A while back, I’d been struggling for months with an old laptop that took a solid 30 minutes to start up each morning. My repeated attempts to rectify the problem, using the most advanced electronics trouble shooting techniques known to me (hurling every curse word I knew in both English and Japanese at the screen), only proved successful in cutting the waiting time down to 29 minutes, unfortunately.

Eventually, I bit the bullet and bought a new laptop. Despite my lovely and crafty wife talking the salesman into a 3,000 yen (US$30) discount, it was still the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought. Not that I’m complaining of course. It works great, and since almost all of my work, in-home entertainment, and overseas correspondence is done through my PC, my life is honestly better for having purchased it.

You can’t always count on being completely satisfied every time you drop a giant wad of cash on something, though. Japanese women’s Internet portal My Navi Woman recently released the results of its survey on working women’s biggest expenditures, and whether or not they got hit with a dose of buyer’s remorse afterwards.

It’s no surprise that fashion accessories had a strong showing on the list, compiled from responses from 299 women aged 22 to 34.

“The most expensive thing I’ve ever bought was the Cartier watch I treated myself to when I turned 30,” answered a 32-year-old executive assistant. “It cost about 450,000 yen (US $4,285), but I like it so much I wear it every day. You don’t often get a chance to buy something like that, so I’m glad I did.”

ES 1

While there’s no arguing that’s an awful lot to pay for something with no function other than telling time (which the cell phone we’re sure she usually has on her can also do), many people feel secure buying brand-name items like this because of the assumption that they’ll be able to get a lot of use out of a long-lasting, quality product. This plan hits a bit of a snag when circumstances prevent you from using it for five days out of the week, though.

“I spent about 220,000 [$2,132]on a Louis Vuitton bag,” began a 28-year-old sales representative. “When I bought it, I was really happy with it, but then I noticed someone else in my section at work already had the same bag! One time I tried bringing it to the office without drawing attention to it, but I felt like everyone was judging me, and I really wish I’d chosen a different purse.”

▼ The old adage is true. Woman walks into a room, sees another woman in the same outfit, and thinks “Oh God, I have to go change!” Man sees another man in the same outfit, and thinks “Thank God, I wore the right clothes!”

ES 2

A 26-year-old logistics company employee went with a more artistic choice. “The flute I play now cost 500,000 yen [$4,846], but it’s a sterling silver one made by Muramatsu, just like I’d always wanted,” she explains. “They say flutes only last about eight years, but that’s how long I’ve been using this one, and it still sounds great.”

Some people are more concerned with visual beauty than aural, however, such as the 31-year-old IT professional who shelled out a hefty sum for liposuction. “I did it just twice, but the total was 1,100,000 yen [$10,661]. I’m sort of satisfied, but I’ve already started gaining the weight back.”

▼ At least gaining weight isn’t expensive, due to the favorable yen-to-calorie ratio of donuts.

ES 3

Easily among the most expensive responses was the one from a 32-year-old who works in the sales department of a food and beverage company: a condo. “It was pre-owned, but still set me back 19,800,000 yen [$191,906]. I’m really glad I bought it, though. My commute to work is really easy, and my monthly payment is about half of what I spent renting a place before.”

Experts say that people who spend money on experiences tend to be happiest, and this held true for a 30-year-old who works in broadcasting and took her mother with her on a trip to New York. “We went around Christmastime, and I spent about 300,000 yen [2,907] paying for everything for both of us….Even now my mom gets excited talking about the time we spent together there.”

▼ Considering that two round-trip air tickets from Tokyo to New York in December can easily cost 300,000 yen by themselves, we’re as impressed with her bargain-hunting skills as her generosity.

ES 4

Another case of money well spent is the 30-year-old machinery sales rep, who parted with 2,000,000 yen [$19,384], in cash, to study abroad. “I was just 24 then, so it took a lot of courage to spend so much. I don’t regret it at all though, because the time I spent overseas made me who I am today.”

There are no absolutes in the connection between spending and happiness, however, and not everyone looked back so fondly on how much money they’d burned through in an attempt to create priceless memories.

“The most I ever spent at one time was for a night of drinking at a host club,” says a 33-year-old insurance company employee, who declined to give the exact amount. “Of course I regret it.”

▼ We look forward to the follow-up survey, “Biggest Expenditures by Host Club Workers”

ES 5

Source: Nico Nico News
Top image: Regex
Insert images: Watchalyzer, About Suits, Dunbar Systems, Goo, Food Drink