I finally bought something this week that I’ve been deliberating about for a long time–several years, in fact. Ever since the Amazon Kindle came out, I’ve been gazing at it from afar with a lusty eye. The thought of having books at my fingertips is very, very tempting for me, especially because I can’t get English-language ones easily. The same goes for television shows and movies, which I normally watch online with half-success, half-frustration at how long it can take for an episode to buffer on my outdated laptop.
So I’ve considering the Kindle, as well as other e-book readers. At first, the price for one was out of my budget. Then, when they started to become more affordable, they weren’t necessarily available outside the U.S., which gave me another reason to stall. My husband, who is way more tech-savvy, kept telling me that something better would come along. And it did, in the sense that there are a lot more options today for instant media gratification. The international version of the Kindle appeared, and the ipad, and other wired phones and devices with the ability to download media.
I was still gazing at the Kindle, but I started thinking how much better it would be to have a device that could play tv shows and movies as well. I’m also a big music lover, and I like to listen to both albums and audio books on my mp3 player (which I’ve had for so long that it doesn’t support the newer file types). So it seemed a better use of my money to buy something that could do it all. I never really latched on to the ipad, mainly because of the price and the size. I wasn’t particularly swayed by the thought of an app phone, since I hate talking on the phone and didn’t want to add a hefty monthly mobile bill to our budget.
So I looked, and I waited, and I looked some more (and drooled a little). And this week I finally bought it—a refurbished second-generation ipod touch. I’m still contemplating the cost of adding a wireless package with a minimal monthly fee, just so that I’m not dependant on being somewhere I have access. And I’m telling myself that I have to be strict about how much I spend on what I download—but as we spend very little on entertainment as it is, I’m not too worried about going crazy with the thing.
While this is all a big deal for me, I can’t help wondering if “normal” people deliberate quite so much about spending 139€. I mean, honestly, we’re not that broke. I spend that much at the grocery store on a regular basis. But there’s something about taking a chunk of money and using it just for me, for something purely selfish and unessential and…fun. I have a hard time doing that without feeling guilty.
I think taking the time to make the right decision about a purchase is important, particularly when it’s something outside of the normal budget. But I also think it’s not such a bad thing to just have fun with money sometimes, too. I mean, we work hard enough for it, don’t we?
What about you? How easy is it for you to make a big purchase decision? Do you have an easier time buying something if it’s strictly useful than if it’s all for fun?