A user on one of the triathlon forums I frequent asked if he should trade in a transition bag he received from his family for Christmas for other gear he could use just a little bit more.
Many folks commented, with nearly everyone advising him to keep it for one reason or another.
I was one of them. I suggested that he keep the bag, adding, "Upgrading and accessorizing is inherent in this sport, and this won't be the last time you'll wonder if you've spent money on the right gear at the right time."
How often this is true for me. We'll have some extra spending money and I'll wrestle for days with whether to spend the money on one big item, or break the dollars up into smaller things I need. If I decide to spend my money on a more expensive item, I then wrestle with what.
Do I need the heart rate monitor first or a new saddle? Do I need aerobars before I get a trainer? The agony can be endless. And then the subsequent relief I feel after I made the purchase only lasts for a few minutes. Did I still make the right decision? Do I really need this more than that?
After a few days of questioning - and the date on the return policy deadlined - the relief returns as I get immersed into my new gadget or gear and forget what else I'd even been considering.
Once you realize that you're always - always - going to be spending money in this sport and wondering whether it was the right purchase at the right time, the easier it will be to drop a few thousand on that tri bike you've been eyeing.
Okay. Maybe that's a bad example.