We’re taught to value experiences over material things but unless you plan to never leave the house you’re going to need a whole lot of willpower to avoid buying stuff today.

Have you been out window shopping lately?  There are some seriously amazing products and innovations on the market – things that weren’t even around 5 years ago that we now apparently can’t live without.

Related: Why IKEA Is Killing My Finances

I’m guilty of buying stuff that I probably don’t need because I thought it was cool and would add value to my life.  Here are a few examples:

iPhone

I hadn’t been a big fan of Apple products, other than using iTunes to buy the odd album.  My wife got an iPhone a few years ago and I recently switched too after my Blackberry died.  It’s amazing that one device has replaced so many others; phone, camera, computer, watch, video recorder, music player, alarm clock, flashlight, calculator, etc.

I’m fortunate that my employer pays for my phone and monthly plan.  My wife is holding out for the new iPhone 6.  They’re expensive devices, no doubt – the latest iPhone 5s goes for about $700 without a contract, or $229 with a two-year term.

iPad

I bought my wife an iPad for Christmas a few years ago and she loves it.  The tablet has replaced our desktop computer and her laptop – and at $399 it’s less than half the cost.  The nice thing is that it still runs like new, while laptops tend to last 2-3 years at the most.

Related: 6 Fees Worth Paying

Chromecast

I was excited when I heard that Google’s Chromecast would be available in Canada.  Chromecast is a streaming device that plugs into your television via HDMI. From there you can access a number of apps and services, such as Netflix and YouTube, plus you can open up a Chrome tab remotely on your TV and play pretty much anything through the device onto your television.

Big deal, right?  Don’t the new smart TVs do that?  Sure they do, but expect to pay an extra $200 to $300 more for a smart TV.  The Chromecast device costs just $39.

What I like about Chromecast versus other set-top boxes like Roku or Apple TV is that it’s tiny and once you plug it into the back of your TV you’ll never see it again.

GoPro

Chalk this one up as an impulse buy.  All it took was a couple of videos from their YouTube channel and I was hooked.  I wanted to buy the camera after watching someone else’s awesome experience, but the funny thing is that the camera is not going to create those experiences for me – I have to go out and create them myself.

Related: Does Your Spending Need Tending?

So for $300 I got an awesome little camera when I could have spent that money on an amazing adventure that I’d remember for the rest of my life.

Final thoughts

Those are just a few examples of some amazing products that have the potential to bust our budgets if we’re feeling impulsive.  I haven’t even touched on all the tools, gadgets, and appliances that are out there.

We went to a show home the other day that had a gas cook-top where the elements move up and down for easy cleaning.  All the drawers and cupboards were push-to-open.

I don’t recommend visiting new show homes for fun unless you’re ready to buy all new furniture, appliances, or a new house.

Related: I Can’t Afford It

What new gadgets have you recently purchased?


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