Lust, Hunger and Desire

by Adam on August 25, 2010

Update 30 September 2010: Find out what I decided to do after 30 days…

I’m lusting after the Desire. Don’t feel too sorry for me though. It’s only a phone.

It started innocently enough. Yesterday morning regular reader and friend The Other Adam sent an group email to a few of us as he’s decided to get a new phone. A few suggestions came back and I casually googled the phones. And promptly fell in love.

Love at first sight

I’ve had a total of only three mobile phones since my first in 2004,  all of which have been bought with cash and a Pay As You Go arrangement (prepaid phone credit). I’ve always wanted to avoid a monthly bill and didn’t use my phone enough to warrent paying £20+ every month. This plan has worked brilliantly for me over the last six years and avoiding by direct debits and monthly bills it has helped me build my savings by:

But all this is easy to forget as I imagine that huge touch-screen and Android apps…

Justifying New Purchases

If you are to be successful at growing your pennies and reaching goals you have to be mindful of your spending at all times. Even if you’re doing well you can’t relax completely because it can take years to grow your pennies and only seconds to spend them.

You have to be careful with your spending because your mind can quickly start rationalising purchases, regardless of whether they are in your long-term best interests.

For example here’s a few ways I’ve rationalised that I need to get this phone:

  • In the past I’ve not used my phone much but in recent months my usage has increased -I’ve enjoyed catching up with old and new friends and also started using the internet on my phone a lot more.This has been become more costly than originally calculated so if my usage were to stay the same a contract phone would be more economical.
  • I’m a huge advocate for the power and potential of the internet to enrich lives. Through the internet I’ve managed to maintain friendships that may otherwise have faded; heard about amazing opportunies I would have missed; and learnt new things to make  my life better in  many ways – having a web-optimised phone would allow me to embrace this internet revolution more effectively on the move.
  • This phone is highly rated on a number of websites, notably in this review.
  • My current phone has limited memory and limited capacity, and is not as shiny as this new phone -JUST LOOK AT IT!

So there you have it -undeniable proof that this phone is the best.

The 30 Day Test

Of course I’m aware I may be acting a little irrational. The human brain has its limitations and quirks.

If it didn’t no-one would be in debt or have problems growing their pennies over the long term -if it was a simple choice between financial freedom and debt what would choose?

I’m sure I’m not alone in my occasional desire to impulse-buy something that looks appealing. But if you follow your impulses too much you risk not meeting important financial goals (you have them right?).

One interesting idea is that of the 30 Day Test – for every item that is merely a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’  you wait 30 days before reviewing the possible purchase. By giving yourself time to reflect you help to avoid making purchasing decisions you may regret later (and also give yourself a chance to save or cut back on other spending to compensate).

So the 30 day countdown is on and I’ve set a calendar alarm in my possibly soon-to-be- replaced-phone.

One of the fun things about personal finance blogging is being able to have this kind of  discussion about spending decisions that we all have to make but rarely talk about.

What do you think? Will I change my mind in 30 days? Should I get the new phone or stick with the phone I was perfectly happy with until yesterday? Leave a comment!

Update 30 September 2010: Find out what I decided to do after 30 days…

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Hull

Its so shiny 🙂

but I like you 30 day idea Adam, I always find if I can walk away without buying something I rarely go back for it at a later time!!

Adam

Thanks Sarah, it *is* shiny!

You’re right that spending can be emotional and when you give yourself time to reflect by walking away, you are much more likely to find the item less appealing.

That said, I’m only on day 2 and still think it would be a great….time will tell!

sam

Thinking long term. If you go for a web optimised phone like the above. once the initial contract has run out. you can switch to a cheaper sim only deal that includes the internet, however, is far cheaper as it is only the service you are paying for and not the hardware you already have.

Rightly Knightly

Absolutely love the 30 day idea. That had never occured to me and has led to definite regretted purchases.

DO NOT let the shinyness and the fact you are waiting cloud your questions about this though. We need to talk about the pretty fundamental problems the network you’re wanting to choose is having!

Adam

I see your point but if I’m honest my current phone, whilst not web-optimised can do most things online -it just a bit clunky in the user interface and costs money per megabyte. I’ve not come across sim only deals that includes internet but that would be the most frugal option assuming its available.

@Rightly Knightly. 30 days is just an arbitrary number but as spending is such an emotional thing sometimes it helps bring a little clarity. Looking forward to talking network btw.

Sarah Hull

I’m on a sim only deal now, I’ve dropped my contract from £40 a month to £15 woohoo 🙂 but I have had my phone over 18 months and so I’m no longer paying for the handset. It’s a much better option, but it obviously takes a long time to get there. I get the same allowance now as I did on the £40 a month contract which more than covers my usage of the phone/internet etc

Premium Finance

Good read. I think that it is really important that people give importance to their financial status, goals and stability. Definitely a must-read for those who need help.

Jonathan Dolby

Adam why didn’t we talk about this sooner. I have a HTC desire. one play and practice what you preach would possibly be out the window. besides contracts including unlimited internet are on the way out so I suggest sooner rather than later to “invest” in a moviles contract. hope nyc was wicked see you soon blogmiester deluxe

Adam

Great idea Sarah, I hadn’t thought about a sim only deal…
Thanks PF, that’s what MP is here for.
JD – Very cool phone sir. 🙂 I definitely want to have a look when we next meet up. I don’t like the idea of being ‘rushed’ into a purchase because they are phasing out something, but I take your point that its important to be opportunist. NYC was wicked thanks, talk soon.

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