Where do you stand in regards to technology? Do you love owning the latest and greatest? Do you rush out to buy the newest fads as soon as they are released? Do you use the newest, hippest apps to pay bills, get a ride, order a pizza, and track your steps? Or are you still using a flip phone, cashing your paycheck at the bank and using an instant camera?
I enjoy taking advantage of shiny new toys that make life easier but I don’t need the latest and greatest technological gadgets. As long as my stuff works, I don’t generally feel the need to upgrade.
I have an iPhone 4 that I bought refurbished 3 years ago for $100 bucks. I figure if I get another year out of it I will have spent $25 year to own a phone. I wonder how much an old rotary phone cost back in the day? I am certain it was less than $100 and it lasted forever.
My flat screen television is at least 9 years old.
Six years ago, I received a digital camera as a birthday present from my friends. Shortly after I received it, I got a smart phone and the camera essentially became obsolete.
I did splurge on a Microsoft Surface last year when my old computer bit the dust. It is superlight weight, doubles as a tablet and has a detachable purple keyboard! I still kick myself because I could have just gotten a new laptop for 1/2 the price and been just as satisfied. But I do love that keyboard!
I haven’t had cable in 5 years. My honey has Netflix so we watch as much TV as we want and when the football game is on, I just head over to Child #1’s with a couple of bottles of beer in hand.
My internet costs $14.99 per month so my portion costs $7.50. People say it isn’t all that speedy but it runs Netflix without trouble and I use the web throughout the day with no issues. It is fast enough for me.
I though I was pretty hip being able to deposit checks by snapping pictures of them with my phone and uploading them to the bank. Unfortunately, the bank upgraded its system and my iPhone 4 isn’t cool enough anymore. Now I have to snap a picture of the check, email it to myself and then upload it from my computer. This is kind of a pain but it beats spending money for a new phone when mine works fine.
I just found out how uncool dealing with uploading checks is when a friend asked me if I used Venmo to send and receive money. After admitting I had never heard of it, she gave me the low down on it. I then went home and did my research on this fancy “new” technology which has been around since 2009.
A free apps that makes my life easier? Sign me up! I sent her a bill and she paid me immediately. By the next morning the money was in my account and within minutes I transferred it from my checking account to my car fund. My outdated cell phone can’t run the app though so my trusty Microsoft Surface has to pick up the slack.
I don’t prioritize technological gadgets, hence I don’t own the newest and the best. I choose to spend my money and my time in a manner that makes me truly happy.
I prioritize my future by maxing out my IRA and HSA (Health Savings Account) every year. I have a well-funded emergency fund and intend to pay cash for my next car (used). I take great solace in being debt free and hope to stay that way for the rest of my life!
When I chose to fast track my debt re-payment, it became a way of life. Every expense was analyzed and debated. I made deliberate decisions regarding making small and big purchases. All with the goal of watching my debt number hit the BIG ZERO.
When that happened I realized I had options regarding where and when I wanted to work, where I wanted to live, and how I saw my future self in retirement.
The idea of continuing to work full-time for another 15 years was not appealing. I reduced my hours and took on some side gigs to help make up for the loss of income. I like to think of myself as being semi-retired right now! By keeping my expenses way down, I still manage to save for my real retirement and for emergencies. I don’t want for anything and I truly have all that I need. I choose wealth by flexing my frugal muscle.
Some people get a legitimate thrill from owning and using the newest, coolest technological gadgets and apps. Those folks prioritize these expenses and for them that may be a good decision. Personally, I still have trouble using iTunes and downloading from the App Store.
I need these gadget people in my life to explain how to use new Apps and technology and to sell me their outdated toys when they are through with them.
Don’t follow the herd when it comes to spending your money, follow your heart and do what makes you happy!