Originally Posted by OurHouse
Last year, I was thinking about buying a flat screen hi def TV for the house for Christmas (a present for everyone). I would have loved to have a 52" really fancy big name brand model (even though I dont' want TV..LOL) but did some research and found a lesser brand, 37" for something far less than $500 (vs the $2500 on the TV I was drooling over...

Then I did some more research and realized I could purchase it through my employee's program with several different retailers and get a 10% discount.

So...I did it.

But then I went into my online banking and set up automatic payments over 4 months that fit my budget and allowed me to pay off the TV. I got 90 days interest free so I did wind up paying some interest on the 4th month.

Still, it *was* an impulse purchase and I've been known to do that from time to time.

That is hardly an impulse buy from my standards. smile You did the research and got a good value. That is smart shopping. An impulse buy would be buying a big-screen TV, without the wife's knowledge, when you don't have two nickels to rub together, and bringing it home, only to find out that it doesn't fit through the door of your mobile home! That is what my nephew did a few years back. The TV went back to the store that night.

I wonder how people really are able to be so disciplined to stick to a budget. I know what I did is a far cry from Mrs. Hold but the smaller things add up and I wonder if I too contributed to our financial state of affairs.

It is called separating wants from needs. It is very simple; no rocket science required. My nephew did not need that TV; they had a perfectly functional TV already. He just saw it in the store and thought to himself, "I want that" with no consideration of whether they could really afford it, much less get it through the front door!

Right now, I drive a compact sedan that has 130K miles on it and is low to the ground and as my knees continue to age, it is difficult to get into and out of. I want one of those crossovers like a Toyota Rav 4 or a Honda CRV or maybe a Lexus (one can dream, right?). They're higher off the ground, and the all-wheel drive would be nice in the winter. But I don't need it; my current car gets me around just fine. So I keep driving it, watch enviously as other people drive their fancy new cars, then laugh to myself because my little sedan is paid for.

I also wouldn't mind having an iPhone and getting all those cool apps. But my cell phone, which I can use to make and receive calls, is all I need. A new iPhone would not only be expensive to buy, it would be expensive to keep up as the monthly charge would be far greater than the $32/month plan I have now (limited minutes and no texting).

There is no one on the face of this planet that needs an iPhone. Or an expensive entertainment system. Or a Lexus SUV. Or a McMansion. Or fancy parties for their children. The list goes on. It's all a matter of priorities.

Last edited by GBH; 12/16/09 10:38 AM.