This article was written by Ashley over at Money Talks. She is passionate about helping you get the most from your money so you can live the life you deserve. You can subscribe to her newsletter or follow her on twitter and facebook.
This Best Buy commercial is pretty funny (link above). I actually like it a lot. But there is something about it I really dislike. I hate the attitude that what you have is only good if it’s the latest and greatest. You buy something and it’s great and then something new comes out and your item isn’t so good anymore. What’s up with that? That concept is costing you a LOT of money… if you buy into it that is.
I know it’s pretty easy to get sucked into that type of thinking. I recently had a brush with it myself. Now, I don’t buy a lot of electronics. And when I do they aren’t usually the newest model on the market. But a few years ago we got a great deal on a fancy camera. I loved this camera. I thought this camera was awesome. Sure, it’s been knocked around a bit over the years. It’s scratched and dented from a few falls but still takes the same quality photos that I thought were amazing 4 years ago.
Then on a recent family vacation to Yellowstone I asked a stranger to take a family photo of us as a group. They did and then as they were handing me back my oh-so-awesome camera asked if I could return the favor. Of course I agreed and they handed over their camera to me. Wow! I was embarrassed that they just had to use my dented piece of junk camera. Their camera was AWESOME.
Now I don’t feel so swell about my camera anymore. I thought it was so great… now I’m not so sure. I mean, it has been nearly 4 years since I bought it, which is a lifetime in electronic years. It got me thinking, maybe we do need a new camera?
Do we really though? Before I realized there was something better I thought our camera was just fine. I’ve never complained about the quality of pictures this camera takes. It doesn’t eat up batteries or miss the moment. It’s fine. I never thought it needed to be replaced at all until I saw a new fancier camera. Our current camera meets our needs perfectly. In fact, I’m still finding new features. I just realized that it takes movies a few months ago. (The fact that every piece of electronics has to have 1,000 different features is another rant in itself.)
So how do you keep from falling into this trap of needing the latest and greatest?
Know that just because something new comes out that does more doesn’t mean that your item does less. A faster computer doesn’t make yours slower. A bigger TV doesn’t make yours smaller. A thinner laptop doesn’t make yours fatter. Of course eventually technology will make items obsolete. But that doesn’t happen for a very long time. My dad still has a VCR and tapes! If he can get by with rewinding his movies you can make it another year with your current iPhone.
Don’t buy the newest thing on the market to begin with. Then if something newer comes out it doesn’t matter as much. You will pay extra for that “I’m better than you” feeling anyways… and you don’t need it.
Know your needs. If your phone, tv, camera, laptop, ipad, etc fit your needs then why do you need the new thing? Find a product that fits your needs and don’t worry about it. Only upgrade if your needs aren’t being met. For example, our wireless router in our house was terrible. At first I was just happy to have wireless at all, but eventually I couldn’t take the spotty signal anymore. When we finally upgraded there had been many advances and now we are happy with the wireless in all rooms of the house.
What do you think? Do you feel the desire to upgrade as soon as something newer comes out? Do you like your stuff less when you know it’s not the “best” anymore? Let me know in the comments.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.