Sunday, June 14, 2009

Choices to Make in These Uncertain Economic Times

According to some, saving during a recession is a Bad Thing because the saver isn't doing their part to put money into the economy. That seems like a pretty narrow view, because it's the spendthrifts who are going to cause us more problems when they blow all their money and go on public assistance so they don't starve. It seems illogical to spend when you can save money.

As for me, a few days ago I saved myself at least a hundred dollars in installation fees by figuring out how to install the hardware I bought forever ago for my computer. (I had some oversight by someone who knew what to do, but I did everything myself with his advice). I wish I'd decided to brave opening the computer up months ago, because it turned out to be fairly easy. At least it was once I cannibalized a ribbon cable from an old computer for the new secondary DVD writer, that is. Everything else, the RAM, the video card and the sound card, all went in without a hitch. Now I'm even more curious to know if I can take out the stupid pocket media drive and put in a second hard drive in that space. I'm not about to pay $200+ for a 500mb pocket media card which is just a glorified external hard drive like the one I already own at over twice the cost, and I'd rather have another internal hard drive so I can have even more Mp3s on my computer. As it is, I only have 6,000 songs (all carefully labeled by their 63 subgenres, of course - is this pickiness why people find it surprising that I didn't listen to music until 9th grade?), and there are a lot of CDs I might rip if I had the space. My next computer is going to have a TB hard drive, or I won't even consider it without an expansion bay for another drive. It's funny, the computer I bought during college had a hard drive of 850MB and the day I bought it I couldn't imagine ever filling up all that space! Things have changed a lot in the past twelve years.

On the other hand, when I discovered that my car needed new tires and an oil change a week and a half ago, I promptly brought it in to have the tires installed for me and the oil changed. I figured it out at one point: changing the oil myself would cost me $2 less than having it done. Having it done right, and not getting my hands dirty is well worth the $2. As for the tires, I worry that I'll do something wrong and one will fall off, which is why I don't buy tires at Tire Warehouse, where you do the labor and save yourself a significant amount of the fees associated with tire installation. I hope I never have to change a tire on my own, because I'll be paranoid until I can get someone stronger to tighten the lug nuts for me...preferably with a gun.

Everyone should make their fiscal choices in the same way: based on what's best for them, not what might be the "morally" right thing for the economy.

"To feel real in dreams is not enough." - The Illiterati, Be My Echo

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