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How much is too much?

How much do you spend on “data” – you might be surprised. This article demonstrates that people tend to over-weight the present and fail to consider the long term economic considerations. (Additionally, once you sign up for a service you are more likely to keep paying long after you stop receiving benefit.)

From the NYT

By 2004, the average American spent $770.95 annually on services like cable television, Internet connectivity and video games, according to data from the Census Bureau. By 2008, that number rose to $903, outstripping inflation. By the end of this year, it is expected to have grown to $997.07. Add another $1,000 or more for cellphone service and the average family is spending as much on entertainment over devices as they are on dining out or buying gasoline.

“More people are creating experiences in their homes that are very similar to the kinds of public experiences they enjoy in movie theaters and concert halls,” he said. “Our homes are bristling with technology.”

Most people think home entertainment is cheaper. “Every time I want to go to Fenway Park or see the Killers in concert, I’m paying $50 to $100 each time. But once you build and install that home system, its basically pennies per minute of enjoyment,” said James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research.

But they do not take into consideration the long-term economic effect — both in the maintenance and operational costs — of the devices they purchase. “A subscription model is the perfect drug,” Mr. McQuivey said. “People see $15 per month as a very low amount of money but it quickly adds up.”

Source

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