Monday, September 28, 2009

The Mini is No More: A Lesson in Impulse Purchasing

Last week I had a minor break with reality and decided to buy an HP netbook (aka The Mini) on a whim. Nevermind that I am planning to buy an iPhone a couple weeks later. It was cute as a button and I just HAD to have it. It was shades of immediate gratification past and I just went for it. As the Cute Man pointed out, it’s not like I haven’t been talking about getting a laptop for awhile now. So why not? The CM certainly meant well and he was right in theory. However, the devil’s in the details. I don’t do so well when I don’t carefully research large purchases. Buyer’s remorse is a bitch.

I got that cutie home and fired it up. I even did some organizing/cleaning to make room for it on the bookshelf that serves as my catch-all space in the living room. The CM helped me connect it to our wireless network and my anticipation was building. And then…. nothing. The darned thing wouldn’t load a page! It would do so when connected with a hardline, albeit at an agonizingly slow pace, but it’s a freaking netbook, it needs to work wirelessly. Poor CM in his infinite patience trouble-shooted his little heart out, all to no avail.

Enter, heart-wrenching buyer’s remorse. I was glad to see that I could return it when I checked the receipt. I’d likely have to pay a 15% “restocking fee”, but it’s better than keeping a useless item, right? All the same, I hemmed and hawed, hating to lose what would amount to $50.00 in an idiot tax. But knowing I’d have my beloved iPhone next week helped me make the decision. And what would you know… the thing was actually truly defective. They couldn’t get it to connect to the internet in the store, either! So, no restocking fee. It’s like it never happened! Except that I learned another lesson in what not to do.

Sure, I’d like to have a small laptop to use here and there. It would be good for doing work if ever I need to do so away from the office (not a regular thing in my life so really not a good enough reason), but for 9/10 things I’d use it for, the iPhone will more than compensate. And that’s not even taking into account that the iPhone will be another major purchase, the planning for which should have stopped me from dropping that unexpected cash. But that’s all water under bridge and I will return to my gun-shy frugal ways, having paid my penance in some serious angst (but not in cash, thank goodness).


Mama Youtz said...

Ha! Idiot tax, around here we call it Stupid Tax. In awe of your discipline Amelia. We have to get together soon! I miss you friend!!!


Hey, Dina! Thanks :) My discipline is a bit shot these days but I’m trying to get it back. Just give me a call or hit me on FB. We’ll make it happen!