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What would you sacrifice for a must-have gadget?

iPad and Angry Birds

Earlier this month a teenager in China sold one of his kidneys for an iPad. While it’s easy to say this is a step too far in our quest for the latest gadget, where would you draw the line?

iPads are great. I have yet to hear a convincing argument against them, but I don’t own one – yet. For me, it all boils down to cost. At the end of last year I bought myself a camera, which I’d been saving up for it. I’m also set on buying myself a new laptop. So, as much as I want an iPad, I simply can’t afford it at the moment.

Still, it’s well and truly on my shopping list. The iPad’s just too good to miss and I’m not willing to compromise with a cheaper tablet. So now I’m looking at its £400 price tag and trying to calculate where I could find that money.

What would I give up for an iPad?

I reckon that I spend around £50 on a typical night out, so if I sacrifice two nights out each month, I could afford a new iPad this side of Christmas. But I’m not going to do that – giving up my occasional nights out isn’t a price I’d be willing to pay.

A packet of cigarettes these days costs around £7, so the cheapest iPad is about the same as 60 packets – or 1,200 cigarettes. If you could cut your 20 cigarettes a day by half then you’d be able to buy an iPad in just four months

And what about that summer holiday? Do I really need to go abroad this year? Many holiday makers are expected to have a ‘staycation’ this year in a bid to save money. It’s been reported that the average week-long holiday in the UK costs around £425. And holidaying abroad costs even more – I could easily save enough money for an iPad if I gave up my forthcoming trip to the Italian Lakes. Will I? Probably not.

My colleagues in the Which? Money team would probably scoff at the interest I get on my savings. Their research has shown that we could all earn an extra £322 if we put our pot of cash into a best rate account. That’s almost enough for an iPad. I could make up the rest from my jar of coppers.

Finally, being in my early thirties means there are weddings going on all around me. Now I love a good wedding, but I wonder whether £18k – the average cost of a UK wedding – is really necessary. If I had that much money to spend on my wedding, I’d simply chop off £400 for an iPad – no one would even notice.

Would you give up any of the above in order to afford the latest must-have gadget?

Comments
Profile photo of frugal ways
Member

It’s good that you advocate making savings to buy anything, rather than the trend of buy now pay later, however, the odds are stacked against us all.
The opportunity for savings are few and far between to Joe Bloggs.
As soon as the clock strikes school holiday time, UK holiday camps are increasing prices by £200 or close to 50% – foreign holidays are also a non starter for savings as flight prices shoot up, whilst advertising them as being “sale” prices.
Even the humble day out is big money, buying day tickets, food prices, etc, can easily cost half a weeks wages for a small family

Is there really such thing as a “must have gadget” – I don’t think there is – gadgets are luxuries and should be seen as such.
£400 for an ipad?
In our house for example, that would pay the mortgage, tv license, water bill, gas and electricity, for a month.
Is it worth all that for a gadget?
Perspective can be a valuable asset

Profile photo of terfar
Member

I’d sell my wife before my kidney!

Profile photo of terfar
Member

Before there’s a misunderstanding, let’s make it clear that I wouldn’t sell either my wife or my kidney! It’s a joke to emphasise the futility of selling either.

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member

Glad to see your defence terfar! Wouldn’t want your wife to see that…