Can buying used or new affect our happiness level?

This post is in response to a post I read here: Budgets Are Sexy: Being Happy = Being Happy

What makes you happy? Is it buying the newest tech gadgets? Is it going out to eat or drink at the busy restaurants/bars that everyone else are at? Is it getting that shiny new car every couple years no matter the payment? 

My goal here is to try to find lower cost alternatives that would create just as much fun as their counterparts.

One thing you have to know about me is that I am a tech junkie. I love technology and always want to have my hands on any amount of it that I can. I frequently read about it, post news about it on my social media accounts and just get energized by using it everyday. I’m not always cutting edge, but I do get to use most devices and get to use them on the cheap! Here is my story about how I purchased my iPad.

When I bought my iPad Air, it was after the newer one came out and the price of my iPad Air went on sale by $100. I had been mulling over whether or not to purchase this tablet (the tablet that I am writing this post on) for almost 3 years! I had gone into the store almost 5 times with my wife to purchase this tablet and everytime, she talked me down. SHE talked me down!!! Most of you are probably thinking, “just don’t take your wife to get those things”, but I feel that I wouldn’t be making the right decision with our family money if I didn’t get her on board. Well, I waited and waited for my opportunity to buy my iPad until finally I had saved up enough of my own “blow money” and was able to just purchase it. You see, every other time I was trying to purchase it before I had enough money saved to buy it outright out of my own money. My wife saw my childish want and didn’t give into me. What felt great? The fact that now I use this thing all the time and I have no amount of guilt or resentment over how I purchased it. Plus, I got it for a nice $100 off the retail price it was just a few days prior when I purchased it. 

So, do you have to have the most elaborate things to be happy? I don’t see why you would. I know that I am making more of an effort to try to buy secondhand for bigger savings and try not to want the latest and greatest all the time because I have found that it is a sad path to run down. Instead of that new shiny making me happy for a year or two, I was finding that I would just be trying to compare the latest and greatest with what was next to come. Not only that, but I was paying top dollar for those items and it was wrecking my financial future by stealing away savings/investments/kid’s college funding. 

Another example of a time when I felt I did a good job of keeping things in check is when I bought my 2001 Ford Escape for cash! Man, I love my SUV! We were looking around to upgrade from our 1992 Honda Accord that we had had for about 8 years but didn’t want to spend a fortune. 

So, the next time you want to go out and buy something new, just check out what is available to you and how much cost is associated with what you are purchasing versus one or two steps down. 

So this post has been a little bit about things I have purchased and how I was frugal while still allowing these things to drive some level of happiness. The main thing here though is that these things aren’t the main cause for my happiness, but do add a little to it. Would I still be happy without an iPad? Of course. Could I have gone another year without purchasing another vehicle? Maybe.  By buying these products while they were a deal (not paying retail) I think I am able to have a little fun while not flushing my financial future down the toilet. 

What are some things that you have bought in the past that you thought would bring you happiness, but, ultimately didn’t? What are some things that you got a great deal on instead of buying the retail counterpart and still got the same amount of happiness from? Let me know below!


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