I must admit that I did not follow the first rule of How to Really Save Money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. I ended up purchasing a Surface Laptop 2 for about $1000, which can certainly be considered pricy. But I did evaluate the product on it’s own merits and followed the remaining rules; it was something I was looking to buy anyway, so when I saw an opportunity to receive a discount on the model I wanted, I took it.
Spend for Your Interests
Although I spent quite a bit, I wouldn’t count it as wasteful spending. One of the key principles of MoneyTofu is to really think about what purchases bring you happiness, and allocate more of your spending in those categories (within limits).
For me, technology is a field I have a lot of interest in, and tech products are an area where I choose to spend a little more to get the best experience.
Conversely, I don’t place much emphasis on fashion or clothing, so my purchases there tend to be more utilitarian and functional, opting to save money by only buying what is truly necessary.
Just because you have an interest in and are willing to spend more on something doesn’t mean you should do so willy-nilly.
Before my latest purchase, I hadn’t bought any big tech items for over a year. I don’t upgrade to the latest gadgets every year as soon as they are released. Instead, I carefully evaluate if a new release will have a meaningful impact on my day-to-day experience. More often than not, yearly updates are too small to be meaningful.
The same principle of spending more only on the things that truly make you happier applies at the deeper level within a product category that makes you happy.
Sell or Give, Don’t Trash
An advantage of buying tech products is that you are almost always replacing something that still functions well. If you take care of your possessions well, you should be able to sell them to offset the cost of an upgrade.
I have sold many used items on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, OfferUp, and similar sites. Since I know I will try to sell things when I no longer need them, I tend to keep all the product packaging as well so I can repackage everything to “like new” status for maximum resale value.
An alternative to selling to strangers is if your family or friends could benefit from the old item. You can either sell (ideally at a further discount) or simply give away your old possession.
As a last resort, try to recycle your old item if it isn’t worth selling and nobody else you know wants it.
Spend for Maximum Happiness
The moral of the story, if there is one, is that while evaluating each purchase on its own merits, it is okay to decide that spending more money than an average person would is justified. That decision should always be tempered with and fit into your overall spending so you can achieve your long-term goals.