Sunday, June 9, 2013

Timely Frugality

Today I returned the Laptop I purchased (still in the unopened box).  The processor was not fast enough and as I researched my "need for speed", I discovered my existing laptop is processor bound.  The speed of your computer is an intricate dance between processor (CPU) speed, memory, Internet speed (and caching), hard drive RPM, and then detail stuff like instructions per cycle, DRR SDRAM memory (Double data rate synchronous dynamic random-access memory) - DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, solid state hard drives etc.  Your computer may even be slow because of some pesky virus.

There is no one answer to what will make your computer go faster - but the usual best starting point is a fast processor and then memory  (caching solves a lot of speed problems).  E.W convinced me that the Intel i5 chip is the best place to start.

So, in this case, waiting to open the box (and doing some analysis) created the equivalent of deferral of the purchase decision. I have found that frugality starts with eliminating the "spur of the moment" purchase decision.  So when you are in the store, using will power to say "I'll think about it and next time I return I'll buy it" will 9 times out of 10 prevent a purchase.  While I could not resist this spontaneous purchase of a laptop, the mere event of not opening the box right away allowed me to analyze the trade off of immediate loss of cash with the need or fulfillment of desire.

Another way to justify purchase deferrals is the "need" to optimize on price, value or just perform comparative analysis.  So my need to analyze processor speeds created the obstacle (paradox of choice) of picking the right laptop for my needs.  It also provided time to understand the cost/benefit of just "status quo" - using my existing laptop until it is no longer usable.

Time is the ally of the frugal consumer.


No comments:

Post a Comment