Big Ticket Items? No Problem!

I love big ticket items. What’s not to love? I mean, usually, they change the way you live your life. To me, that is the definition of a big ticket item. Oh, and they cost a lot of money. Any one item over $100 is, to me at least, a big ticket item.

Why $100? Well, although I now earn a salary, there was a time back in the 1980’s when I was paid based on an hourly wage. When you’re paid $4/hour and you want to buy a $100 Sony Walkman (yes, the yellow one), you quickly realize that it is the equivalent of 25 hours of work. In fact, it was about 30 hours of work, if you count taxes. For me, this gadget I wanted to buy had to change the way I lived, if I was essentially going to spend the equivalent of 30 hours of work (30 hours I would never get back!) on it. In the end, since I loved music, and could now listen to music on the bus, when walking to work, or on my way to school, it was an easy decision to make. I bought the Sony Walkman. I had it for 3 weeks, loaned it to a friend, who promptly had it stolen while playing a game of Gauntlet at the arcade.

This sad turn of events in no way discouraged me from buying big ticket items. But it made me cautious. Friends couldn’t be trusted (I jest, I jest). In any case, it did teach me that I had to be sure that whatever it was I was buying was going to be worth both the money I had, and the time I had invested in earning that money.

Now $100 in 2013 is not exactly lots of money. But I’ve kept that amount as my barometer despite inflation. It forces me to consider carefully what I want to buy. When in doubt, I pull back and consider every angle. Take a laptop for instance. Jen and I are looking at buying one. I could have walked into any Future Shop and simply picked one up for $400. But I need to know all sorts of things before I can do that. Will this laptop be an improvement on our old desktop? Will it improve Jen’s ability to work from home? Will it be good for the next four years? Ultimately, will it change the way Jen and I, and the kids, live our lives AND will it be worth the time it took Jen and I to earn the money we will use to pay for it? Answering these questions are the key on deciding whether to spend big bucks and buying big ticket items.

Find out what Jen has to say on spending money.

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One Response to “Big Ticket Items? No Problem!”

  1. Big ticket items are also my husband’s field of expertise. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that he enjoys the shopping so much. Spreadsheets! Web searches! Review reading! Flyer scanning! It’s like a side hobby – he gets a gleam in his eye every time something electronic in the house breaks :).

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