It’s a common misnomer that we as Americans spend too much money, and the cure to our overspending and wasteful consumption is to simply spend less money. Sometimes the answer is a bit more complicated in that we need to actually spend more wisely. Consider the tactics used by one of the largest companies in the world, Apple. I actually think that companies hires geniuses from the bottom up, while Steve Jobs was a technical and marketing saavy guy, he also knew how to hire the right people. Their executive team knows that innovation is the key to keeping loyal customers and increasing revenue. They also know that derivative products are another smart, and slightly easier way of driving up revenue as well. Think about the many versions of the iPads, and iPhones that have been out over the last few years. I truly think there is genius behind each product, but each new version is only moderately different than the one before. This often leaves me pondering the question, couldn’t they have just delayed the last launch by a month and added all those features together? The answer is yes, but then the would only have one product to sell instead of two. Again, most of us fall into the trap of wanting the latest and greatest things.
The above example is exactly what I mean by learning to spend wisely! I bought my XBOX360 several years, it is actually much cheaper now than it was then, but I also have gotten 5 fun filled years out of my gaming machine. There haven’t been any significant upgrades or a new machine in quite some time. This to me was a purchase well worth my money, and the return on my investment (FUN) was paid back 10 fold. Now had I purchased the the iPad that came out a year or two ago, I wouldn’t have the capability of mobile internet like the newest version has. To me that is a significant change. I could’ve spend several hundred dollars on a product that would have only left me feeling wanting for the newest one a year later.
The summation of my long winded rant is that we don’t need to buy the newest iPod, a brand new car every year, a complete home remodel every couple years, etc… sometimes we need to consider the impact of buying these items, and if they are simply derivative products we could do without this time around.