How Often Do You Re-New Your Tech?

How Often Do You Re-New Your Tech?

Joel Pirela
Oct 26, 2011

You know the saying: "As soon as you buy your new device, it's obsolete already!" We've been hit with that reality many times, and the more tech you have, the more prone to find yourself upgrading. We created a way to keep our need for new gear in check and our banks accounts (and significant other) happy...

Create a mental note of your upgrading path.
Get a pen and paper and write down every piece of gear you have at home. That will help you visualize the amount of stuff that eventually needs to be upgraded. Fortunately some devices have a usable lifespan of 10 years or more (appliances, TV's, etc) while others are more short lived. We just went from a 37" plasma that was only EDTV (enhanced definition) to a 46" LED HGTV. We had out plasma for 6 years and we paid $1750 back them. The LED panel that is paper thin by Samsung only costed us $1000 with free delivery, so sometimes waiting for the latest tech to settle down into the standard pays off.

Don't upgrade if it adds additional costs.
We were really expecting an iPhone 5 a couple of weeks ago. When it didn't happen, both my wife and I decided to stay with our iPhone 4 instead of going 4S. We didn't qualify for an early upgrade, so when the iPhone5 decides to show up, we would be in a better position to upgrade without incurring additional fees.

Choose your money allocation wisely.
Where is that tech's money going to go? That is a very good question. Try to prioritize the devices you'll be using on a daily basis. Maybe it's the phone or maybe the TV you share with the whole family? Maybe that video game console that helps you relax after a long day at the office? Think hard and consider budgeting for tech used often, appreciated by many, rather than something used a few times in the thrill of the new and soon set aside (note below).

Don't pay the early adopter fee.
Do as we advise and not as we actually do. We're the first to admit we're bad at following the very advice we're giving. We have to remind ourselves staying one generation behind can be both financially prudent and also provide a level of stability in the tech department (1st adopters are always battling bugs and quirks). You won't have to pay the early adopter fee in both money and aggravation.

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