Guide for Personal Finance Decision-Making
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“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” Henry David Thoreau
Does this sound contrary to the popular belief that the acquisition of possessions equals wealth? Thoreau realized that acquisition is not the road to satisfaction.
MAIN TOPIC: iPad versus Laptop
At a recent party I attended the music was so fun, but I couldn’t find the music player. Turns out the music came from an iPad connected to speakers. It sounded great. But it got me thinking, what’s so great about an iPad anyhow? Okay, it’s cute, the keyboard is right on the screen, you can connect to the internet, and it runs lots of applications and programs. Wait a minute; my laptop can do all that too. But my laptop is not cute, it’s not particularly small, and as laptops go, it’s not light either. So, is that reason enough to plunk down $499 to $699 dollars and buy an iPad?
Practical Application: Here’s How I See It
I bought my Toshiba laptop last spring on sale for $400.00. I won’t bore you with the specs, but it’s full sized with a generous keypad and a separate number pad on the right. It’s easy to see the screen, has plenty of memory, of course it is internet accessible, and I’ve installed excel, PowerPoint, and MS word. I take my laptop everywhere. It goes to the coffee shop and the library where I work on occasion. Right now, I’m on a plane to San Francisco writing this article.
What can the iPad do that my laptop can’t? It can fit in my purse!
PERSONAL FINANCE LESSON
Every decision has an upside and a downside, financially as well as personally. Here’s how I decided NOT to get an iPad.
Personal finance question; I have a laptop, do I need an iPad as well?
Advantages of my laptop over an iPad:
- I saved hundreds of dollars on my laptop purchase due to smart shopping.
- It’s really easy to type on. The screen is large.
- It has lots of functionality and runs all the programs I need.
- Fits in a briefcase for travel.
- Keeps my life simpler by streamlining my technology purchases.
Disadvantages of my laptop over an iPad:
- It is a bit larger and heavier than an iPad making it somewhat more cumbersome.
- It’s not fun or cute.
CONCLUSION: I don’t mind that my laptop weighs a pound or two more and is bulkier than the iPad. In fact, I prefer it, since the screen and keyboard are large. I can work anywhere on a full sized keyboard, with plenty of memory and a USB port. Actually, my laptop meets my needs really well.
My goal is to spend my resources in a way that gives me the most value for the time and money expended. With that goal in mind, I don’t need an iPad!
Was my analysis wrong?
“The iPad is not designed to replace the laptop, but to be used more like a mobile device.” Apple Store sales person.
According to the Apple Store sales person, I should not look at an iPad as a replacement for my laptop, but as an additional device. Well, that solidifies MY DECISION. I have enough electronics as is and although it sure is cute, fun, and convenient; I don’t want an iPad. (Unless someone gave me one for free ).
What do you think? Am I missing any outstanding attributes of the iPad? Is my reasoning sound? How does an iPad fit in with your values?
Get a notebook and label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and keep it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance goals, thoughts, activities, and plans.
- Consider your last purchase(s); are they wants or needs?
- Was the additional clutter in your life, worth the cost?
- Before you make a significant buy, consciously evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the purchase.
Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance across the blogosphere:
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- Carnival of Debt Reduction
- Carnival of Wealth
- Oblivious Investor Round up
- Carnival of Financial Planning
- Retire by Forty
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