This article was written by Denise.
Where I work, everyone seems to have jumped on the iPad craze. And why not? IPads are cool. I mean, they are REALLY cool.
For a long time I coveted those iPads. I’d see a coworker using one and I’d start to drool (a la Pavlov’s dog)! What internet addict like me wouldn’t want a cool new way to access the net while on the go, right?
And then it happened… I had a chance to buy an iPad for only $325. AND I DIDN’T DO IT!
“What?!?!?!?!,” you gasped?
The frugal within me took control of my emotions and won out over the techy geek in me. But it was a close match between the two.
How It Started
One day I was in a meeting with a couple coworkers. The one guy had just bought a new iPad2 and the other guy was admiring it. Guy #2 has a top-of-the-line 64 GB first generation iPad and commented that if he could sell his first gen iPad he would like to buy the new model.
“I’ll give you $300 for it,” I joked. I never thought he would consider such a low-ball offer. But to my shock, he said he would strongly consider it.
The next day he approaches me and says he will sell it to me for $325. This stopped me in my tracks. I was ready to trade $300 of my heard earned bucks for an iPad, but was I willing to spend an extra $25?
This is where the great internal debate began between frugal me and tech geek me.
On one hand, $325 for a barely used 64 GB iPad was a steal of a deal. It would almost be foolish to pass up such a deal, would it not?
On the other hand, $325 was a lot of money for something I didn’t really need. And as cool as iPads are, I was not convinced that it met my needs.
Understand Your Needs
I did some serious soul searching with myself. What did I really want out of a tablet? Here is the list I developed:Wifi internet ability (the iPad meets this criteria)
- Ability to read e-books (the iPad meets this criteria)
- Compact size for travel (the iPad does NOT meet this criteria)
- Affordable (the iPad does not meet this criteria)
- Ability to view flash (this is a big FAIL for the iPad)
In the end, I decided the Velocity Micro T301 Cruz better suited my needs. At just $159.95 it was half the price of the used iPad I was offered. It also met all my needs, including a compact size that I could keep in my purse for internet browsing on the go.
Avoiding impulse buys is not always easy to do. It takes real will-power and personal strength to avoid making an impulse buy that you may later regret. It is always smart, before buying anything, to take a few moments (or even longer) to ask yourself if you really NEED the item (want vs. need), is the item worth the money, does the item meet your needs or would something else work better, and will you really get the use out of the item that you are envisioning.
In the end, I am glad my co-worker did not accept my impulse offer of $300 for the iPad. Despite being a great deal, it would not have been a wise way for me to spend $300 when an item costing half the amount better meets my needs.
Have you made any impulse buys that you have later regretted? What techniques do you use to prevent spending money on items you really don’t need?