It all stated in 2005 with a special gift for our son – an iPod. That was first time we used the description “iBuy” because the nearly $100 device was almost worthless on its own. Unless we already owned the music CD, most of the songs were purchased online for 99-cents at the similarly named iTunes store. The opportunity to buy never ceased. Over the years, I’ve started to see many things qualified as an iBuy – and wondered if people realized the true lifelong costs of these purchases. An Example: Boats! You’ve probably heard: The best two days in the life of a boat owner are the day you buy it & the day you sell it. We watched our friend’s new boat become an iBuy. They had to transport the boat, so they bought a trailer and a different automobile. To get a tag for the boat, they had to show proof that they bought insurance. To make the boating trip, they had to buy the gas, the fishing rods, and life jackets for everyone– plus the cost of bait, beverages, and food for a day on the lake. To get the boat in the water, they paid dock fees. (This is starting to sound like a popular book, If you give a mouse a cookie … ) The purchase price of the boat was only the beginning of a cash stream to use & maintain the boat. Hi-tech iBuys The advancement of technology creates more and more iBuys. Cell phones Remember when cell phones were used for the convenience of calling without finding a payphone? Next, text messaging became nearly standard on cell phones. Then, pictures were transmitted through the air to another cell phone. Finally, the cell phone has become a mini-computer with all sorts of data packages available. A typical big carrier cell phone plan now costs more than any landline plan. iPods next generation MP3 players didn’t stay in the music arena. They expanded into the visual arts of movies and television shows. Consumers are willing to pay for the privilege to watch on a teeny, tiny screen. Electronic readers Kindle, netbooks, and nooks are simply a platform to add on other purchases. Many classic books are available for free, but most books still require a purchase from a select vendor. Some people have purchased the ebook version even if the paper copy sits on the shelf at home. Gaming systems Whether attached to the television or the hand, gaming systems are a big iBuy. Batteries and game cartridges were the additional costs of first generation. The Wii system tempted owners to purchase dance pads, guitars, full bands, driving wheels, and multiple hand-held devices for maximum enjoyment. Television Gone are the days when an antenna pulled in the nightly news. Most locations require a monthly service for cable or dish reception. If you cut the cable cord, Hulu subscription services and Netflix have monthly fees. Low-tech iBuys Our convenience-oriented society loves to pay for disposable items rather than using the already-paid-for tools and items in the house. Everyday use of paper plates & paper napkins Once considered a luxury for picnics and big family gatherings, many households use paper napkins on a daily basis and paper plates on a routine basis. Cloth napkins can easily be tossed in with the towels and don’t create additional laundry costs. Our family picked up a couple dozen from our local Freecycle group when we went green many years ago. Dusting wands A can of Pledge and an old t-shirt were the standard tools of dusting. Now there are special wands to not only help with those hard to reach places in mini-blinds but for general purpose dusting. Every few months, another box of Dusters is added to the shopping cart. One-use hand towels Kleenex is pushing the sanitizing benefits of a pull-down one-use hand towel dispenser for your bathroom like those found in public restrooms. The advertisements shows how easily the container can sit on your empty towel rack. Adding It All Up Everywhere we turn, there are hi-tech and low-tech iBuys creeping into our household spending. Watch out when bringing these things into the household or be prepared for the never ending costs. You’ll save a lot of money by being aware of iBuys! Have you ever been surprised by the total cost of an iBuy? Meet us in the comments! Image by J. Henning Buchholz / Shutterstock Related Articles: What to do with old cell phones? Buy Cheap Cell Phones Online: Amazon Wireless 3 ways to sell your old electronics that are collecting dust Jitterbug Review: A cell phone that is just a phone? How Do You Avoid Cell Phone Bill Overcharges? Google’s Nexus One coming to Verizon (spring 2010) 3 Simple Money Saving Ideas Cherie is a small business accountant with a passion to teach others about personal finance -especially military families through the Financial Peace program. With her son & daughter at college, Cherie enjoys spending time with her husband of 23 years, quilting, and volunteering. The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
Do “iBuys” Lead to More Buying?