The Bleeding Edge
With a name like TechyDad, you would think that I’m always getting the latest and greatest technological toys to play with. At one point, this was true. Years back, before I was married and had children, I loved getting new technology. I obtained the first MP3 CD players (mistakenly backing them over their more limited-at-the-time flash-based rivals). I got a DVD player when they were fairly new. I loved upgrading my own computer.
As time passed, however, I fell behind. I began to realize that my money needed to be spent elsewhere. Providing for my family meant using money that might have otherwise gone to technological toys. I still loved technology, but I became a bit more conservative in my purchases.
Today, I find myself falling behind the curve. My laptop is over five years old and the screen flickers so much that I can’t see anything unless it is angled just right. (Where "just right" is at an angle that I can barely read it.) It is a serious strain on my productivity, but I find myself hesitating over buying a new one. After all, money spent on a new piece of technology is money that could be spent on other things my family needs. (Even though I earned more than enough for a new laptop from a recent freelance project.)
Furthermore, our TV in our living room is a standard definition set. While everyone else watches high definition programs, we are keeping our standard definition set until it dies. We have an HD set in our bedroom only because the standard definition one there died a couple of years ago.
It can be hard at times. That old love of technology still runs strong in me. Part of me longs to get every piece of shiny new tech to play with. The other part of me realizes that doing so would cost more money than we can afford. So I must get my technological fix in small doses and find innovative ways of spreading my "tech dollars" such as focusing on cool freeware.
How do you balance budget and a love of technology?
NOTE: The "tech scales" image above is made of "Scales of Justice" by johnny_automatic, "Dollar Symbol in 3D" by vijayrajesh, "Cartoon Computer and Desktop" by DTRave, "HDTV" by jgm104, and "Smartphone (English Version)" by zorro. All of these images are available via OpenClipArt.org.