Avoiding the “Electronics Poorhouse” – Buying Technology Wisely

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

For most people, technology buying decisions are based more upon need than want – but of course there are exceptions. It’s difficult for some people to be the only one among their peers not to have the latest tablet, phone or e-reader, for instance. That’s no reason, however, to spend irresponsibly on electronics because it’s all too easy to wind up “electronics poor.”

How do you distinguish between a technology need and want and avoid the temptation to spend more? How can you avoid duplicating functionality – which is needlessly expensive? How can you spend less on technology? Here are some guidelines for buying electronics wisely, without feeling deprived – while at the same time avoiding technology overload.

Avoid impulsive buying

  • Assess your needs – How powerful do you need your technology to be? What do you need to be able to do with your equipment? Take your needs into account and put your money into what will keep the technology current for the longest period of time. For instance, when purchasing a computer, while you may not need the fastest processor, you may discover that a small bump in price to a “better” processor may extend your computer’s usefulness an extra year at the end of its life.
  • Educate yourself – Learn all you can on your own about features and functionality before putting yourself in a purchasing situation. The more you know about what you need and what’s available to meet those needs, the less you’ll be confused or swayed by a persuasive sales pitch.
  • Research your options – That fancy digital camera looks sweet but considering the great quality cameras available on many smartphones, do you really need a separate camera?
  • Read responsible reviews – Just because technology is new doesn’t mean it’s good or better than what was. Find an unbiased source for technology reviews and see what experts and other users think before making the leap yourself.

Look for ways to spend less

  • Wait until the novelty wears off – Prices typically go down as the “New” factor wanes.
  • Sell existing technology when buying new – Offset the cost of new electronics by selling your older items. Consider getting a new phone with a better camera, for instance, then selling your old phone and digital camera. They still have value but you won’t be overrun with duplicate technology.
  • Hand it down – When you upgrade, give your old technology to a child or parent to alleviate the cost of buying it for them.

Buy when you need

When is it “time” to buy new electronics? The answer is as individual as the electronics themselves. Even among technophiles who value having the latest and the greatest technology, there are conflicting schools of thought. Some want it immediately and others are willing to wait to see how it performs and is received by users before they commit their technology dollars.

Avoid waiting for a big update or new version to spring for what you need. Frankly, there’s always something new, bigger (or smaller), better, more powerful and shinier on the horizon. That “wait until X” comes out mentality will only set you up for disappointment. First of all, you’re depriving yourself of the productivity and/or pleasure while waiting. Then, once you do buy, your satisfaction will be diminished by focusing on the next new thing you didn’t wait for. Make peace with the fact that technology is always evolving. Buy the best you can justify and use it to its full extent without regard to the “what’s next” factor.

Technology doesn’t need to be a constant money drain. These tips will help you make responsible choices.

How do you avoid the “Electronics Poorhouse?”

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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