Friday, October 17, 2008

Money Buring a Hole in My Pocket

I've often heard the phrase regarding 'money burning a hole' in someone's pocket and I am sure you have too.

Come on now! Unless someone put some coins that they heated up to the point that the metal was glowing into their pockets, or put in a wad of flaming bills, it just is not going to happen!

HOWEVER I can understand the intent of the phrase, as I have $350 unexpected dollars available to me since there was a payroll error in my favor regarding an increase I got a few months back that never made it into my paycheck. By my logic, since I was not getting any less money that was just paid to me, and I paid all bills due these past months, this is 'free' money meaning I can just blow it on something! While the money is not burning a hole in my pocket though the thought of spending it is almost overpowering!

I have three choices and I'd like everyone's opinion:

Option 1: - My Home Theater PC (HTPC) really needs another video card upgrade. Granted when I did the previous one some months back I knew it was stop gap, but it was very inexpensive. I am limited by the power supply in the HPTC case which is a custom sized job whose form factor does not come in a capacity greater than 250 watts. Most seasoned PC owners will tell you that's not a real lot of power especially if you want to run a high end graphic card. I'll spare you my weeks of lunchtime research but for about $350 I can replace the HTPC case with one that will take a standard PC ATX 500 watt power supply. In addition I can get the video card I want.

Option 2: - Small HDTV for bedroom. Until recently I would never have considered this as I have no HD content for the bedroom TV and the 27" standard definition TV is fine. U-Verse recently upgraded my service with their Whole House DVR. Before this upgrade the only TV you could record or watch recorded content on was the one in the Living room which is of course connected to my 50" HD plasma. This is where all viewing of HD content occurs. Now any of the three TVs in the house can watch recorded content. Some nights I go get into bed, particularly if my back is aching, a good hour before I am ready for sleep and I watch live TV. Now I can do that plus access recorded content which is great and helps me keep ahead of all the shows I record. The caveat here is that I have HD programs recorded (about 30-40% of what I record is in HD) and I simply will not watch that on the standard definition TV in the bedroom. Nor would I drink 50 year old brandy our of a Dixie cup! Come on! There are just some things civilized people will not do! For about $350 I can get an HDTV of similar size to replace the bedroom TV. This also has the benefit of being able to put a second TV downstairs for the kids to use. Now, there will be no contention for the TV when one wants to play video games and the other wants to watch TV. I plan to ask them their opinion of this after work today.

Option 3: The cheapest and simplest alternative to implement; DO NOTHING! However I will still have the nagging feeling about spending the money....nagging always nagging me!!

So, what do you think I should do? Crap! Is my pocket getting warm....or am I just imagining it........


Bev from PA said...

Put it on some debt Chris. Put it in savings. Buy something practical. My Scotch ancestry has emerged stronger than ever with economy questions.

We took the "rainy day" stock purchased since Dave started at Hershey 20 years ago and: installed geothermal heating/ac, added insulation in walls of house and LR ceiling, adding storm doors and other house improvements.

I don't see any room for "money to burn". But have fun if you must:) Let us know what you choose.

Chris said...

Bev - I pay $50-100$ against the principal of the mortgage, and i carry no month to month debt on my credit even though I though of just throwing it against the bills, it would make little difference on the mortgage...hence my desire to use it for fun!

I will let everyone know what I decide. We have to run some errands now and one of those stops will be Costco. You never know what type of TV bargain I might find!

David Louis Harter said...


I recommend that you upgrade the case and video card as necessary! If any funds remain, order a pizza!

- David