Buying new technology with a financially conscious approach

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You’re careful about your finances, about your cash flow, about what you spend on, about whether you legitimately need to purchase something…

You know that, in many cases, compulsive purchases are sooo characteristic of millennials with their sleek, shiny, new gadgets. With all the technology up for grabs in the marketplace and that is being continuously churned out all day and all night, technology can also contribute to a mindset prone to distraction, especially when it comes to those of us who aren’t mindful about their use of technology or who tend to overindulge in digital entertainment/social media.

To bring some sanity to the seemingly relentless onslaught of consumerism and for the sake of improving people’s lives, everybody should take a moment to become more wary of the correlation between personal finances and considerate usage of technology. When it comes to spending on technology, it’s time for a better, more humane approach. People should be more aware of product prices paid for product value (yes, high prices do not necessarily equate to better products) and likewise, owning the sleekest, shiniest, newest gadgets does not necessarily have anything to do with increased productivity or functionality.

Nevertheless, you know that technology has its benefits with the potential to enhance both your work and personal life. The line between distraction and utility, however, is often precarious. By mastering the balance between usage and expenditure when it comes to technology, you will be better equipped to stop technology from being a distraction to your personal life/work situations and a burden to your finances.

Here are some tips to help you establish a balance between your use of technology and your finances so you can be thrifty and considerate when purchasing and using that next, shiny new toy.

Think more about what you need rather than what you want
Whether it’s a pair of wireless headphones, a high-quality camera or a swanky wristwatch, there may not be anything wrong with satisfying your wants every once in a while.  However, a certain measure of harm may arise when these purchases contribute to a habit of compulsivity. Often, what you need may become obscured by what you want so once your next product purchase rolls around, think about which aspects of your life or work the product satisfies. Weigh the pros and cons as thoroughly as you can in the hopes of avoiding another wasted, meaningless purchase.

Research
The list of things you can buy out there can sometimes seem endless with some items clearly better than others and some others more expensive but no different to those that cost less when it comes to functionality. Before purchasing anything, as often as you can, try to do your own unbiased research. Watch review/unboxing videos, read articles and take into account the product’s lifespan. Also, ask your friends and family members for their opinions and while you’re doing your research, try to prioritize functionality/benefits over aesthetics and price. One thing that you may not have thought about is that there is a somewhat subtle difference between features and benefits. Example: An ergonomic chair is a feature while a benefit is improved posture.

Long-term thinking
With the avalanche of new technology, new gadgets and new features that continuously show up on the market year upon year, it’s easy to fall into a pit of consumerism. However, as a conscious consumer, you should avoid falling into a vicious loop of compulsivity, grabbing every new product your favorite brand comes up with. Instead, look into products with reasonable lifespans, that are not ridiculously fragile and that can satisfy your needs in relation to their purposes.   

Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Once you’ve done your research and are sure about purchasing that product, do not be shy when it comes to negotiating your way towards the best price/payment terms you can get. Thinking of treating yourself to a spiffy automobile? If your employer can provide you with novated leasing, make sure that all parties involved know what they are getting into and be careful not take on more than you can afford.

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