Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Personal Finance Confessions: I want to buy lots of new gadgets! October 18, 2011

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 1:45 am
Tags: , , , ,

It’s quite possible the electronics I use are cursed.  First our Xbox 360 got the “red ring of death“.  Then my iPod classic (I’ve had it or an Apple-Care replacement since 2005 or so) decided it was tired of playing my podcasts (it may have jumped to its doom…accidentally).  So, now I’m in the market for new electronics.

Here’s the thing.  I just want to buy the new stuff.  And some other new stuff!  We’ve been thinking about getting an HD TV since we moved, and then of course we’d need a Blu-Ray player 😛 (or, more likely, a Playstation 3).  This is not really what personal finance savvy people are supposed to do.  I don’t NEED any of these electronics.  I just want them.

But I think I’ve already decided I’m going to get a replacement for my iPod.  I used it pretty much every day:  working in the lab, commuting or traveling when there’s nothing good on the radio, and when I’m cleaning around the house moving from room to room.  At this point, I just have to decide between the different models.  I like the FM tuner and accelerometer/fitness part of the iPod nano.  Then, I’m a bit attached to the good old-fashioned iPod classic, though I don’t think I’ll ever have enough data to put on there!  My old one is/was 30GB…the new one is 160GB!  What?  Then there’s the iPod touch, which is basically like an iPhone but without the phone…and the monthly fee.  And of course, I would only be able to use it when I’m near available Wi-Fi, but it sounds like their maps might be pretty accurate even without constant connectivity. And of course, I’m thinking there’s a lot of apps I’d like to try out!  And I could still do a lot with it even if I’m only connecting to Wi-Fi.

Yes, I’m bad at deciding.  Any recommendations?

As for the Xbox, the one we have may or may not be repairable (we haven’t tried yet).  It’s also 6 years old, which means there’s probably been a lot of upgrades since then.  So we’re thinking we might want to replace it.  Then we have to decide between the 4GB model and the 250GB model (we’re leaning towards the 250GB).  And do we get a Kinect with it?  It’s cheaper to buy it with the console rather than buy it separtely…but do we “need” it?  Each upgrade (more memory, Kinect) is another $100 tacked on to the price.

The other expensive electronics will probably have to wait.  We’ll hold out until we see a really good deal on a new TV, and we probably wouldn’t get a Blu-Ray/Playstation 3 until we had the fancy TV to go with it.

I know I don’t need any of these things.  I could look into repairing the items.  I could continue to save my money until…someday.  But, like I said, I’d use the iPod every day, the cost per use (assuming I don’t break this one…) will be pretty low over time.  I’m also shopping around for the best prices.

Do you ever feel bad buying new gadgets?  Is that your personal finance weakness?  Should I just be a good little personal finance blogger and try to repair (or trade in) the old items?


3 Responses to “Personal Finance Confessions: I want to buy lots of new gadgets!”

  1. Kristin Says:

    How many PF bloggers have a swanky smartphone, possibly an iPhone or an iPad? A lot. (And a few of them blogged about the new 4S recently!) Unless they’re awesome enough to win one (like @PunchDebt recently!) that’s both the cost of the device initially and the data plan above a talk and messaging plan every month. A serious chunk of change for some frugal people – but they gain so much from having them that it’s worth it. Personal Finance doesn’t mean being so frugal you deny yourself purchases you want, remember. (Though I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Ahem.) It means you figure out how to manage your wants and needs in a sensible and intelligent way with what you can afford without shortchanging debt repayment, retirement, and other savings goals. So don’t think you’re weak!

    I can’t speak to the iPod vs. iTouch question – I never used my iPod nano much, and now it’s dead. If you’re not tied to Apple (which you might be by now) you could look into some of the other mp3 players made by Sansa (Clip+), or others, that might be cheaper. I gave my dad one to use at the gym and he liked it a lot, and he never had iTunes, so it worked great for him.

    If I were you, I would look into repairing the devices if it’s easy to find out. I know certain stores like BestBuy will give you credits or at least let you recycle electronic waste. I would prioritize the things you want, and pick up the first of them when you feel ready to buy or find a sale. If you can’t work without a music player, maybe you jump on that first. If you don’t want to drop cash for the other items quite yet but still feel like you want them, set aside a few bucks each paycheck – then you’re not just saving… for someday, but for something concrete. And you can jump in when the timing is right.


  2. Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with buying a big TV or a new play station if you aren’t impulse buying and you are prepared and budgeted for the purchase. If I used my ipod as much as you do, I might even consider taking the money out of my “unexpected expenses” fund. But I also have a gadget budget! It’s necessary!


  3. Just found your blog – it is wonderful – very informative. I was looking at your conference blog from a women’s conference in 2009 and was very impressed.


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