess that is an orange?
    Car #2 – $10,000 loan I’m still paying on after putting $15,000 down. Bought kind of hastily after #1 died. I am just hoping I get more life out of it that the previous car. And Sometimes I kick myself for buying new, but my family has had nothing but bad luck with used, so I couldn’t pull the trigger.

    No other big expenses in my life (yet)!

    1. J. Money June 24, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      I think $200,000 is enough for now :)

  41. Sue August 31, 2015 at 3:30 PM

    I am so late to this but what a fun post!
    Top 5
    1. Two flat (1) -230K in 2008 ( literally 6 months before the bottom fell out)
    2. two flat (2)- 115k in 2010
    3. two flat (3)- 124k in late 2010
    4. two flate(4)- 121k in early 2011
    5. college 78k just student loans, I recieved a 5 year tuition scholarship. Last year of pharmacy school was all loans!!- Paid in full March 2015!!

    All my properties are green because they are rented out and cover their expenses. The first is worth 50% what I paid for it but the rent covers the cost and I am aggressively paying it off!

    1. J. Money August 31, 2015 at 3:38 PM

      you’re killing it! congrats on both the properties and being debt-free!

      thanks for stopping by and participating :)

  42. Lily @ The Frugal Gene June 26, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    This exercise is fun! Here’s mine:

    House: 180K *Green
    Rental: 400K *Red
    Onion (wedding) ring: $3 @ Jack in the Box. *Orange (father in law called untraditional so we’re in the dog house :p)

    1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 4:02 PM

      Onion ring! Hah!