Impulse Purchase for the Win

In January, Kyle and I did something completely out of character for us: we made a large impulse purchase. We literally fell victim to advertising and the “sale” mentality, but I actually think it turned out to be a great decision! Maybe when you train train train yourself not to make rash or quick spending decisions, the exceptions you make work out?



our new stationary bike!


Kyle subscribes to some of those ridiculous deals-of-the-day type emails. (I’d rather not expose myself to that type of advertising!) He virtually never brings any of the deals to my attention, but on a Sunday afternoon in late January he did show me one for an inexpensive stationary bike. The deal expired at the end of the day so we only had about 12 hours to decide. After reading a bunch of reviews of the particular product, the manufacturer’s other products, and competing products, we decided to pull the trigger and make the purchase.



Kyle playing touch rugby in March 2016

We haven’t had gym memberships since we graduated a year and a half ago. Kyle’s not much of a gym-goer (he prefers playing sports), but I really like that type of exercise, so I had to come up with ways to work out without gym access. That was going okay until the onset of fall/winter here in Seattle. Due to the frequent rain and short daylight hours, my ability/willingness to exercise outside became fairly limited. The idea of buying some kind of exercise equipment, like a treadmill, crept into the back of my mind, to give me another in-home workout option. However, I didn’t get to the point of actually doing any research so it wasn’t seriously under consideration yet.


The stationary bike is a low-end spin bike – the Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike(affiliate link) – and we paid $131.51 for it (from Christmas gift money, actually). It has no bells or whistles beyond a simple rpm monitor, but we’re quite happy with it. The main complaints in the negative Amazon reviews for the product haven’t been issues for us to this point.



Kyle using the bike just after putting it together

I’m delighted to report that I’ve been using the bike approximately three times per week (18 workouts in just under 6 weeks, according to my records), taking my exercise frequency from three days per week to six! Kyle also has hopped on the bike many times, often cycling late in the evening or while I do a light weights or yoga workout next to him. I expect that my usage will drop a bit as the weather improves going into summer, but the bike will still be in the mix as I endeavor to keep my workout frequency at six times per week. (‘Health’ is one of my top five life values, so spending a bit of money to help me get healthier is well in line with my priorities.)


It’s quite motivating to have the bike sitting in our living room staring at us when we’re lounging around! I’ve never owned cardio exercise equipment before, but it fits in so well with my work-from-home daily routine. I like to watch TV when I cycle, and my favorite distract-me-while-I-exercise programs have been NCAA basketball (March Madness is upon us, y’all!) and The Walking Dead. I love being able to take a mid-day break on weekdays or fit in a morning workout before we leave home on a busy Saturday or Sunday.


As far as purchases go, this one has been good for us, especially consider it was impulsive. We might have waited months or a year before finding another exercise option, but instead we’ve fit in all these great workouts. Because we weren’t/aren’t too particular about the exact equipment we bought, we were fine with just jumping on an advertised product. And in the grand scheme of things, we didn’t spend much money!


Do you own any exercise equipment? When has an impulse purchase worked out for you, and when has it not?


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11 Responses to "Impulse Purchase for the Win"

  1. Money Beagle says:

    Good for you. The problem I’ve found is that I tend to get bored with home equipment after awhile. Hopefully you’ll find ways to keep it interesting, but with both of you using it, that should definitely help.

    I actually now belong to a gym. I typically use the treadmill most often and at $10 per month (Planet Fitness for the win), that beats the cost associated with having to buy a treadmill that will last, let alone repair and maintenance charges.

    1. Emily says:

      As this is our first piece of in-home workout equipment, I will definitely watch out for how our usage frequency changes over time. I’m pretty content to do other types of workouts repeatedly over years so I hope I won’t get bored with the bike, but it’s a possibility that will influence our future purchases in this area.

      That’s a great gym cost! I don’t know how much treadmills cost but I’m sure it’s several times what we paid for this bike, and they have a large household footprint, too. I loved my fancy gym membership when it was free, but I’m not sure what will spur me to join one again.

  2. Fiby says:

    The only impulse purchases I can remember are a computer monitor, and plane tickets bought three weeks before the flight. I use the monitor daily, and I enjoyed that trip.

    No exercise equipment here, but GT has a great gym.

    1. Emily says:

      It sounds like you can trust your decision-making, too, even when it’s impulsive!

  3. I’d prefer to buy another exercise equipment instead of stationary bike because I have a bike at home and it feels good to go biking outside the house. But, it’s a good buy though. Enjoy!

    1. Emily says:

      That’s a great point! We don’t currently own bikes, though I’m sure we’ll buy some eventually as Seattle is a bike-friendly town.

  4. James says:

    I remember the time when I was an impulsive buyer of shoes or gadgets. After receiving my paycheck, it’s either I was in the mall or somewhere else where I could spend my money. I had almost all kinds of nike shoes back then.

    1. Emily says:

      I’m so glad you’ve turned your habits around! Impulse purchases can’t be all good when you make a lot of them.

  5. Katie says:

    I don’t know about my last large impulse purchase, but this past week I spent roughly $17 on just candy. I couldn’t resist. Chocolate covered caramel corn and chocolate or yogurt covered pretzels are seriously some of my weaknesses. Outside of that I’ve also spent almost $100 on Essie nail polish one time. I have super short nails because I bite them, so I still have pretty much all the nail polish left!

    1. Emily says:

      I’m pretty strict about sticking to the grocery list, but Kyle definitely makes impulse purchases in the grocery store. Thankfully he likes the idea of owning junk food more than actually eating junk food, so each purchase lasts a long time if he hides it from me! That is a lot of money to spend on nail polish at one time. Maybe you can use pretty nails as a motivator for stopping biting? Was that the original intention?

  6. Kelly says:

    I was planning to buy a same exercise equipment, but I decided to buy another one a pull-up bar as well as ab rocket and roller. I would just run outside or use my bike, Emily. And, it’s fun doing this form of exercise outside. 🙂

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