This is a very brief guide for tech consumers based on lessons learned in my personal experience and observation. Take whichever tips you feel resonate with you personally. Of the tech purchases I regret, I can typically classify them in one of a few categories.
Most products with additional costs
Food sealers, electric toothbrushes and such seem great until you realize that you need to constantly spend money on “cartridges”. Also, consider additional costs of time. This is where many kitchen appliances become dust-collectors. Many people simply don’t consider appliances worth the time to clean after each use and continually move around to conserve limited kitchen space.
Novelties that aren’t as useful as we think
Many of the purchases which have burned my wallet were of gadgets which I never owned anything similar to before. They seemed like a really good new idea that I wanted to try out, but ultimately, they end up collecting dust. Usually, these are cookware items like the infamous bread machine (or most items from As Seen on TV). Currently, I’m hesitant on buying a smartwatch. At this point, I’d rather wait a year or two and see if they become commonly adopted, or whether they were just decent novelties which don’t do anything more than a smartphone in your pocket can. When I invest money into a new type of product, I like to have some assurance (based on my history) that I can legitimately fit that new product into my daily lifestyle.
The first release of a new gadget
Usually, when a new type of product comes out, two things tend to be true. First, it’s very pricy because people are willing to pay top dollar for innovation. Second, the specs on those products tend to not be very good. The original iPad is a perfect example $600 for a tablet which has a low resolution and weak specs. The bump from the original iPad’s 760p resolution and the later iPads’ 1500p resolutions is significant. Of course, all tech ages, but even the iPads which came in the following few years would at least be usable by today’s standards.
Too many gadgets that do different things.
Instead of buying an entry-level portable camera, a calculator, and a lot of other small devices which do specialized tasks, just instead invest that money into a good smartphone that can quickly run any of those tasks and more.
Too many gadgets that do the same thing.
For example, buying several tablets or buying all 3 gaming consoles each generation. I know people who have bought several cheap tablets because they were affordable at the low-range. To each their own, but it makes little sense to me because you can’t use them all at once. Instead of buying one similar product to compensate for another, just buy one really good product so you won’t need the others.
Cheaping out on a daily driver.
If you are buying a machine that you plan on using every day, it’s a bad idea to go cheap on it. If you’re buying a shaving razor for daily use, you would probably want one that can actually give you a good shave. Allocating money proportionately to the devices you spend the most time on is smart. If you held off on buying clutter you didn’t need, you could buy a great $300 smartphone instead of an outdated $150 phone. If you are using a laptop as your main device for school, work and entertainment, definitely get a really good $800-1000 one with good specs/display/battery instead of a budget one. It sounds like a lot to spend, but a few extra hundred dollars will probably go further than buying a collection of cheap gadgets which you spend less time on.