Sunday, March 1, 2009

I want to spend money

I'm extraordinarily lucky for numerous reasons. I'm safe, happy, and healthy for starters. And to put the icing on the cake, I'm employed doing a job that I actually enjoy.

Every morning on my way to work at this job that I enjoy, I listen to news stories about the economic woes. People are unemployed, and even if they have jobs, they aren't spending money. What can I do to help? Well spend money, clearly. I'm not exactly rolling in dough, and I was raised by very frugal parents. But my boyfriend and I do go out to eat once or twice a week, we're going on a 12 day vacation, we're doing our part.

But I decided I wanted more. It was time for me to make a big purchase - my very first TV. After all, I'd be helping the economy, and prices are pretty danged good right now...

I'm not a martyr with no screens in the house. I'm currently using the TV my boyfriend bought with his snow shoveling money when he was 12 years old. It's 19 inches - not too shabby! - but it is 15 years old. Prior to that, I was using my grandmother's old 17 inch TV, even after it was flooded in 8 inches of water (the sound is a little fuzzy now). My DVD player is one of the first ones that ever came out, and came free courtesy of my dad's previous job. I also have a 3 year old laptop (with a line down its display), my work laptop, an iPhone, and a Wii from Craig's List.

But man oh man, I wanted a flat screen LCD TV, at least 32 inches, 1080p, and a decent contrast ratio.

But I couldn't find one anywhere, at least in my price range. It's been a month. Target hasn't gotten a shipment of TVs since before the Superbowl. BestBuy only has humongo TVs in stock way out of my price range Kmart didn't have any nice ones. Circuit City's going out of business "bargains" were nothing of the sort. Walmart (yes I even tried there) was way out of stock.

I wanted to spend ~$800, and can't find anyone to sell me a decent flat screen TV that hasn't gotten terrible reviews! There's three possibilities:
  1. People are continuing to spend money they don't have, this time on TVs.
  2. The economy's not actually that bad, at least in the Boston area.
  3. The economy's so bad that TV manufacturers stopped making and shipping TVs, and/or retailers have stopped ordering stock for their shelves.
I tend to think it's #3, but likely it's a combination of all three factors.

For now, I'm just sitting on the $800 bucks. I'd rather have the TV, esp. since my ING DIRECT savings account is just getting 1.35% interest right now. I could go online to get it... but I tend to think I'll put in the order and it won't be fulfilled!

Perhaps instead of sitting on the $800, I should invest it in one of these TV companies. What do you think?

Related Posts: Sock it to the Holidays; Emergency Christmas; Penny Pinchin' Times; MEFA: down and out
This communication is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute investing advice or a recommended course of action.


Krystle said...

I say get the TV. You enjoy watching it, you are spending money and putting it back into the system, therefore a win-win situation.

Casey said...

Yeah I would get a TV... if I could find one!!!! I have to order it online.

John R said...

LG - 32" 1080p Flat-Panel LCD HDTV, Sony - BRAVIA XBR 32" Class 1080p Flat-Panel LCD HDTV! I went with 32" Toshiba.

Anonymous said...

I too have tried to find a TV. Same as you Best Buy, no stock, Circuit City prices are still above everyone else, nothing at Target. I finally decided to order mine online. Now I am just waiting. Don't know what the holdup is now, truck has been sitting in OH for the past 2 days not going anywhere. Can't wait to get it! I did go with Walmart 50" Plasma, for $888. Walmart does have the site to store shipping which does not cost anything, if you don't mind waiting two weeks to get it.

Be Cool Carpool said...

Casey- I admire that you're not making an emotionally-charged impulse decision and you have old-fashioned CASH, instead of buying on credit.

You'll get the best deal when you purchase from a centered, altruistic point of view [to help the economy :-)].

Go ahead and invest the $800 in TV company stock. Then you'll be stuck with your hand-me-downs until the economy improves.

Sign me,
your frugal mom

PS I told my Mastermind group that I'm going to raise chickens, and they laughed at me. New ideas are typically ridiculed at first before they're accepted.

Casey said...

Since I got back from vacation in Honduras, I haven't had a chance to get one online. I won't buy one from Walmart due to personal objections to the way they do business... but I'm sure I can get one elsewhere - Newegg, JR Electronics, even Amazon.

One note - even the guy who lived in a shack the size of my bedroom (very small) had a nicer TV than I do!!!!

Casey said...

I know everyone was waiting in suspense... but I did finally buy a 35" LG from Amazon -- free shipping! I love the thing.

You're welcome, Economy. I helped rescue you even without a "Cash for Old TVs" stimulus package.

Potty Training said...

lol I am the exact same way! I am an amazing sales person as in I can always talk myself into buying something I really should not be spending money on lol. I wanted a tv too and found an amazing deal on craigs list. I told myself I would save money by staying in and watching more movies instead of going to the theater lol

David Clarke said...

If you want to spend more money. You can help a starving student out and buy one of my shirts!
If you like the designs, spread the word!