I am very susceptible to impulse purchases. For example:

If an author/blogger/writer I enjoy writes an article on Tor about another author’s book, describing how it was created, a bit about what it’s about, and how that book broke some rules and then created new ones, I am very likely to go and buy that book after noting that it’s not outrageously priced and telling myself that of course I’ll read it immediately after the library ebooks I have checked out.

That’s what happened yesterday. Cost me $10.

And it’s happened before. “Oh, this book/guided journal/thingamabob changed my life/helped me get back on track/made things so much easier!” I generally don’t even think about it much. Pop! The product becomes mine and money disappears from my account.

Realizing this is a problem for me is a good thing, because sometimes it slows me down enough to stop the process. “Hey, this is your favorite subscription box! We have new Mystery Boxes, and even though you unsubscribes from our service you can still enjoy the thrill of a package of mystery things you love – but act fast!” Okay, I will! But…this is that thing where I buy things without thinking. And I already have a whole shelf of those things, and I donated another half-shelf worth earlier this year. Delete email.

That happened late last week. Saved me $25.

It happens with big-ticket items, too, but in these instances the big-ticket items are classes, generally. “Just $3,000 for my expert writer advice! I’ve been doing this thing and persuade and fact and you know you want to but I know hardly anyone will.” (Yes, that’s an approximation of a sales pitch this one guy has.) I’ve seriously considered how I would be able to hustle up $3K or $6K or whatever the price was in X amount of time, but generally I can’t figure it out, and I give up. It gets ticked off as a thing I’d like to do Someday (but is more likely to happen Never.)

So, yesterday. I’m listening to an audiobook, Girl, Stop Apologizing, by Rachel Hollis. I listened to another book by her in the past year or so, Girl, Wash Your Face, and kind of enjoyed it, but I really feel like I’m getting value from this one. So much so that when she started talking about her Rise weekend conference, I looked it up.

Huh. There’s one in Florida in January. But the lowest tier of tickets ($300) have already sold out. The rest of the tickets are in the $600-1,800 range. Huh. Wouldn’t it be cool to do the VIP ticket? Yeah, it’s kind of outrageously priced, but theres a swag bag valued at $100! And a dance party ticket, but I don’t dance. And a photo op with Rachel Hollis and husband, but I don’t like my photo taken.

Then again, I did live through the picnic party I was so afraid of. And I’m actually considering moving an appointment to go to my friend’s birthday celebration at this place I’ve never been because People and $. This conference would be way out of my budget and way out of my comfort zone, but it could also be an amazing experience to push me to grow and beat down the anxiety voice in my head. What if I did try to make the $1,800 ticket happen? What if I did pay for an experience I’ll likely remember forever and probably treasure as an adventure. There’s the added bonus of having family live nearby, so I wouldn’t need a hotel. And maybe I could just get a cheap flight down that I know would be uncomfortable but would be short at least.

How can I tell if this is just another impulse purchase that I’ll end up regretting? How can I tell if this is something I will truly get value from? And how can I defend this outrageous decision/purchase when we’re paying off debt and have a door to fix, a bathroom that needs desperate attention, and all the other things that seem More Important?

I have a problem. (Maybe. I can’t tell.)