It finally happened; we bought a TV! My husband and I have been watching our favorite TV shows on Hulu and we either rent movies from the library or stream oldies on Netflix. Dave’s laptop is a 17” Dell Inspiron he got in 2005 that still works pretty well. It’s large enough to watch a movie on and we really don’t mind it.
Why get a TV after three years without one?
I feel very fortunate to have wonderful parents who love to bless us with gifts. I felt guilty when we initially got married and they always brought something with them when visiting (like a dining table or a quality paper shredder). After three years I’ve since learned that my parents love giving gifts because they love blessing their kids; no strings attached. This past Christmas my parents gave us a gift of $500 and let us decide what to do with it. For the record, we don’t get that amount in gifts every year! Up until this point, every extra dollar I brought in from my multiple jobs went right toward our savings for a down payment on a home. Dave and I talked about our options of what to do with the money and we came to the conclusion to use this gift toward a TV.
Buying a new TV
We waited a couple months after Christmas because we heard that President’s Day was a great time (if not better) than Black Friday to get a TV because they are trying to get rid of last year’s products and promote the 2013 models. We went to Best Buy the Sunday of President’s Day weekend and talked to a really helpful employee. We explained that we got a gift of $500 and were willing to pay $100-$200 of our own money. We didn’t care to get a smart TV because we would rather have a slightly bigger TV with average picture quality than a smaller TV with great picture quality. For our price range and the size we wanted, we went with a 46” Insignia LED and a Sony Smart Blu-Ray player. Lucky for us, there happened to be a returned TV with an $80 discount. The employee opened up the box and we learned that nothing had been opened except for the actual box itself. Apparently someone returned it because they either wanted a larger or smaller TV; that was our guess at least.
After taxes, the “open box” discount, and a promotion with our rewards, we left with the TV and Blu-Ray player for $624, which means $124 out of our own pockets. We’ll likely never get cable but the Blu-Ray player allows us to stream Netflix movies. Unless we get a HDMI cable, we’ll still watch TV shows on our laptop because you have to subscribe to Hulu Plus in order to watch it on the TV.
We don’t watch movies/TV shows any more than we did when we used the laptop. I know we could have put the money toward the house or bought a used TV for less, but we have been very intentional about saving for a home and decided to use this unexpected gift as a gift. When my dad gave me a convertible he bought and fixed up for my 21st birthday, we sold it within a month and put the profit toward student loans (FYI my dad was aware of and in favor of this decision). There is always some place better to put your money than into “fun” things, but we are content with our splurge.
How do you decide when/how much to splurge on “fun” expenses?
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.