Thursday, September 9, 2010

New gadgets: nothing but a rip-off?

Unuseful wooden gadget by MushroomBrain
Most people are so fond of gadgets, they queue up to buy the latest released gadgets. They don't seem to have patience to wait even for a day. I found it weird when I saw people queuing up for hours to grab the new iPhone. Well people are different, everyone doesn't have to be like you and me... so if that makes them happy, good for them.

What I am trying to write today is about the gadgets and cute little innovations that have taken the world by storm but in fact, from a frugal perspective, you can easily live without them. In other words, you just don't need them. I will be giving examples of popular devices in this article. I am not trying to promote the products. I wish I could live without some of the gadgets.

Take iPhone for instance (it's fun to grill the popular stuff :). You can either buy it at once and spend 500 bucks or more, or you lock yourself in for a 24-month (that's 2 years right?) contract and pay a ridiculous amount of money every month on phone usage. All they've done is crammed up a collection of redundant applications in one tiny un-ergonomical device and made the world follow them. I'd rather add some more money and buy a decent desktop or a laptop which is more useful than those cute-looking devices with touch-screens and midget buttons.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Knowing your needs and wants

In order to live a frugal life, it is necessary to draw a line between your needs and wants. Lets start with what they really are.

Needs are the basic necessities of life without which we cannot live. Food, shelter and clothes are the most basic needs of human beings. Apart from that, health care, transportation and education  have also become an integral part of our lives. Needs are pretty much standard for every human being. We all have the same needs.

Wants are those extra things that "may" improve the quality of life but without which life does not come to a halt. They are the tools of indulgence. Going on a vacation, wearing expensive clothes, eating out, collecting new gadgets, etc are things that are beyond the needs. They vary from person to person. I may like to buy new gadgets but to you, it may seem totally wasteful. You may like to go on expensive vacations while your friends may think you are crazy.