Ask the Readers: What Was Your Most Expensive Purchase, Ever?

By Ashley Jacobs on 12 August 2014 (Updated 19 August 2014) 65 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Steve, Diane, and Anna for winning this week's contest!

For most frugal-minded people, everyday life is filled with many small purchases with a few mid-range expenses sprinkled in. When a big-ticket purchase comes along, it takes much more consideration than what to buy at the grocery store.

What was your most expensive purchase, ever? How did you pay for it — did you save up until you had enough cash, put in on your credit card, or did you take out loans? In retrospect, was this big expense worth it?

Tell us about your most expensive purchase and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For Extra Entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, August 18th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after August 18th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

My biggest purchase was my house. We'll be paying it off for many years to come.

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Gina

My college degree. I took out loans. It was a total waste of money.

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Alicia Humphrey

My most expensive purchase was my car. I paid cash, after saving up for it. It was worth it in my opinion.

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Elena

My biggest purchase was our house. We took out loan to get it

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Steve Paull

My biggest non investment purchase was my scuba gear. My son turned 14 and we both became certified divers and we purchased full sets of gear so we could go together all the time. We can dive locally and have taken vacation dive trips. It probably cost $5000 a set to gear up which was a lot of money for us. We only had four years to share our time together before he was off to start his life and we both love diving. Whatever it cost, it was well worth it and would do it again in a minute. We will continue to dive together until I am unable...20 years hopefully.

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Tina in NJ

My house was my biggest purchase, followed by the addition onto said house. But those were with my husband, it's our biggest purchase. My personal, by myself biggest purchase (although he paid for it as it was my 50th birthday indulgience) was a computerized sewing machine that does embroidery. I've made many gifts in the years since I got that baby.

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Guest

Biggest purchase was my house which I'm in the process of refinancing now.

The purchase I most regret, however, wasn't even a purchase. Out of college after hiring into my first full-time job I went out and leased an Infiniti. I realized partway through that I shouldn't go through with it but wasn't yet equipped with developed BS senses and the dealer convinced me that not only could I afford it but that I deserved it.

I took on that lease about nine years ago, traded the vehicle in a couple years later, and am still paying for the value difference to this day.

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Nicole Dz

My most expensive purchase would have to be my car for sure.

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Ernest S.

Bought a house at the height of the market (2007) and definitely purchased higher than I planned. I kept getting pushed by my real estate agent, but should have held my ground. I still remember signing the loan documents and thinking, "Wow, this is a ton of money. I hope it's a wise investment". Luckily, the real estate market in the area rebounded after the crash so I was able to break even.

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Kerrie

My most expensive purchase was my car.

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Aaron

A car that I shouldn't have bought (interest payments, etc) :(

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Jay H

House most expensive. Loans.

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Revanche

Biggest cash purchase: my (used) car
Biggest financed purchase: our home.
Biggest credit card purchase that was paid off in full: wedding expenses.

We'll be paying off the home for a while yet, and considering the COL for either owners or renters in the Bay Area, it's not as bad a deal as you might expect. The home value in this area probably won't keep pace with the rest of the city of course but at least we'll be able to keep affording the property tax! :)

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Hilary

My house took out a loan after saving for good deposit

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Elle

The most expensive purchase I have made was our house which I had to take a loan out for.

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Liisa

Our bed when we got married. Worth it in the long run -- we love our Tempurpedic!

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MELISSA HANSSON

After my house, my most expensive purchase has been my most recent car. After my old reliable 10-year-old Nissan Sentra died, I "upgraded" to a Mini Cooper. Total waste of money. I've never spent so much time with a car in the shop. It's been almost 3 years and I'll be trading it in for something reliable (and probably Japanese) as soon as possible.

Guest's picture

A used car in 2008, about $20K, for which I took out a loan. Since we became debt-free, our largest purchase was also a car. After trading in our other one, the balance was $12K, for which we wrote a personal check. It felt wonderful!

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Dee Dee

The most expensive purchase we have made was our house.

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Darcy

Definitely my college education. However, I count myself among the lucky few because that's paying off in spades.

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KelR1

That would be my house. Put a little tiny bit of money down and will be paying the mortgage for many more years to come, sadly.

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Louly

My biggest purchase was my home. I obviously needed a loan for that one :)

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lostAnnfound

Our house, which we bought with a mortgage. Still paying on it, but the monthly payment (P+I+T) is still less than renting right now.

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Christie

Our house was our most expensive purchase ever! (If you don't count that, it would have to be a 10 day trip to Disney World), but for the house, we have a mortgage that we pay off every month --and then some. For our trip, we saved ahead of time and paid it off before we went. No worries about bills coming when we got home, we paid for it all before we left! Saved again for a trip to Paris/London; the money is all in the bank and we're flying out in 14 months!!

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Happy Love

Definitely our home. We paid 20% cash plus a loan.

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Nancy

The biggest purchase we have ever made is our present home. It cost north of $200,000 and we paid cash for it. Way back in 1984 we had purchased a home in Silicon Valley for $130,000 on which we had a mortgage. When we sold it in 2011, for five times the original purchase price, we realized enough profit to buy the new house with cash, in a much less expensive area in the town where our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren live. We also bought a second car, used, with cash. The expense of the home was definitely worth it. We are living payment-free only a mile from our grandchildren whom we see several times a week.

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Guest

My biggest purchase was the parking pass for my grad school. Unfortunately, it is also a yearly expense that increases by $50 each year it seems. I put off paying it by charging it to my student account for one month, and then putting it on my credit card for another month, before paying it in full. That way, I could save up a little bit and get it away from the month where I had to pay more fees.

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Marla Conwell

I once spent $350 each on a giant resin turtle and life size resin alligator. Both are VERY realistic and I have never regretted this impulse purchase! They reside in my front yard and the alligator scares delivery people all the time!

Guest's picture

My home is my biggest purchase. Nothing else comes close.

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Kelly

My biggest expense was a college degree. I used my savings and graduation gift money to pay for my first year. I used the money i earned as a bootcamp drop out and an inheritance for the rest.

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Guest

My biggest purchase yet has been my car. I bought it used and it was already several years old at the time, but it was in good shape. I saved for the down payment and made loan payments on the rest. I was definitely worth it, as it's still running, and I even paid off the loan early!

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Katie

My education! Almost $70K for my knowledge and no job in my field to show for it ;)

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Michael B

My house was my biggest purchase. I saved for the down payment and got a loan but it was definitely worth it.

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Joan Varner

Most expensive thing I have ever purchased would be by condo and I am happy to say that it is now paid off.

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Bev

My biggest purchase was my first car. I bought it right after college. I worked multiple jobs so that I could to meet my student loan payments, rent and save up for the car! I think it was worth it because it taught me how to save and live frugally.

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Diane

Definitely my house! Took out a mortgage~ wish I could pay cash! 2nd would be my van, at least that's paid off.

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Chrissy

My house was the most expensive thing I've bought so far. I was able to get a mortgage at a good rate.

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BRB

Definitely our house, but it is still cheaper than renting in our area and we happened to buy at the bottom of the market.

Guest's picture

My first big purchase would have to be my SUV! Glad it's paid off! Now I'm waiting to get a house, hopefully soon!

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Susan P.

My biggest purchase was our house. We started with a traditional mortgage, later refinanced to a 15 year mortgage and then with a loan from my father paid it off in full (early).

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Michelle

Probably my wedding!

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Susan Smith

The most expensive purchase we have made was our house which we had to take a loan out for.

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Catseye

My biggest purchase so far has been a car. The most I've ever spent for a car is around $15,000.

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Ashley

My college degree is definitely the biggest purchase I have made. I was lucky to get a great scholarship which helped leverage a lot of my tuition and greatly reduced my student loan debt. By working through college, receiving a lump sum from my grandfather after graduation (greatest gift you can give a grad! think this was because of savings bonds he'd bought me my whole life), and paying more than my monthly payments, I was able to pay my debt off in 5 years.

My last big purchase was a laptop for my business, which I used a 6-month interest free Bill Me Later line of credit and paid it in full before that 6-month period was up.

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Kristin Goodson

My biggest purchase was a car!! i'm still trying to pay it off! I've taken a few loans out as well. It was worth it though because i needed a new vehicle.

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Robynn

Most expensive purchase ever was my truck for $3000. I bought it with cash from a tax refund.

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Sara C

My house

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Tina

My biggest purchase was my house, which I financed with my then-fiance. Something I did not joint buy with my husband would be my college education, which was scholarships and loans.

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J. Pario

House. Mortgage, which we hope to pay off 19 years early. I'm glad we did it--we love our house and its location.

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Laura J

Other than our house and cars...the most expensive purchase I have made...was new carpet for the house! We saved for quite awhile...before we did it!

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Ashleigh Gunter

The most expensive thing ever bought is the Minivan we own. :)

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irene w

My most expensive purchase would probably be pre-ordering a new phone. The iphone 4 before it came out :)

Donna Freedman's picture

Houses, obviously, are the biggest-ticket items most of us will ever buy. But here are two recent pearl-clutching expenditures:
1. New laptop. I make a living on the thing, so it's a business expense. I needed to buy a lighter model due to some joint issues I've been having (hard to carry a heavy backpack). With the AppleCare and the new version of Word and a couple of other small add-ons, it came to...$1,400. I almost fainted with anxiety. But now I'm very glad I bought it.
Besides, I reasoned, the tax guy told me to spend money this year. He even told me to fly first-class to the Financial Blogger Conference. Which brings me to the next expense....
2. Airfare to the Financial Blogger Conference. There is no such thing as a cheap first-class ticket, but when you're flying from as far away as I am (Alaska), prepare to burst into tears. And I did: The ticket cost $1,777.
"Business expenses!" I keep telling myself, in between whiffs of smelling salts. "These are both BUSINESS EXPENSES!"
Still: Ouch.

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Umm Rahma

My most expensive purchase was saved money from tax return and help from my husband to purchase car.

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Bethany

It was a mini-van

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Kim

Graduate school - took out loans to finance. However, it was a great investment as it helped me land a more lucrative job than I would have found otherwise.

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Lynda

does wedding count as the most expensive purchase?

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SerenityNow

My college degree. Even with scholarships, work-study, and summer jobs, I still had to take out about 40K in loans!

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David

Definitely my 2012 Honda Civic - never buying a new car again!

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Tabathia B

Probably my car.

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Christina Palmer

My car:)

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Amanda Sakovitz

My college degree was the most expensive. I took loans out.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

Our second house, followed closely by our education loans, tops our most expensive purchase ever.

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Ellie

I've purchased homes and used cars before, but the most astounding purchase was $4100 in medication for IVF medicine my first cycle. You people who can get pregnant off two buck chuck better be counting your blessing!

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Thomas Murphy

My most expensive purchase was a car