Tech Wants: Managing Your Desires Within A Budget

Not everyone can afford on impulse tech splurges. Almost everyone is on some kind of a budget. What should you do if you can get your tech desires? Should you prioritize or just splurge?

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1. Will You Use It Everyday?
One of the most important questions about getting new tech is if you'll use it everyday. If it's something that I won't use everyday, I know that I can either delay the purchase or just live without it.

2. Pay Cash, Save For Your Purchase
In our family, we've stopped putting large purchases on credit cards since 2006. Most of our tech is bought cash, which usually yields us additional savings, anywhere from 5 to 15%. There's nothing like the feeling of buying something and not owing anything on it. If you save for a tech purchase, you also buy yourself some thinking time. This usually negates impulse buys.

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3. Will It Make Work Easier?
If the new tech will make your life easier, like a better laptop for work or school, then it would easily be a good purchase. The trick is not to overdo it and not try to rationalize a purchase that you don't need.

4. Say No to Expensive Impulse Buys
Like almost everyone, I've been guilty of impulse buys and paid for them dearly. Small impulse buys are fine from time to time, but you need to be careful about the bigger ones. If you save for your tech, then you'll ensure that you won't be just wasting money.

5. Can You Live Without It?
While there are a lot of people who want an iPad, almost everyone can do without it, especially now, since the iPad 2 is not too far away. Prioritizing purchases is necessary, so instead of getting in debt or overwhelmed, you're parceling them out over a period of time. Living without your wants isn't so bad because you'll have time to think about the purchase.

[images by Joelle, OSX Daily, Matt's Macintosh via CC license]