I have always been a gadget guy and up until recently I always had to have the latest and greatest, bleeding edge gizmo, if for no other reason than it was new. Some people like to splurge on fancy dinners or vacations, I had electronics. (Sure, some people do all of that stuff and buy fancy whatsits too, but that’s another matter.) If I didn’t have enough in the bank, that was just fine, I’d put it on a credit card and pay it off later. It took me a while to come to terms with it, but I feel that kind of mentality is a huge part of what’s wrong with our country.
Instead of planning, saving up and then buying something, we want what we want, and we want it now. If you stop to think about it, that’s exactly how a little kid behaves. Adults on the other hand learn the benefit of delaying pleasure. It may not be as pleasant at the moment, but long term, that bit of short term sacrifice and planning almost always make us better off. Instead of making payments on an item that I’ve lost, broken, or forgotten about that sometimes total double the cost of the original item by the time I’m done (thank you, interest rates) I’ve got a new strategy. If I want something, now I budget for it, save for it, and then buy it.
That act of budgeting and saving has had a few weird consequences. Not only am I ultimately paying less for items (no interest), but I’ve also found that those items that I had to have aren’t so important anymore. Quite a few of those had to haves never get purchased at all. When I do actually make a purchase, whatever it is, I find that I take better care of it. I’m not exactly sure why, maybe because I realize what it took to buy it, instead of just a careless swipe of some plastic.
Today the new version of OS X came out. I’m very anxious to buy it and update the two Macs in my house, but I’m going to wait. Why? Because it’s not in my budget. Sure, I could shift things around and find $29.99, but I’ve got higher priorities at the moment and that’s just fine with me.
Oh, and for those of you wondering, yes, I’ve saved up for a new phone for whenever Apple decides to update the iPhone. Just don’t tell my current cell phone because that likely won’t be for a few months.