Canadian Money Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,061 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have a small house that we like to keep spare and uncluttered, so the general rule here is "if something new comes in, something old has to go out." We're not super-strict about it, but the idea that we need to think about what to get rid of in order to make room for a new purchase acts as an effective brake on impulse buys.

However, I've noticed that this rule has encouraged me to shift my frivolous purchases to ones that don't take up any physical space. I'm nowhere in the same league as the guy Steve Jobs mentioned in one of his talks, who purchased $20,000 worth of music in the iTunes store during the first year the store was open. But I just checked my purchases, and since the iTunes Store opened in Canada in 2004 I've bought nearly 500 songs. That represents $500, and actually the total is more than that because I've also bought three or four movies and a dozen or so apps for my iPod Touch. I was contemplating getting a Kindle but have decided against it because it's just too easy to download new books.

I find it a lot easier to talk myself out of purchases when it involves a physical object that will take up space. Does anyone else find their discipline of frugality tested by the temptation of digital downloads?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Yes! I find it so easy to justify intangible purchases - especially at itunes. It is so easy to rationalize one song at a time when they only cost $.99 or $1.29. But they add up. Like you, I have spent over $500 at itunes over the years. When someone asks me what I want as a gift, I suggest an itunes gift card so they can help support (enable) my habit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,936 Posts
brad:

>We have a small house that we like to keep spare and uncluttered, so the general rule here is "if something new comes in, something old has to go out." We're not super-strict about it, but the idea that we need to think about what to get rid of in order to make room for a new purchase acts as an effective brake on impulse buys.

Great strategy! FWIW, I do the exact same thing. Works well. When I am running out of shelving what I do is take a critical look at the contents and see what I can sell.

>However, I've noticed that this rule has encouraged me to shift my frivolous purchases to ones that don't take up any physical space. ...I find it a lot easier to talk myself out of purchases when it involves a physical object that will take up space. Does anyone else find their discipline of frugality tested by the temptation of digital downloads?

No! Reason? I use slow internet. Benefit #1 is the huge monthly cost savings and benefit #2 is the one you describe. Now, I'm no hermit. I know what I'm missing and decide to live without it in electronic form. Instead, I spend a few dollars buying a physical DVD or CD (usually on ebay) when I really want that song or movie. I buy few, so the cost savings are enormous!

At the end of the month I've saved a bundle this way. Also not ever owning a cell phone has left thousands $ more in my pocket that would be in the pockets of the rich now.

Thinking for yourself and not following every electronic trend can have huge payoffs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,061 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
No! Reason? I use slow internet.
Ah, that would be a great strategy for me except that I work at home and need at least DSL speed. When I lived in Vermont I tried working with a dialup connection and it just wasn't practical, especially with the large files that I often work with (multi-megabyte PDFs of graphic layouts, etc.)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
We have a small house that we like to keep spare and uncluttered, so the general rule here is "if something new comes in, something old has to go out." We're not super-strict about it, but the idea that we need to think about what to get rid of in order to make room for a new purchase acts as an effective brake on impulse buys.
Love this idea! I may speak to my hubby about it when he's back in town.

I find it a lot easier to talk myself out of purchases when it involves a physical object that will take up space. Does anyone else find their discipline of frugality tested by the temptation of digital downloads?
Not really... I won my iPod nano via my workplace or else I would probably have never purchased one. I get audiobooks from the library - it's so easy, just download them from online, put in requests for books that are currently "checked out".. Plus I found when I transfer the books to my iPod they never expire for some reason. I listen to audiobooks while I work out at the gym on my lunch hours, it's great!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,892 Posts
Haven't really noticed this personally (I go by the 1 year rule, if I haven't used it in 1 year its out!), but you could buy an itunes gift card, and use that as your annual itunes budget.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
419 Posts
I tried the 1 year rule and found that I would throw something out after a year, then I would need it again and have to re buy!:mad:

3 year rule works better for me.

I like the digital age. Sure it is easier to download but if it makes you happy then why not?

Frugal is not doing without something, it is getting things you need/want at a good value, at least thats how I see it.

If you think about it we really dont need anything. We can all live in sod homes, grow are old food, milk our own cows, and churn our own butter. We can heat our grass home with wood we cut, and help out ma, and pa with the chores.

I dont know about you but little house on the prairie looks like it would suck *** in real life.

I say if 500 or whatever in itunes downloads makes you happy, and adds to the enjoyment of life then why not?

Of course if you are going into debt to do so then that is another matter.

If the bills are covered, and you can save some money for a rainy day then go ahead and splurge.

For me the trick is to avoid things like car dealerships, show homes, and music stores (instruments not recorded music).

You cant miss what you dont have if you dont know what you cant have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,061 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I say if 500 or whatever in itunes downloads makes you happy, and adds to the enjoyment of life then why not?
Oh, I totally agree, but I had a few shocks this year when I ran my 2009 expense category reports in Quicken and saw how much money I spent on things I didn't really need and don't use (or in the case of iTunes songs, listen to) very much. (For one thing, this reminded me that I need to run those reports every month instead of waiting until the end of the year, so I can make mid-course corrections!)

I am totally with the idea of buying things that make you happy, but I want to approach it mindfully, the same way I approach larger purchases (which I usually spend a few weeks researching to make sure I get what I want and at a fair price). I just think that digital downloads are so easy and so tempting that it's easy to consume them the same way you might consume an entire bag of potato chips or Oreos while you're working and not paying attention.

I fully intend to keep downloading music I want from iTunes; I haven't bought a CD in a few years and am happy to not have the clutter. But the idea of buying myself an iTunes gift card and using that as my annual budget to keep me in check is a brilliant idea...I'm going to do that.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
23 Posts
Sorry old post but I'm new here...

Do any of you use Torrents for movies/books/music or IceFilms for movies? Or is that out of the questions because it's not totally legal?

If that's the case I signed up for Zip.ca and I couldn't be more happy with there service. I found it on MDJ thanks to Frugal Trader, $10/month and I get 1 movie out at a time, unlimited for the month. So basically works out to a new Blu-Ray rental per weekend for $10/month. Which is nice since I picked up at HD TV on boxing day a 2 years ago and a Sony PS3 for blu-rays last year on boxing day.

So as you can see that's also my spending habits for my big 'want' purchases. Next year will be a surround sound system. Helps me control my spending on things I don't need but really enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Sorry old post but I'm new here...

Do any of you use Torrents for movies/books/music or IceFilms for movies? Or is that out of the questions because it's not totally legal?

If that's the case I signed up for Zip.ca and I couldn't be more happy with there service. I found it on MDJ thanks to Frugal Trader, $10/month and I get 1 movie out at a time, unlimited for the month. So basically works out to a new Blu-Ray rental per weekend for $10/month. Which is nice since I picked up at HD TV on boxing day a 2 years ago and a Sony PS3 for blu-rays last year on boxing day.

So as you can see that's also my spending habits for my big 'want' purchases. Next year will be a surround sound system. Helps me control my spending on things I don't need but really enjoy.
I use Torrents all the time. We occasionally go to the theatres for a *date* night or with other couples.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,647 Posts
I think TV/CDs/movies are too expensive. I dl torrents of stuff I wouldn't buy anyways and if I like it I buy it/support them/go to concerts etc. I think I have pretty solid ethics but dl'ing doesn't bother me, but it's hard to explain. I hope to see more pay-as-you-go competition like iTunes and Apple TV. I'm happy to pay a fair price for what I use

So as you can see that's also my spending habits for my big 'want' purchases. Next year will be a surround sound system. Helps me control my spending on things I don't need but really enjoy.
Please consider buying 2 tower speakers and a suitable amp if you're going to buy a home-theater-in-a-box or heaven forbid Bose. They make my ears bleed and my wallet cry. (Or alternatively 2 bookshelf speakers and add a sub, surround later if you want)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
23 Posts
Please consider buying 2 tower speakers and a suitable amp if you're going to buy a home-theater-in-a-box or heaven forbid Bose. They make my ears bleed and my wallet cry. (Or alternatively 2 bookshelf speakers and add a sub, surround later if you want)
Bose is out of the question. If I wanted to spend that much money I would get something even better quality. All I'm looking for is something with an amp/speakers/sub, since when watching movies my flat screen rumbles and shakes like it's having a seizure when the sound is turned up.

Mode - I agree I DL stuff I would normally not buy or sometimes just to check out first but then have bought for better quailty. I have also purchased a external hard drive (good in case I drop my laptop again) for storing movies and material (also a boxing day buy @ half price).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
My husband is the downloader in our family. To the tune of over 200 GB per month. We have 3 hard drives to store this stuff.

On another interesting note I was reading the other day about digital hoarders lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,061 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Speakers are not "inconspicuous consumption," but I'd put in a plug here for Audioengine if you're looking for something for your computer or home theater system:

http://audioengineusa.com/

I use the Audioengine A2 speakers for my computer and iPod, and everyone is amazed at the sound quality from those little speakers; you don't even need subwoofers with these unless you're an adolescent who demands ultra-boomy bass ;) I bought them after reading a review on an audiophile site, where they gave them their highest rating. They're optimized for playing MP3 and other compressed audio formats.

For a home theater system where you're not playing compressed audio, the A5 is probably a better bet coupled with the A8 sub. These are all powered speakers, so no need for a separate amp.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
23 Posts
I left out some info...

I was relating your online iTunes purchases with my online purchases. For me, as long as I have planned to spend that money and put it aside, then it doesn't really matter if I spent $500 on iTunes over 6 years. One way that I justify these purchases for me is by selling somethings on eBay every once in a wile before I buying something online. It gives me a reserve in my Paypal account. It also let's me think it over really good a head of time because I find spending money online is much to easy for me compared to physically being in the store.

500 in iTunes songs is actully a savings considering if you were to buy the physical albums of those songs.

So if you enjoy it then do it! $100/year on iTunes is what I would consider a cheap self indulgence.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top