Dave Bradford

Developer and picture taker.

Saving Money When Surrounded With Great Technology

October 25, 2010

This morning I spent a little bit of time playing with my boss’s new iPad, a wonderful device. After looking at some photos and browsing a few websites I found myself finding ways to fit this device into my life. No doubt if I owned an iPad I would have place for it, however I don’t have the kind of money lying around where I could just purchase it without any finance implications.

We live in a great age of technology, with so many great devices. I’ve always tried saving money where I can and apply the same logic to every purchase I make. Following these rules makes me a better saver in a world full of great technology.

The first question I ask myself is, “Can I buy this out right?”

All of my purchases, I save for and buy with cash. Saving for technology eliminates the impulse of the purchase, giving yourself time to think about whether you really need it.

Maybe it won’t take you that long to save up or maybe you have the money around to buy straight away, even so this will buy you some time to ask yourself, “Will you use this device every day?”

To make sure this is the device for you and to justify the price tag, you’ve got to say “can I live without this for a day”, you’ll know deep inside whether you can really make do.

While I really want an iPad I can certainly live without it, is there a better device on the way? Do I need a new computer before I invest in a luxury device? Will getting into debt buying this device be worth the stress? Living without a device you’ve never had isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it will give you more time to think about it.

“Will this make my life easier?” years ago when I started freelance work I was working on a 5 year old machine which was slow, underpowered and kept breaking. I knew that a new system would make working easier to help me to earn more money, so I could justify the purchase. I hate buying new technology when I already have a working solution to the problem, if you can say the same then you can probably wait.

Most of this may seem like common sense, it’s important for me to ask myself these questions. Don’t get me wrong it’s easier to be sucked into some of these things. Some of the above may not apply to you but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, the above may be a good starting point to approach technology buys.