Now that Christmas is over, I looked around at our living room and realized that our electronics count has ballooned exponentially. I have a theory that they’re like rabbits. Which makes me really, really want to avoid our living room late at night, lest I see dirty, dirty things.
When we moved here from Seattle, we had Tim’s Xbox 360. Now, 15 months later, we have:
- A new Xbox 360
- A Kinect
- A PSP
- A PS3
- An iPod Touch
- An iPad
- A brand-spankin’ new, very pretty 40″ LCD TV.
Now, before you all assume I’ve been spending away my frugal street cred, I feel I should remind you of a few things.
First, Tim’s old Xbox was starting to die last year, right as Walmart had a great sale. It offered a $50 Walmart gift card when you bought a new Xbox. We then traded in the old Xbox while it was still working. In all, our net cost was under $100. I think it was closer to $50.
Second, both the PSP and PS3 were paid for with rewards points. Well, the PS3 cost $23-something over and above the GCs I had. But then Amazon went and gave us a $25 credit in the video game section. Coincidentally, that’s exactly 99 cents less the company charges for one of the games Tim wants. So, depending on how you do the math, we either paid -$2 or will have paid just under $25 for a PS3 plus an extra video game. Either way, it’s a deal I’m proud of.
Next, we have the iPod Touch. Tim’s original one was also free with rewards points. Alas, it got lost and we had to buy a replacement, since he uses it as his memory/appointment book/music player/text messager/overall lifeline. So we did end up spending about $180 (plus tax) for his current iPod.
The iPad was, believe it or not, part of my Christmas bonus from my boss. (Like I said: Best. Boss. Ever.) I’ve concluded he’s insane, but it’s a type of insanity I can most definitely live with. While I wouldn’t have bought one myself, it’s really quite nifty. I’ve even gone so far as to consider (gasp) actually paying for a game or two from iTunes. And don’t give me that look. We all know that Plants vs. Zombies just looks fun!
Then there’s the new TV. It’s one of the few things we paid for out of pocket. We missed out on the doorbuster, which would have been just under $300. So, after three more weeks of price comparisons, I settled on a pretty Toshiba for $449. Certainly, I wasn’t thrilled to spend that much more, but I also didn’t want to wait a whole extra year — especially not when I had put Tim off for three years already. Besides which, it’s gorgeous and we love it a little more every day — especially when paired with the amazing rendering in some of Tim’s video games.
Finally, there’s the Kinect. This we paid for out of pocket, but at least we got 20% off. Less than a week after I posted here, hemming and hawing about whether to buy a Kinect, the coupon arrived in the mail. I figured it was the universe giving me that little push (shove) that I needed. And, in case I wasn’t sure the universe was screaming at me to get off my butt, the “20% off one item” ended up working for the whole order. So we saved almost $15 on the Dance Central game I was interested in.
So, okay, clearly each piece of technology did appear on its own. So much for the idea of technology humping like rabbits in the wee hours of the morning. (Which is good news, since Tim stays up all night playing video games, lately. I’d have to worry about a very strange fetish on his part.)
Still, I swear that technology just begets technology. Once you buy one piece, it becomes that much easier to buy the next cool doodad that catches your eye. And the more you buy, the more natural it seems to spend money on technology.
Thankfully, this sudden glut of gadgets has me weary of spending on electronics. Of course, as I mentioned, I’m already pretty sick of throwing money around. (What’s the financial equivalent of weltschmertz? You just know the Germans have a word for it.) Still, I feel certain that the next technological advance will tempt me just a little bit more than it would have before.
I guess it just goes to prove that even when you get things free, you still pay a price.
No matter what you do, technology means spending. Whether it’s on a data plan, video games or songs (rest in piece, Limewire), if you buy a piece of technology, be prepared for more spending. And to start suspecting your machines are nymphomaniacs. But maybe that last part is just me.