Oops, I Did it Again


By Carlos Portocarrero

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I’m feeling a little dejá vu right now—it’s the exact same feeling I went through when I bought a Wii and a new TV. It happens to me every time I buy something rather expensive that I really don’t need.

Is it that when I talk/write to people, I try to convince them NOT to spend on things they don’t need? To curb unnecessary spending? I don’t know, I think it’s just because I’m very efficient with my spending (read: cheap).

But I did it again: yesterday—after over a month of research and lusting and obsessing—I bought myself the new G1 cell phone. It runs Google’s Android software, which is why you might hear people calling it the Google Phone, even though they would be wrong.

It’s a cell phone. It’s a music/video player. It tells you where you are, gives you GPS capability. It has 3G, Wi-Fi, and tons of sweet apps. It lets you surf the web, check your email, and do cool stuff like this:

Anyway, it’s the closest thing you can get to an iPhone without actually buying an iPhone. And that was an issue with me for a while. I don’t know that writing a whole review on this phone really belongs on this site, excited as I am about it all, but if there’s any interest out there I’d be happy to post my impressions on it as I use it more and more. But so far? Super cool. And the 3G speed in Chicago has clocked in at anywhere from 800 kbit/sec to over 1000—not bad at all.

I’m getting a little carried away. The point of this whole post was to talk about how hard it was for me to shell out the cash for this thing. The up-front costs are one thing: I can come up with that relatively easily. But the extra monthly payments hurt. My monthly bill will go from $39 to $65. That’s not much, but it’s month after month after month—every month. It’s the perfect setup for one of those articles that goes: “If you invested that money instead, at 8%, for 20 years, you’d have $X.”

I’ve written those articles. Several of them. That’s another reason why this was so hard.

Living Your Life

Here’s how I rationalized it: You gotta live your life. We’re not perfect and the best we can do is to minimize how often we buy things like this. I got the Wii in December of last year and other than that I can’t think of the last thing I spent money like this on. So you know what? Who cares. I bought a phone I don’t need, it’s freakin’ sweet, and I’m super happy with it.

Compound that.


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