#22: Gadgets

This is part of a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index.

Rule #22: Resist the urge to buy the latest computer or other gadget as soon as it comes out. Wait three months and the price will be lower.

This rule is absolutely true, but it often doesn’t really apply to gadget hounds who want the latest and greatest geek toys. Quite often, either the gadget is so popular that the price doesn’t lower (like the iPod, for example) or a new, “better” model comes out that replaces your original desire.

So what is a good gadget geek to do? The best method for buying gadgets and computers with your eye on your wallet is to merge this Money rule with the ten second rule. In essence, you should select your item as soon as it comes out and get ready to buy it, but then pause at the last second. And wait for three months.

This pause has the same effect as the rule above: it causes you to save money on the item as the price will often lower in the next three months. It also has another benefit: it causes you to really think about whether or not you want that specific item or not.

Sometimes, you’ll wind up deciding you don’t really want one after all. Either some obvious product flaws become apparent or your interest simply wanes. Other times, you’ll decide it simply isn’t worth the investment, or a better model has come out.

Of course, if you wait three months and you still want the model you chose at the price it currently sells for, you can buy with renewed confidence, because you’ve just done a complete gut check and passed with flying colors.

So, let’s rewrite this rule.

Rewritten Rule #22: When a new gadget or computer comes out, select the model you would like to buy, then wait three months for the price to lower. If you still want that model, buy it; if not, move on or select a new model and start a new three month wait.

You can jump ahead to rule #23 or jump back to rule #21.

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