How to Have Your Gadget Cake and Eat It Too

by Joseph Kwon in ,


“...our impulses are too strong for our judgement sometimes”
― Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles

I'm like a moth to the gadget flame. Wallets, flashlights, headphones, you name it, I can obsess over it. Price is irrelevant. I'll fixate equally over a $5 item or a $50 item. And I feel a little bit like Charlie Brown going to kick the football from Lucy when once again, after countless time spent researching and reading reviews, I end up purchasing the first one I saw. In my household, I cannot be left unsupervised in front of infomercials. "But wait! If you order in the next 60 minutes, you'll also get X for free..." What can I say, I'm a marketer's dream.

All this can add up to a drain on our finances, drip by small technology purchase drip. $19.99 is sneaky that way! A little while ago I resolved to curb some of this spending. None of these items were strictly necessary, it was more to scratch that gadget itch. I thought about going cold turkey, but this method tends to just delay the smaller purchases for a time until the will weakens and results in a large purchase that might cost even more.

After struggling with this a while, I came up with an EZPZ tactic to reduce impulsive technology spending.

Step 1. "Set it and forget it!"
Whenever I come across something I think I might want to buy, I jot down the name of the product and the price in a note-taking app. The act of writing the item down as a potential purchase flips a switch in my mind that calms the impulsive feeling. Now that it's written down, you can relax. You have the option of buying this at any time in the future, just not right now. Now rinse and repeat.

Step 2. "What happens here, stays here."
Review your growing list from time to time and when the spirit moves you and the dollar and cents are properly aligned, go for it. Once you buy one of the items on your list, move it to a separate list that shows all the impulse purchases you've made so far. This is an EZPZ way for you to see how much you are spending and make more informed decisions.