Living Within our Means – 30 Day Challenge – Day 13

30 Day Challenge Random
Living within our means
Image courtesy of Photosteve101

I like shiny new things, who doesn’t? That new (plastic) electronic smell, devouring the instruction manual to quickly set up our new toy. But can we really afford the items we yearn to possess?

Why does it have to be new?

What is the allure of getting something as soon as it becomes available? People will wait on line for days for a new phone for what reason? Just to say they were first? That doesn’t add any value to the product.

An experiment designed to test how we react to seeing new objects,  tested the region in our midbrain that is called the substantia nigra/ventral segmental area or SN/VTA. This is how the brain handles novelty.

It was proven that we react differently to images we have not seen before. Could this be why people camp out for new phones?

Saving and Second Generation Products

Speaking of new, as a rule I rarely ever purchase first generation products. They are usually rushed out of production to make sales and often have a lot of problems or are missing features.

Take for example the iPad. Remember the first one that was released in 2010? It was lacking in features when compared to the iPad 2 and was missing a camera. Then, a few months later, Apple debuted the iPad 2 which was better quality, had two cameras and came in white. I’m glad I waited those few months because I felt I had a superior product than those that were just released a few months earlier.

This also gave me more time to save for it. Electronics are both a necessity and very expensive in this digital day in age with which we live.

Planning and Researching

During this time I also like to read reviews about a product I’m interested in to see how good or bad it really is. I cannot tell you how many times reviews have saved me from making a bad (purchasing) decision.

Amidst the researching phase there is also the opportunity to mull over whether we really need this item or not. Some questions I ask myself are: How is this going to improve our lives? Is it a reward for the completion of a milestone or a distraction disguised as convenience?

Trying to justify the purchase will also help when you plan to budget for it.

What are some ways you have researched and saved for a big ticket item?

About the Author:

An SEO in NYC with a penchant for the technical side of things. Father, Husband, Novice Photographer and Music Lover.

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