It’s hard to believe that anyone ever survived without electricity. Now, our homes hum with the soft burring noise of a thousand and one different appliances. We’re entranced by gadgets on infomercials, promising to make our lives easier if we can do one little task 5% quicker. It’s seductive, and it makes rabid consumers of us all.
Yet with households constantly filled up with more and more junk gathering dust in closets, how much of it is really needed? Before you fall for the next fad, ask yourself these questions.
Will I Use It?
Asked yourself that? Okay, now ask it again and be honest. You may think that you’re going to use an electronic can opener every day, but most cans have ring-pulls. The same applies to almost every appliance; they may make things quicker, but will you use it enough to justify the cost?
Before you purchase anything, track your habits for a week. Make a note every time you think “that item would have made that easier”. While there are some items which will fail the test – such as seasonal, garden products in winter – most should pass. If you can’t find the use for something over the course of a normal week, then perhaps it’s not going to be beneficial.
Do I Need It?
Sure, an electronic robot vacuum is going to be quicker than running the vacuum over yourself. Yet that doesn’t mean you actually need it. Look for items that are actually going to fix a problem rather than just speed up something that you already do. Perhaps your back is bad and you can’t bend so well anymore – that’s a good reason. Wanting to save a few minutes off your cleaning regime isn’t, unless you have cash to burn.
Am I Buying The Right Thing?
If you have made the decision to go ahead, then you open up a whole new world of research. You have to try and find a list of the essential features and components and then compare as many as you can against each other.
Sometimes it can be hard to know before you buy. If you’re thinking of a big ticket item, then it might be worth hiring beforehand to see if it’s what you expected. It’s far better to be able to spend the money, knowing you can tell yourself “this washer performs well” from experience than blind hope.
Am I Getting A Good Deal?
Most of the electronics you buy for your home are not going to come cheap. If you want to get the maximum return from the investment, you need to ensure the initial investment is reasonable. Comparison sites make shopping around easier than ever these days, so run your item through before buying.
Don’t forget to check the aftersales issues; the returns policy should something go wrong. Also look for warranties. It’s not worth buying extended warranties in most cases, but a one-year manufacturer’s should be standard. This can protect your purchase and save you from many an expensive mistake.