The $200 I didn’t spend today

Recently was the Amazon Prime day. An event where Amazon claims they had sales on more items than for black Friday.

For better of for worse, I went to Amazon and had a look at the sales. And it turns out Amazon were having a discount on an item I am willing to buy: The Wonder workshop Dash Robot. It’s a cute little robot that teaches programming to kids. My son fell in love with it when we saw it at a science fair earlier this year. We’ve been thinking about getting him one for Christmas this year.

When my wife saw it was going to be on sale, she told me we might as well buy it now. The toy got discounted from $169 to $135. Not a huge sale, but not too bad either, 20% off. In addition to the toy, you need a compatible tablet with Blutooth support. We unfortunately don’t have that, so looking at their compatibility chart, I hunted down for a matching tablet. The cheapest one ended up being the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. But even a refurbished one would net me around $90, with a total result of $225.

That’s kind of expensive, for a toy that I actually don’t plan on giving my son until December. Even in absolute, that’s an expensive present.

I thought about it for a minute, then decided that the deal wasn’t good enough for me to rush into buying it. I’m confident that buy Black Friday, other deals will surface for the toy. Worst case scenario, I can probably get it refurbished for a similar amount.

These $225 will go directly into my Schwab brokerage account, were they will bring me approximately an additional $10 in interests and benefits by Christmas. Will I find the right combination of toy + tablet for less than $235 ($225 + $10) by then? We’ll see, but I feel this was the right move.

but I'm so cute!

but I’m so cute!

This decision probably sounds like a no brainer to most of you. After all, the present was going to sit in a closet for 6 more months (although I would probably have used the tablet), so why buy it now? But the fact that I was in a mindset of potentially buying the toy reminded me of the myself-from-not-so-long ago. Instant gratification is a powerful feeling, and even though I’m deeply committed to being frugal and saving as much as I can, I still find myself in situations where I want to spend, for no rational reason. I get to look back at the frame of mind most of us are still stuck into, thinking that buying stuff makes us feel happy.

I feel this was a very important experience here, not for the $225 I didn’t spend (again, unless my kid changes his mind, I’ll probably spend that money ultimately), but to be reminded about how easy it is to spend money without thinking about it.

How about you, have you mindlessly bought stuff recently? Did you regret it, or was it worth it? Conversely, have you managed to avoid purchasing some expensive stuff lately?

  1. Steve
    • StockBeard
  2. Our Next Life
  3. Tawcan

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