Photography is kind of like a sickness. There's just no way around it. If you're not careful with your funds, there's so many cool things to buy in the pursuit of "the perfect picture." But I suppose it's like anything that people are interested in, there are so many gadgets out there and the worst part is, so many of the cool photography things are reasonably priced--not all the cool things, but enough for you to think, "Hey, it's only 20 bucks!" Which can be a great deal, but if you buy five things at that price, you're into your "hobby" another 100 dollars.
Last year I was asked to photograph several events and I loved helping out. At these events there were also professional photographers covering the events and they all had some nice equipment--not the $20 stuff, more like $2000-$5000 stuff. Sure, I'd like to upgrade, but not now. Not when I'm not making money from the camera. It's not worth it.
Last fall I saw a monopod for sale at Walmart. It cost $15 and I thought of all the ways a monopod could help me. For one thing, it's portable. I have it sticking out of my backpack going to and from work. I've also used it to get steady shots when I'm leaving work and the light's too low for my sometimes unsteady hands.
Last night we found another use for this handy item. It's a great crutch, you know, if you tweak your leg or ankle.
Then again, because I felt like I needed the monopod, it's been a crutch to me all along.