Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Plasma Persecution

I want a plasma tv!

You're probably wondering what wanting a plasma tv has to do with personal finance? Well, a lot actually. It relates to our spending habits, our wants vs needs, instant gratification, savings, budgeting etc.

I want a plasma tv and i want one bad! I have wanted one for a very long time, and thus far have been able to resist the urge to buy one. What this really comes down to for me is a need vs want. Do i need a nice new high-def large screen plasma tv? No. Do i want one? Yes!

Now there are several different ways to look at this. I watch tv and enjoy watching movies, so having a new big plasma would add value to something i enjoy. Plus the tv I have now is an old 27" CRT that doesn't have a great picture, but it gets the job done. On the other hand, if i bought the tv then it would be just a matter of time before i would be wanting the new sound system to go with it. Instead of looking at the $2500 for the new tv, my cost would balloon to who knows how much (I like to buy good quality stuff, not low end cheap stuff). I do have money sitting in an account (got the saving part right) which i could use to pay for the tv, so i wouldn't have to put it on credit. That money is for investments though and not meant for pleasure purchases.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is having the self discipline to not buy a new high-def plasma and use that money for investments instead. One possible solution to my dilemma would be to put aside, say, $100/mth until i can pay for the tv. That would take a long time though (instant gratification - another thing we all struggle with). What i am really scared of, is that i will one day break down and buy the tv even though my money is for investments and i don't really need a new tv. I have made it this long without buying one, so I'm hoping i have the will power to resist.

To say this isn't tormenting me would be a lie. I just hope I'm not on here next week having to admit that i gave into my wants and instant gratification urge. Wish me luck, i think I'm gonna need it!

In case you're interested, this is the tv I'm looking at.

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