Should I, or should I not?

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We live in a heavily consumer driven world where we are pushed to buy, buy, buy. But do we really need too? This is debatable and it depends on your preference and how much money you have to spend on items outside of necessities. I personally love new gadgets and upgrading my current ones for the ‘newest and best,’ but sometimes I feel like I am foolish for doing so.

Photo Credit: osde8info (http://www.flickr.com/photos/osde-info/5164810851/)

I want what I want

As I previously stated, I like having some of the newest tech gadgets that come out. Whether ‘ Nike plus sports band,  Android cell phone/tablet or the newest and fastest computer. These things are cool and new versions get released fairly quickly but the main question is, do we really need the newest one? I currently have an HTC Sensation for T-Mobile and it works just fine, but I am thinking about buying a new cell phone just because I am a big Android fan and they recently just released a new version of their OS – Jelly Bean. Can I afford it at the moment? Honestly, no. Do I really need a new phone? No I don’t. This is what I am talking about folks. We let our ‘wants’ overcome our ‘haves’ and it can be a total waste of income that can be put to better use. I could put that money  away in savings, or put it down towards one of my credit cards.

A good guideline to follow is if you see something you want while out shopping, locally or online, do your best to hold back and wait a few weeks and still see if you feel the same about that particular item. If you feel like you still have a strong desire to purchase that item ask yourself if buying that item is going to make you suffer financially? If the answer to that is yes, then perhaps you should reevaluate that possible purchase.

There is the other side of this situation.  Perhaps you have an old computer that has been acting up in the past couple of months, you are getting extremely fed up, and it’s killing your productivity. You’ve been telling yourself it’s time for a new computer because you can’t get work done in a timely manner. This is a valid reason to upgrade.

This brings up another problem though – what kind of upgrade do you go for? Do you go for a mediocre computer that will last you a few years at best, or do you fork out the extra coin for something you want and that you know will last you 4+ years. This might come down to how much available cash you have to spend or how much you are willing to charge on your credit card. I personally needed a new computer for work because mine was just not performing like it used too. I decided to get a new Macbook Pro 13 inch. I definitely did not have $1300 lying around under my mattress so I charged it. I do not regret it either.


What’s your vice?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a gadget enthusiast. I spend lots of time reading about new gadgets that are coming out, however, I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. What types of things do you have to battle yourself with when it comes down to this type of decision making?

 

Posted in: Entertainment and Leisure, Minimalism and Frugality

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5 Comments

  1. I used to be a big spender and would blow most of my money on eating out, concerts, and partying. After struggling with money I’ve certainly learned to get my finances in order and I’d say that I don’t struggle with spending money anymore. I’d go so far as to say that we probably need to loosen up a bit and spend more money…but that won’t happen until our income stabilizes a bit.

  2. I don’t even have a smart phone. I’m like Jason…. I really have to encourage myself to spend money nonetheless blow it.

  3. Modest Money says:

    I actually don’t consider your computer example to be a necessary purchase at all. If a computer isn’t performing like it used to, it’s because you need to clean up the software and other junk on there. Spending $1300 instead of cleaning it up is a complete waste. At the very least you could pay someone to clean it up and get it running like new.

    • $1300 for a computer is not high, especially since its Mac. Its kind of satisfying ego purchase. As far as fixing the old computer goes, software problems can be fixed by re-imaging. But hardware do have their own life time.

      I discarded my old computer after having trouble with it for more than a year. We had it for 7 years.

  4. Like the example mentioned my vice is definitely computers. When I was younger I was a serious PC gamer and although I don’t do much of that any more I still love the bleeding edge of PC hardware.

    I spend loads of time at Tom’s Hardware reading up on the new stuff and on NCIX putting together builds with various parts to see what sort of things I can come up with.

    I think in the last two years I’ve built three complete PCs, two of which I currently use (not counting laptops). So that’s my vice but it’s more of a hobby and I enjoy it so I feel it’s worth the cost. If I was trying to cut down the budget though it would be a very obvious area to cut, as difficult as it may be.

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