Thursday, June 14, 2007

Consuming

I mentioned in a previous post that I was such a consumer whore and Kara (who must be getting really near to exploding at this point) pointed out that my consumer knowledge was fairly helpful and should be used on the blog more often.

I always feel a touch guilty about my consumer ways. Consider it a lingering consequence of spending four years with a student newspaper. Plus I've read enough articles and spoken to enough people to realize that rampant consumerism isn't always the best thing for the world in general.

But I'm a weak man. I like the occasional nice thing. It's not out of control, by any stretch. I don't have a lot of useless things or buy things in some sort of insane contest to top my neighbours. I like my books. I like the odd cool electronic gadget. And I would like to own a Mini Cooper. But I don't need the best in clothes or food or furnishings. Not that I have any place to put them in our apartment anyway.

But Kara is right about something...I'd probably make a pretty decent consumer reporter. Before I buy anything big ticket I do just a retarded amount of research first. Furthermore, I kind of enjoy it.

The digital camera I got for my birthday had about two months of research prior to its purchase. I combed over a dozen review sites and Consumer Reports before deciding the Pentax was the right one for me. The TV set was about two months of the same thing. Back in 2001, when I had to buy a car for work, I spent about six months researching before settling on the Cavalier.

And I've done similar things for computers, iPods and other expensive items. I think I probably get it from my dad, who tends to do similar things when he's getting ready to buy things. The theory being spend the time and money and get it right, rather than doing something spontaneous and probably making a mistake.

Those kinds of purchases normally end up being trouble. Cathy has been astonished more than once to see me walk into a store and clearly want to buy something, but leave because I haven't done enough comparative shopping and research. You overpay or don't get the right features when you do a spontaneous purchase. And if you're going to spend all that money, be smart about it.

Dad likes to say he isn't cheap, he just hates to waste money. Take that as you will, but it's obviously something I've picked up from him.

Which is all well and good and I think is a useful trait to have. But the most expensive thing I've ever bought is a car and that just about drove me mad. I can only imagine what's going to happen when we try to buy a house. Cathy's going to have to have me committed. Or killed. One of the two.

But in the meantime, if you need advice on buying something like a camera or computer, just ask. Hell, even if it's something else and I don't know much about it, I can probably point you in the right direction.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

your dads a smart man!

Kara and Matt said...

Thanks Consumer Whore! We went for the 30gig ipod. But no speakers. We found a doo-hickey that allows us to hook the ipod into our surround sound in the house. And yes, I am about to explode! 2 more weeks to go!