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Old 04-17-2008, 12:26 PM   #1
Adam B.
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Help a Gadget Addict

My name is Adam B., and I am addicted to Gadgets.

Seriously, I've been thinking about this for a while, and it's time I do something about it. I'm 23 years old, 2 years out of college, and I can't stop buying gadgets and electronics. It's not a huge concern at this point. I'm single, splitting a mortgage with a roomate, and my icome is above average for my age. However, if I don't do something to curb my gadget problem, I may end up going broke, or have problems when I'm supporting someone other than myself.

Basically my problem is this, I buy new electronic gadgets like it's going out of style. I own 4 computers, 2 HDTV's, my iLiad, PSP, PS3, Wii, iPod, Nokia tablet, digital camera, smart phone, etc, etc. I work in technology field, so I justify some things as work purposes or learning tools, but really, I just like playing with new toys. If I see something new, or interesting, or moderately useful looking, I have to have it.

Any ideas on what can be done to curb this habit? I've setup budgets before, but sticking to them is the hardest part. Maybe I just need to keep myself occupied with what I have. Or maybe I should stop going to Fry's when I'm bored.

So what do you think? Anyone else have a similar problem? How did you slow down the stream of purchasing?
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:45 PM   #2
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First, I doubt you'll find much help overcoming that addiction here.

I do have a suggestion though. Just be broke, live in your car, lose your job, be harassed by debtors, have problems keeping your clothes and body clean and yourself fed. You'll be sharing your living space in the car with all your gadgets which are now useless and in the way and not very comfortable for sleeping with. Try this for about six months to a year and you'll be cured.

Or you could just give it some serious consideration and make wise decisions. You do not need all that stuff.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:45 PM   #3
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There's only one sure-fire solution: get married. That'll bring your gadget habit to a screeching halt. You'll still be broke, of course, but no more gadgets.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:47 PM   #4
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Get married? So someone else can suffer from his inability to spend his money wisely? Bad idea.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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Seriously, though, the thing that's helped me is to not impulse buy. If I still want something in two weeks or a month (you can work yourself up on the waiting period), then I'll probably actually get some real use out of it. I also find that giving serious thought during that time as to what I'll actually use something for often convinces me not to buy it.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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Get married? So someone else can suffer from his inability to spend his money wisely? Bad idea.
No, so someone else has some influence on his spending habits. Ideally it should be someone whose good opinion he would actually care about, obviously.

In any case, I mostly meant that jokingly -- see the smilie?

Right now his habits aren't really bad, per se, just short-sighted. I'd say that's fairly normal for ~23, it was for me, anyway. He's not spending the rent money, nor the grocery money, he's just spending disposable income. Sure, it'd be wiser to save/invest that, but it's not like he's letting his kids starve or something.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:54 PM   #7
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Seriously, though, the thing that's helped me is to not impulse buy. If I still want something in two weeks or a month (you can work yourself up on the waiting period), then I'll probably actually get some real use out of it. I also find that giving serious thought during that time as to what I'll actually use something for often convinces me not to buy it.
Now that's better

We live in a world where everyone wants everything RIGHT NOW and we waste a lot of money on stuff we never use and create a lot of pollution in the process. People go into debt buying things they don't need because it's the popular thing to do. I know it can be hard to resist but once you conquer it, it'll be forever. It's all about your attitude.

Think of the things you might have done with the money instead, like buy a car, a house, save for retirement, go to college, etc. Think about your time and effort that you've spent working to earn that money, just to blow it on something you don't even use. Think about your values in life. I am not impressed with expensive things, I'm more impressed with people who spend money wisely. I know, it's anti-American, and I don't care.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:01 PM   #8
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Technology is the most important aspect of my life. Without it, I wouldn't have a job, and probably won't have many useful skills.

I think that impulse buying is a big part of the issue. However, it's not all impulse. I meticulously research all of my purchases before buying them. I compare to alternative products. I know every detail about what something can do before I buy it.

This thread isn't really a cry for help or anything like that. It's meant more as a humorous observation of something I deal with daily.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:04 PM   #9
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So what do you think? Anyone else have a similar problem? How did you slow down the stream of purchasing?
Limit the amount of cash you have avialable to buy gadgets...

1. Max out your 401k (or thrift plan or stock purchase) at work. (if you have them available)
2. Open a roth IRA (max it out.)
3. Double your mortage payment every month.
4. Don't use credit cards unless you pay them off each month. If you can't be disiplined enough to do this cut them up and use a debit card.
5. If after the above you still have a high amount of disposable income open a DRIP plan at someplace like sharebuilder.com.
6. Buy investment realestate... no only will this lower your disposable income but give you stuff to do.
7. Take flying lessons and get a private pilots license... then you can buy flying gadgets.

Believe me, you will be happy later when you get to the point where you have more expenses. Having no debt and money in the bank will make you much happier than a table full of batterychargers.

Then again, most people have a hobby they spend money on, so make sure you keep yourself some money for that.

BOb
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:07 PM   #10
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I know, it's anti-American, and I don't care.
I'd say it's more "un-American" than "anti-American" -- it's more that it's not typical of "Americans" than that it's hostile to the United States.

What you're talking about is rather a tough thing for the young to grasp since it's an abstract, and I'm given to understand that the human brain doesn't really develop the capacity to deal well with abstracts until sometime in the 20's (it varies from person to person, of course, and the male mind tends to lag, something about testosterone, I'm told, but I think that's feminist propaganda [that's meant as a joke by the way! See the smilie? ]).

Fortunately, excessive youth is a problem that gets better on its own, if the youth in question lives long enough.

The fact that Adam already recognizes that he has a potential problem bodes well for his being able to deal with it in time for it not to cause him too serious repercussions.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:17 PM   #11
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I'd say it's more "un-American" than "anti-American" -- it's more that it's not typical of "Americans" than that it's hostile to the United States.

What you're talking about is rather a tough thing for the young to grasp since it's an abstract, and I'm given to understand that the human brain doesn't really develop the capacity to deal well with abstracts until sometime in the 20's (it varies from person to person, of course, and the male mind tends to lag, something about testosterone, I'm told, but I think that's feminist propaganda [that's meant as a joke by the way! See the smilie? ]).

Fortunately, excessive youth is a problem that gets better on its own, if the youth in question lives long enough.

The fact that Adam already recognizes that he has a potential problem bodes well for his being able to deal with it in time for it not to cause him too serious repercussions.
Being homeless, hungry, rejected everywhere because you haven't properly bathed and groomed yourself is not abstract. It may be a bit extreme, but it might work.

And I think you're right. Un-American. Until I get my posse together.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:22 PM   #12
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Being homeless, hungry, rejected everywhere because you haven't properly bathed and groomed yourself is not abstract. It may be a bit extreme, but it might work.
Ah, but until it actually happens it is an abstract, for the person it hasn't happened to that is.

That's why cautionary tales, which have been around for millennia, fail to reach 100% effectiveness in dissuading young people (of all ages) from doing stupid stuff.

In other words: there are three types of people in the world, those who learn by reading, those who learn by the mistakes of others ... and those who simply must pee on the electric fence for themselves.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:28 PM   #13
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In other words: there are three types of people in the world, those who learn by reading, those who learn by the mistakes of others ... and those who simply must pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Hey, if you don't pee on the fence, how can you know how much it actually hurts? All those other people may just be whiny sissies.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:29 PM   #14
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See what I mean?
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:06 PM   #15
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When I am in thrall to an extravagant object of desire, I find the guilt can be assuaged by delaying purchasing until I have done something to 'earn' it.

Anything that's either a serious challenge, or a major chore.

If I achieve the goal, and still want the device, I can buy it knowing (or at least convincing myself) that I deserve it.
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