When the latest new gadgets come out, many people are compelled by the marketing of them in a way that causes them to run out and buy it. For example, the recent Apple upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, and other devices have many people ditching the products they bought just last year in order to have the latest and greatest.

The reality is that year-over-year changes in computers and tech do not give the average user much more computing power than the devices they bought just 1-2 years earlier.  My advice to clients is to look at every-two-to-three years for mobile tech upgrades and every-four-to-five years for desktop/laptop tech.  The hardware is outpacing the need for the level of specifications coming with them.  For the average person, a yearly upgrade is not worth the expense.

Before you run out to get the latest tech for yourself or your business, weight the cost/benefit.  How will that expense help you be more productive in a way that directly affects your bottom line?  When is the payback on such an expense? Even for personal use, will having the latest and greatest over something you bought just a year ago help you conduct your life any better?  Or faster?

My advice: hold onto that tech a little longer.  Take good care of it.  Keep it updated and clean.  For desktop/laptop upgrades, consider an SSD hard drive or a boost in RAM.  That can make a computer feel like new.  For your personal tech, unless you just HAVE to have it, a 2-3 year upgrade routine will still keep you up to date with the Jones’ family.