In our lives, we can find ourselves buying a lot of stuff. We buy groceries, gas for our cars, electricity for our homes, and yet a lot of us still find a lot of spare cash to buy things that are for all intents and purposes very expensive paper weights. In this case, I'm talking about big ticket items, small ticket items, and generally anything that we spend money on and only use a few times. In my own case I'm talking specifically about things such as my Xbox One.
Where the purchase was initially made because I thought that it would provide a good hours of entertainment, it instead has become a $450 paper weight that is effectively used for the same purpose as a $100 Apple TV display unit. Granted, I thought initially that I would be using the Xbox One for a more gaming oriented goal but that has seldom been the case. 99% of the time that I have spent on that thing since I have purchased it has been streaming video or watching DVDs one it. It's hardly what I paid the difference in price for.
It has gotten me to thinking that if there is one thing in our apartment that is utterly useless for its original intent, there are probably others. A short look around my apartment proved that I was right.
Hello Galaxy Tab 3 that I used for maybe a week.
Hello harmonicas that I gave up on after a few short weeks.
Hello 42 beer glasses that were bought at a pint night that became mere decorations.
Granted, a lot of the items that I found that fell into the category were hardly very expensive. However, when you add them up they become a pretty nasty number that could have been used in much more productive ways. Whether I ended up using that money on more investing or something more humanitarian, the bigger picture is that it was ultimately a waste of money that could have been used for something greater than momentary satisfaction. That being said, I think that it's a possibility that we all have a few of these items in our houses.
I write this post as a reminder to myself and all of us that run into this problem that the next time we think about buying something that we believe we will use, we should spend more time thinking about how we will actually use something and weigh it out first. Step back from it for a few moments, days, weeks, and then if you still come back to it, the dream of owning it must at least be worth the try. I put the harmonicas of mine into this category. Although they were purchased for me by my wife because she knew that I had been wanting some for quite some time to try to learn, they were a piece that I would not have known I would put down and forget about without at least trying. Sometimes things sound good for a very long time (in the harmonica case, a few years) but still end up failing to prove themselves useful. That's okay but if we can at least minimize it by thinking longer about something before buying it, that should at least limit some of these items from building up.