People Share Which Impulse Purchases Ended Up Changing Their Lives

We are normally discouraged from impulse buys because they're "irresponsible."

But sometimes, those impulse buys end up being the best purchases that we've made in our lives.

Who's laughing at our impulse shopping now?

Redditor sebaez_ asked:

"What's a thing you've bought impulsively, without need, that's actually proved useful in your life?"

Here were some of those answers.

Yard Sale Woes

Neighbor was moving away and had a yard sale.

bought a metal pipe for 50 cents. about 20" long and a diameter of 1".

Wife looked at me like i was half serial killer, half idiot.

few months later...flat tire at 6.15 in the morning. guess who easily loosed all the lug nuts in record time...this guy and his metal pipe.


Hydrate Or Die-drate

I bought a water bottle (already have several that I use regularly) as a souvenir at a National Park with my girlfriend because she had one like it. I now use that one every day because I like the cap mechanism!


Home Improvement

Big pack of assorted screws. Was at home Depot and saw them, said "eh, why not?" And bought them. I think was like $12, and I've used almost all of them


Keeping Me Charged

A portable charger.

It holds 11-12 full charges of my iPhone and I just bought it on a whim. It has literally changed my life like few other purchases have ever done.



A Roomba. It was on sale, crazy cheap- like 50%off. I bought it. We have an open floor plan and linoleum floors. It's so amazing. Our living room furniture is elevated enough that it fits under the couches. We have 4 cats that shed like crazy, but there is never hair or litter. Every day it vacuums the 1st floor and has been such a time saver.

10/10 would buy again- and we did. Got one for the 2nd floor and purchased an older model for each of our immediate family for x-mas.


Nom Nom Nom

I bought a rice cooker even though I don't eat much rice and don't particularly like it.

It came with a vegetable steamer. I used that thing literally every day until I upgraded to an Instant Pot with a steamer basket. Colossal improvement to my nutrition and life in general.


Ten Feet Of Life

10 foot phone charger!

I needed a new charger and it was on sale, so it was the cheepest option. But HOLY HELL has it served me good!

Need to roll over in bed but still charge? YOU CAN!

Wanna sit anywhere on the couch and still charge? YOU CAN!

Are you in the back seat of a car and and need to charge? YOU CAN!


A Light For The World

Reaaaaaally powerful flashlight. Like 900 lumens or something ridiculous. Used it to find my cat that got out the other night. Spotted the reflection in her eyes in a nearby bush. Also good for lining up my oil filter when I do changes.


Saving Me Money

An electric tire inflator.

It was on sale for $19.95, so I bought two: one that plugs into a garage wall outlet, and the other stays in the car and plugs into the vehicle's utility outlet.

Gone are the days of going to gas station air pumps (and sometimes having to pay for air).


Some Cool Use

Historical video games have been the key to passing history. Hoi4 saves me in my geography tests. Only downside is my mental map of the world hasn't been updated since the 1940s. Until last year I thought Yugoslavia was still a country


A New Bedtime Ritual

This is a little thing, but about a month ago I impulse bought a candle from Target and I light that thing almost every night.

It's Eucalyptus and Mint and it makes my whole bedroom smell great. Definitely gonna buy another one once this one burns out


Fingerless Fashions

Not too useless as an item, but I bought a pair of fingerless gloves. I look like that one dude from The Breakfast Club, but I love them.

I’m pretty sensitive to the cold, to the point where holding cans of soft drink hurts. Gloves fixed it.

App I use to illustrate on my iPad doesn’t support palm rejection. Gloves fixed that.

Keeps a good majority of my hands clean.

Just a lot of little things that I couldn’t do without them



My dog.

Went to Petco one day to look at the chinchillas, but they were having dog adoptions that day. Went over to them, saw my [now] dog, paid $200 and have never had a second thought since.

Been 9 years and he’s been the only consistent thing that’s kept me going when I’m feeling really down over the years.


The Prorotype

A raspberry pi.

I got one on a whim, and it's now in the middle of becoming a prototype vape I will also be able to use to remind me when to take my meds, be able to internet call EMS, have an SOS tone, possibly be able to lock/unlock my power wheelchair, carry some video games (and I've been playing with having a detachable controller) and ... dare I say... Tweet?

I take medical marijuana for pain and PTSD, so having one of my medication devices be able to be what alerts me to take my meds is awesome, especially because in the house I may not remember to keep my phone on me, but I'll probably have the CBD cotton candy on hand if not just a tasty no-nic juice for the mild placebo between doses. Keeping extra stuff with my medical info is just more layers of safety.

I also ended up getting a pi zero, and the phatbeats chip, and I'm setting it up to be inside a false piano that will go across my wheelchair on Halloween while I use practical effects to turn myself into an automaton like the one Jaquet Droz created.


This Gastro Godsend

A bidet seat for my toilet.

My gastrointestinal symptoms have only gotten worse over the past year, so it has proven to be the best impulse buy I have ever made.


Giving Myself A Hand

I impulsively bought one of those wooden model hands that are used for drawing, where you can like pose them and stuff to get finger positions right and everything.

I drew with it ... once.

But shortly after realized it's really handy (ayyy) for putting my ring on whenever I take it off so I don't lose it, and I now also hook my watch on it.

So, far from its original purpose, it's a really good jewelry stand.


Haven't Touched My Wallet In Months

Randomly Bought one of those wallet kick stand holders for sticking on my phone. Literally changed my life.

I never lose my ID or Credit cards, they're always right there with me and its great to set it up at work or home to watch youtube. I haven't touched my actual Leather wallet in months over this $3 dollar investment

Thanks 3M !!!!!!!!


Gone Cordless

Was wandering around at some outlets while my wife shopped, they had one of those "Direct Tools" stores there. Bought this Ridgid cordless drill-driver/impact set on a whim because I didn't have a cordless drill at the time, it was a good deal, and although I didn't feel like I needed one I thought why not?

Well that cordless drill kicks ass and I use it for every project now, I can't even remember the last time I used my corded drill.


Not Pregnant

A pregnancy pillow!!

I am, in fact. not pregnant. BUT I borrowed my sister's one when I slept over the one night and it changed my life. It's a U-shape so you have pillow to cuddle in the front, pillow under your head, and pillow resting against your back!!

No more having to drag your cuddle pillow with you when you turn over at night, because the pillow is just there!

I now struggle to sleep without it...


Sonoma Savings

A oak pepper mill.

Five years ago on Black Friday I decided to check out the local Williams Sonoma at the mall, purely on impulse. They had a lot of items marked down, and a $45 Peugeot brand oak wood pepper mill was one of them.

Being the shopaholic I am I bought it thinking it was a good deal and how it would look cool in my house. My family and friends all thought I was dumbass for spending $45 on a stupid pepper mill, and honestly they’re probably right.

But... that stupid pepper mill has saved me money for five years by allowing me to buy the pepper grinds as opposed to the cheap pre-filled plastic ones. So I’d say I got my money’s worth.

And it looks pretty damn cool.


People advise against impulse purchases, but sometimes they pay off.

What's been your best impulse buy?

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

People Confess Which Things They'd Like To Tell Their Partner Without Upsetting Them
Adi Goldstein/Unsplash

The key to any successful relationship is communication.

The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.

But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.

Keep reading...Show less
black sheep looking through fence
Jose Francisco Morales on Unsplash

Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.

What is a "black sheep" anyway?

It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.

Keep reading...Show less
small white dog running
Joe Caione on Unsplash

Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.

There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.

A good steak.

A home repair.

The things that make you say...

"I tingle all over."

Keep reading...Show less
black and white cat with mouth open looking at computer tablet
Kanashi on Unsplash

People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.

And when it is requested, think before you speak.

People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."

Keep reading...Show less