23 February 2011


Today, our big screen TV arrived.  It's our first one ever... up till now, we've had my husband's old 27" CRT television in our living room.  Yes, we only have one TV and yes, we like it that way.  As a matter of fact, we're probably moving the old TV into our guest bedroom after today.  But as I sit here staring at this very expensive box in my living room (DH isn't home from work yet to set it up and connect it to every other device in the house... not that I couldn't, but it makes him happy), I can't help but realize that it represents a lot of our financial values.

  • Pay using money you have today, not money you hope that you will have tomorrow
    • We used the first of our new rental income after it was deposited.
  • Get something extra for your purchase
    • We paid using a rewards card (which we paid off immediately!) to get a gift certificate.
  • Pay the least possible
    • We watched the price fluctuate for a year and bought at the second lowest price we've seen.
  • Prioritize spending
    • We put off buying until our other priorities were met.
  • Buy exactly what you want
    • We did research and bought what we wanted.  No buyers' remorse for inferior quality!

You see, my husband has wanted this TV for three years.  That's a long time to put off a purchase that we've actually been able to afford for most of that time. But we decided that it was more important to use our "extra" money to pay down debt.  So why now?  One, we finally rented our house out and we agreed that 3 months' rent could purchase a TV and the rest of the contract went to debt payoff.  Since the rent money is income we didn't have before, we were both comfortable with this arrangement.  Two, the price has dropped considerably in the last three months (it's last year's model).  And three, it felt like the right time.  That sounds a little wishy-washy, but finances are a head game as much as they are logic.

Three years ago, it felt irresponsible to spend this much on one item.  This month, we knew we could afford it, it was what we wanted, it was down in price, and it was no longer an impulse buy.  That lets us enjoy it without dreading the credit card bill (and I must re-emphasize, already paid) or feeling guilty.  Personal finance is about what works for you.

Have you ever made a purchase that seemed externally out of line with your priorities?  How did you make your decision to buy?  Did you regret it or enjoy it?


  1. Yay!!! Way to go, on so many counts!

  2. good for you guys on all counts!

    the way we got around the 3 year wait for the big screen tv was by me saying "it's your money honey" and Tom buying it for himself before we were officially engaged to be married. we still had separate bank accounts and separate financial situations. i did make sure he knew he was getting something he'd enjoy for a long time though.

    the only other purchase we've made that seemed higher than it needed to be was our new car. but it was definitely a necessary purchase, it wasn't completely impulsive, and we were able to pay the full amount without financing. and all those positives are just icing on the cake since we absolutely love the car!