Are You Spending More on Gadgets Than You Should?

A recent survey carried out by Affinion International revealed that Brits own £51.6 billion worth of gadgets. Apparently this is the same amount as the GDP of Ecuador, which somehow just sounds wrong.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the research is that the amount of gadgets we own has shot up by £10 billion in the last 5 years, despite the economic situation being difficult right now. This got me thinking about whether there are lots of Brits who spend far more on gadgets than they should. How would you even know that this is the case?

You Own Several of the Same Thing

Do you have a drawer filled with phones or a bunch of laptops sitting in a corner somewhere in your house? The problem these days is that there are so many tempting adverts for great new gadgets which promise to give us a better and more fulfilling life.  In truth, a lot of the time they just offer minimal improvements over what we already own. Will a phone which is slightly thinner or has an ever so slightly bigger screen really made a difference to your life? Of course, if you feel the need to buy a new, updated version of your gadgets on a regular basis then the least you can do is sell your old ones to pay part of the cost of the new ones. This will help you recoup some of your outlay and will make you feel a bit better about buying something new.

You Make Gadgets a Priority

Should the buying of gadgets be a priority in your monthly budget? It probably depends how much money you have but for most of us it is something of a luxury. So how did we end up with over £50 billion of luxury goods like these in the country? Well, I think that the constant hyping of the most popular gadgets has led to many people making it far more of a priority for them than it should be. iPhones, iPads, Android phones, tablets and all sorts of other stuff are things which many of us now see as must-have items instead of luxuries. I know people who feel hugely embarrassed about having a – gasp! – normal phone. They are so ashamed by the lack of smartness on their phones that they will make it a top priority to buy a better one rather than spend money on something which is financially more sensible.

You Run Up Debt Because of Them

Are you in debt because of your gadgets? If you think about it, this doesn’t really make sense at all. We all know that buying essential or important things like a house or a car involves running up debt but does owning a new gadget really justify it? Ideally, this is the kind of thing you buy when you have some spare cash and want to treat yourself to something which isn’t essential but which you would like to own. I would be interested to find out how much debt us run up every year by Brits buying gadgets which they don’t really need.


Gadgets are great fun. I even bought my first ever smartphone a couple of months ago and finally discovered what all this Angry Birds stuff was about. However, I am pretty sure that there are lots of people out there who spend far more on gadgets than they should do and than they can afford. The bad news is that I can’t see any signs of this bandwagon slowing down any time soon.

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10 Responses to Are You Spending More on Gadgets Than You Should?

  1. FI Pilgrim says:

    I’m susceptible to this, as an IT guy and gadget lover. I think I’ve done a fairly good job of not making them a priority though. I have a smartphone (my plan is paid for by the company I work for), I have a laptop (bought by my employer), and most of my other gadgets are smaller and family oriented, like our Chromecast that my wife gave me for my birthday.

    It’s a very real danger though! I would LOVE a tablet, but feel that it would be duplicate technology for me.
    FI Pilgrim recently posted..Flipping The Script: How I Learned To Live On Last Month’s IncomeMy Profile

    • Robert Bell says:

      Some people are definitely more easily tempted to buy gadgets than others. Thankfully it’s never been much of an issue for me

  2. I never buy a new gadget unless I’m eligible for a free upgrade or my old version has become completely non-functional. I don’t understand why people pay hundreds for the constant upgrades.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted..My First Marathon: NYC 2013My Profile

  3. I don’t understand why some other people keep on complaining about their financial problems but when it comes to the latest gadgets they just easily purchase and the worst part is they even grab a loan for this. I do have a smart phone it’s not the latest but it’s very usable I do have lots of apps on my cell phone.
    Clarisse @MakeMoney Your Way recently posted..Side hustle series: Guitar TeachingMy Profile

  4. I don’t buy that many electronic gadgets but I do buy kitchen gadgets. Anything to make eating at home easier for me. I don’t buy that many though and I don’t think it’s an issue.
    SuburbanFinance recently posted..The “R” Word (Regifting)My Profile

  5. The truth is gadgets are just addictive in a way…who doesn’t want that latest mac or iphone or tv with the latest specs and “improved technology!?”. I think we are just so obsessed with the “new & better” that we are willing to shell out fortunes even when our old gadgets are still functional and fulfil their purpose.
    That said, can’t wait to buy a new PC…its budgeted for ofcourse :)
    Simon @ Modest Money recently posted..TradeKing Review – Exclusive Review of TradeKing BrokerageMy Profile

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