5 Jul

Things I Can’t Live Without…and You Need Them Too! Part One

By Becky Fickenworth, APR

Counselor and Project Manager

I’m not what you’d consider an early adopter. You won’t find me camping out in line for the latest iPhone, saving my money to buy the latest fashion trend and I don’t think twice about buying used books or used cars. Not because I’m “afraid” of the latest and greatest or have no interest. The truth is I’d rather have the peace and mind that comes with having saved for a rainy day than the short thrill of having a new gadget. So what motivates someone like me to make a purchase?

First, the time has to be right. Why spend $500 on the latest gadget when your old gadget still has a couple more months, years or miles on it? Second, all my research has to support my purchase. Talking to family and friends, online recommendations and Consumer Reports are my top reference points. If all the evidence points to a quality purchase, I’ll make it.

So, even though I don’t buy early, I do buy. And there are a few items that I would never think of going without again:

My Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble: When ereaders first came out, I shrugged them off. Not because I’m not a reader but because I’m an avid reader. I like the feel of a book in my hand, seeing the progress I’ve made and even the different typestyles and page layouts of books. (A little geeky, I know.) I thought an ereader would take away some of the enjoyment of a good book. But after hearing how a few friends loved the convenience and portability of their ereader, I thought I’d take the plunge. So I talked to more people, read Consumer Reports and ended up purchasing a Nook over a Kindle. Was it because I was convinced that it was a better product? A better value? No, the sad truth was that I had accumulated $125 in B&N gift cards and could get it for close to “free.” After all my research, I wasn’t convinced there was enough difference between a Kindle and a Nook to make me spend cash on a Kindle.

And I have no regrets. I love that I can carry a dozen books in one hand, the convenience of being able to “go to the library” while lying in bed and my husband appreciates the fact that I can read at night without my bedside light. But I do have a confession. I occasionally “cheat” on my Nook with a real book. Sometime I just can’t resist a good book.

My Ninja Food Processor/Smoothie Maker: A few years ago, one of my sons wanted an Icee maker. (What 10-year-old doesn’t?) Through online research, I came across the Ninja Master which sounded perfect. Just a few days before Christmas, I happened to find a Ninja marked down below $30. I thought, “Even if it works for a few months, it’s a bargain. Besides, I’m buying an appliance for a 10-year-old boy. It doesn’t need to be top of the line.” Two years later, it’s still going strong. I love that my boys can make a smoothie on their own and the cleanup is SO simple. No more dragging out the blender and taking it apart to clean. We all eat much healthier with the Ninja around. The same day this one dies (or my son takes it to college with him), I’ll be at the store buying a new one.

So there you have it – a few of my favorite products I found worth parting with my cold hard cash (or gift cards). Here’s to eating healthier and reading with ease.