Buy According to Your Needs - Electronics Edition

7 October 2012


I recently had a conversation with my mother while she was admiring my new computer. She liked how it was shiny, glows, and of course... it is new. Suddenly she wanted one. I told her it was a gaming computer, specifically designed for those who use heavy graphic programs that require speed. She retorted saying that it would still do email and browse the web, right? Sure, I told her, but why would you buy a Ferrari to make trips to the grocery store?

I think you know what I am getting at: you should purchase items that suit your needs, not your wants. This is specifically relevant to electronics, where we tend to buy the flashy and new, without thought to what will actually provide for our needs at the smallest cost.


The average user merely uses his/her computer for four things: browsing the internet, emailing, storing their music collection, and sitting on Facebook. You do not need a $1000 computer for that. You could easily use a $300 laptop from Acer, HP or Toshiba. Sure they may be a bit slower, but is a few minutes of speed per day worth an extra $700? I think not.

External Hard Drives:

If your computer has a 500GB hard drive, and your external hard drive is 3TB, are you really going to use up all that memory? Unless you have thousands of high quality photos and music files, Never. Why spend an extra $50 - $100 for space you will never use? You can get a 1TB hard drive for $80. Sure, some argue that it is a better deal to get a bigger hard drive... but is it really a better deal to pay more money for something you will under-use? I don't think so. 1TB is ALOT of space: I have 10,000 high quality photos and over 4k songs... and I haven't even used 1/4 of my 1TB hard drive.


Consider what accessories you need carefully. Laptops are fantastic all-in one units, however, the addition of a mouse can be very useful. Desktops require an external keyboard and mouse, however, do you really need a dedicated monitor? Most towers you can hook up to your TV and use it as an external display these days.

MP3 Players, Cameras vs. Tablets  and Smart Phones

Smart phones and tablets are devices that play double duty, and sometimes triple. Most smart phones come with web browsers, built in music players, and a built in camera. There is no need to own a separate MP3 player or camera when you own a Smart Phone. Tablets are similar devices, minus the calls. They work as a miniature computer and often have a built in camera as well.

If you have a smart phone, you really do not need a separate MP3 player, camera, or even a tablet. If you own a tablet, a simple flip phone should suffice because your tablet will do the rest. There is no need to own multiple devices for the same uses.


Often the new, the shiny, the brand name, and the bright are very tempting. However, in every electronic purchase we make, we should assess our needs and buy accordingly. Sure a tablet is a cool device, but if we already own a Smart Phone, do we really need one? Sure all your friends have a Macbook Pro, but if you are just sitting on Facebook each day, a simple $300 computer vs. a $1229 will do you just as well. And won't it be nice to have that extra $900 in your pocket?

During times of economic downturns we often assess our needs vs. our wants. However, if we do this all the time, even during the good and the plenty, we will have more money saved up for those difficult times.


  • The above Macbook Pro has a 500 GB Hard Drive with 4GB of RAM - Cost: $1229.00
  • The above HP Laptop has a 500 GB Hard Drive with 4GB of RAM - Cost $339.96

1 comment

  • ron
    ok. the computer memory part may be doable, but to always use the tv as ur monitor.... not practical... neither is using a flip phone cause u have a tablet... or not having other electronics cause u have a smart phone == also.. its more practical to buy something that costs more but saves more on the long run. if u have a cheap product that keeps having problems and needs to be repaired + its slower than a snail... it WILL end up to be more expensive... plus... time is money too == its not worth it in my opinion ...

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