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Fighting at Best Buy, and The Case for Slowing Down

Yesterday, my new phone arrived. I think I heard the “Hallelujah Chorus” ringing out when the FedEx guy dropped it at our doorstep.

A brand-spanking-new Samsung Galaxy S4. Unlocked on a new mobile network (Ting Mobile – click here to get $25 off your plan or device!). And since we both got these phones, our old HTC Evo Shifts from Sprint are no longer going to be used. Fortunately, for $20 apiece, we entered the Device Buyback program at Best Buy.

For those unaware, the Buyback program basically says you can trade your old device in for a Best Buy gift card when your contract is up. Since we were done with our old phones, we decided to get the gift cards.

I was hoping for $50 each. My wife wanted at least $40 total. We got $110 each.

Talk about exciting! We never shop at Best Buy (and their stunning lack of customer service easily demonstrated why that is), and they are certainly overpriced compared to Amazon and other online options, but with over $200 to spend for free, we were pretty darned excited.

Until we started shopping.

See, my wife and I, like most married couples, operate on two different wavelengths when it comes to shopping. I see GADGETS-GADGETS-GADGETS! She doesn’t see anything, because she never shops at Best Buy.

Our original plan was to combine our two gift cards and get a video camera. Not a bad idea, but I looked up Amazon reviews of the cameras in our price range, and they weren’t that great. We didn’t want to just waste the money.

So we started walking around the store. She wanted to go to other stores, so she wasn’t interested in putzing around. I wanted to walk through every stinking aisle until I found something I liked. I found a couple things that really intrigued me – the Kindle Paperwhite and the line of Fitbits.

I’m jazzed up, ready to spend my money, while my wife lingers in the background, shooting down my ideas: “I don’t know what you would use that for… You already have a Kindle that works just fine…”, etc.

This isn’t to sit here and complain about my wife. Far from it. But if I didn’t have the time or ability to go through each aisle and overthink my purchase, I was going to just get a big-ticket item I’ve been interested in for a while.

But we both got crabby. She didn’t know what to get, and I was being rushed into a decision, only to have each decision shot down. We agreed that this wasn’t the right time to shop, I had to get home to finish making dinner, and we’d just hang onto the gift cards until further notice.

While eating dinner, we agreed to each take our gift card and go by ourselves, so as to not influence the other person’s buying decisions.

After cleaning up dinner, I grabbed my gift card, hopped into my car, and went back down there. I walked through every aisle they had, looking at various items. I almost settled on the new Kindle, when I stumbled onto the headphones aisle.

Now, I’m a runner, and I do have ear buds that were made for running and sports. Problem is, the cord is really long, I have to wrap it around my hand, and if I run shirtless, I have nothing to clip it to.

Lo and behold, Best Buy had a line of reasonable wireless Bluetooth headphones that wrap around your head. Bingo. This was a purchase I could get behind.

After poring through Amazon reviews, I picked up these bad boys. I even had some money left over, so I bought a much-needed toaster for our kitchen.

This morning’s run was awesome. I had my brand-new phone strapped to my arm in my brand-new armband while music pumped into my ears through my brand-new headphones. No wires, no cords, no irritation. Heck, no holding my phone!

Very happy with my purchase. And I gave my wife a hard time yesterday for giving me such crap over my buying decisions.

But isn’t that what we’re supposed to do whenever we’re making a decision? Look at it from all angles? Entertain both sides of the argument? Play devil’s advocate?

Absolutely. In our haste to make decisions in life, we make the wrong ones way too often. And 99% of the time, it’s because we feel rushed, pressured, and impatient.

When you have to make a decision next time, take a step back, breathe deeply, and look at all aspects of the decision.

This was free money. I wouldn’t have regretted buying a Fitbit, as I’m interested in the tracking technology. I certainly wouldn’t have regretted upgrading my Kindle.

But because I gave myself some time to breathe and look around, I wound up with a much more useful, and ultimately, much more needed purchase.

So, next time you have to make a decision, stop. Look around. Take a few minutes. The world won’t come crashing down if you just take your time. Fight your impulses, and you’ll ultimately be much happier with the decisions you make in life.

*This post contains some affiliate links.

amazon, decisions, fitbit, fitness, kindle, marriage, money, shopping, ting