Should I, or should I not?

This is a guest post written by Ryan Paredez at www.planwise.com – Planwise is a free and simple tool that allows you to understand the future impact of financial decisions you make today to allow you to make better decisions. Check out the Planwise widget under the Tools page. Interested in writing a guest post? Check out out guest posting policy.

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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