mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Consumer spending may be down, but madanthony spending is up...

Evidently, the economy is in the shitter, and everyone has stopped buying electronics and instead are standing in bread lines wearing barrels.

Meanwhile, I've bought a ton of stuff this month.

I may be stupid for having bought as much stuff as I have. But with retailers looking to move merchandise and fewer buyers, I've been able to score some good deals on items I've been thinking about buying for a long time. Like lots of people, I've had a mental list of things I want to buy when I find a good deal and have the money. I've found several of those things, and I've bought them. I'm not sure this is a brilliant financial move, but I'm reasonably confidant that my job isn't going anywhere, I've put in a lot of overtime of late, and now that I've pretty much exhausted my to-buy list, I can go back to saving.

I think part of this also a reaction to my years of savings - I spent several years saving up to buy a house, only to see real-estate prices dive right after I bought. I've paid off my 28 month old pickup, so the only debts I have left are my house and student loans - both of which are tax-deductible and at low interest rates. I've considered paying off enough of my house to drop PMI, which would save me ~$80/month, but I'm not sure throwing more money at my house is a great idea. Besides that, the only other thing I could really see saving for is renovating my bathroom and kitchen, neither of which I'm terribly eager to do anytime soon. I kind of feel like it's finally time to have some fun, and buy some things I've wanted.

The other thing is that probably helps is lower gas prices - if I buy 12 gallons of gas 6 times a month, I'm paying ~$30 less a tank of gas at $1.60 instead of $4 a gallon, which means I'm paying $180 less a month to gas up the Danger Ranger - extra money in my pocket.

So what have I bought?

- A Canon Digital Rebel XTI DSLR camera - $399 on clearance at Office Depot. Was a $700 camera when it came out, and still goes for around $500 most places. I've debated buying a DSLR for a while, and this is a good a deal as I'm going to find anytime soon. Now I just need to learn how to use it. My previous primary camera was a 3.1 megapixel Minolta Dimage, so I think this is useful, and I can probably get a number of years out of it.

- a new computer that runs OSX. No, I didn't actually buy a mac - I'm building a Hackintosh, a windows PC that can run OSX. With all the parts i have lying around, I should be able to build this for ~$400. When I get it together, I'll post the details here. This will be replacing a 3+ year old Cisnet Celeron bought for $200, so once again it's not something that if, not necessary, is close.

- a new monitor - a 24" HP Refurb from for $200. Right now, I have a 19" LG and a 15" Viewsonic. The HP will replace the Viewsonic, which I can still eBay for ~$50 or so.

So that's pretty much it. I do need to buy some small stuff, like a bag for my DSLR. I also want a more comfortable desk chair to use my new computer and monitor at (and I'm kicking myself for passing up a chance at an auction earlier this year to buy a Herman Miller Areon for $200).

There are two other things on my to-buy list, that I doubt I'll buy anytime soon. I keep thinking I should buy a new, bigger LCD/Plasma TV, since they have gotten so cheap. But the reality is I don't watch all that much TV, and my current 32" is big enough for the hour a day that I sort-of watch TV. I've also toyed with the idea of buying a second, fun car, but I really can't justify spending thousands of dollars on something that will continue to be an expense - repairs, insurance, registration, ect. Maybe when the Ranger starts to get long in the tooth I can justify it, but not now.

I probably will buy a gun at some point - it's something I've thought about it for a while, and I'd like to get one before the next cabin shooting trip. But for the next few months, I think I'm going back to saving.

Unless I find a really good deal.


At 11:54 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hey, here's a totally random comment for the big spender. Do you think any of that C-mart furniture is still floating around in a warehouse or somewhere?

Nice blog, keep rockin' it.


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