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Be Frugal: 3 Ways to control Tech Gadget Spending

Spending on Gadgets seems to be the past-time of many men and boys.

I have dabble in my love for Gadgets for a long time since my secondary school days. Back then, money was really hard to come by and whenever I spend on such stuff, I feel a sense of guilt because although I am curious about how they work, spending on them means I will have to forgo something that matters to me.

After I started working, the budget constraints gets relaxed and while I can realistically buy an iPhone every month, it is ridiculous to do that.

1. Enjoying the process of researching/finding out about the Gadgets

I realize that the curiosity to identify how things work and the difference between each brands and trival details can be a form of experience that I grew to like. That is why I started a blog to talk about mobile productivity and softwares in general.

I realize that much of the utility for a lot of people probably happens DURING the process of researching for it and gets reduced a lot after the anticipation, and the purchase have been carried out.

Knowing this, I controlled my urge to purchase much better and learn to maximize what increases my utility levels.

2. Assigning a budget per year for Tech Gadgets

Tech Gadgets should be treated as a hobby and as such, it would be best to assign a budget for it. Having a budget means it is likely that you are constraint to spend only this much on tech gadgets and when it runs out, you better not spend anymore.

For me, I budget SGD40 per month to spend on this hobby via Envelope Budgeting . If you are familiar with this realm, you will know that 40 bucks really buys shit in today’s world.

So this would mean that I only have 40 * 12 = 480 bucks to spend on my gadget hobby.

3. Sell Old Gadgets to finance for new ones

A lot of my friends doesn’t do this because of attachment to the gadget or the reluctance to part with the gadget because of the huge depreciation in gadget value.

Gadgets drop in value pretty fast and the only way that your gadgets can still maintain or even be of higher value then purchase is if you are shrewd enough to import from overseas at a cheaper price and sell it locally.

To this all I can say is: If you leave it lying in your house, it is likely that

  • You will never look at it again
  • The value can never be higher than what it was worth n-months ago
  • You will eventually throw or give it away

So my rule of thumb is that if I deem that it has some sizable stored value, I will sell it away.

I bought my current iPod Touch 3G for SGD480 but essentially finance this by selling away my iPod Touch 2G for SGD230, which was bought at SGD330.

Another good friend of mine looks to spend quite a fair bit on his sound system. But turns out that he is pretty shrewd to import them from overseas and when he grew tired of them, the price he sold it was not far from his purchase price!

It pays to:

  1. Know the value of what you are playing with. Certain high price gadgets hold value better than those cheapo gadgets.
  2. Leverage on overseas opportunities.
  3. Sell it off the moment you think its not working out for you. There is a cost to procrastination.

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