A Response to the "Open Letter to the Wii Winner"

Last week I won a Wii. (I just love saying that! It doesn’t happen too often and the thrill of saying it still hasn’t worn out :) Anyway, here’s the conversation between the better half and me about it.

Me: Do you want a Wii?

BH: No, it’s too expensive. (Our anniversary is coming up and he probably thought I was probing to see what gift to get for him.)

Me: Hmmmm. OK, maybe I will give it off to my nieces then. (Trying to suppress an impish grin)

BH: Give what off to your nieces? (Confused)

Me: The Wii I won. (Hardly able to suppress my grin anymore)

BH: You “won”? (Still a little cautious, but starting to get excited)

Me: I participated in a blog project and the blogger gave away a Wii for one of the participants and it happened to be me. (B. H. doesn’t care much for blogs and doesn’t have a clue what I am talking about, but is totally excited.)

BH: You won it? It’s free?

Me: Um…hmmm. (Grin from ear to ear.)

BH: I want it. I want it. It’s mine. It’s mine.

So we are keeping the Wii :)

Neither of us are much of gamers anymore. I used to play a bit and the better half used to play *a lot* when we were younger. But over years it fizzled out. I don’t know what caused the addiction to wear out. Maybe we just got busy with work and did not have the time to play. Or maybe when we started attacking our debt, we had no room in the budget for gaming and even after the debt was paid off the thought that “spending money on games is frivolous” stayed on. Anyway, we have not gamed much in years except during the times when we were at an avid gamer friend’s house and he would challenge us to a game of something or the other.

Well, what started this whole post is that one of the fellow bloggers, Mrs. Micah wrote an open letter to the Wii winner on how to make the most profit from a Wii, if the winner was not a gamer, or had a Wii already. It is quite fascinating. I think we would qualify as non-gamers. But I don’t think I want to sell the Wii though.

I agree that the Wii is essentially a want and not a need. And a want we did not even have until a few days back at that. With that said however, we are on budget and on track for our financial plans and we don’t desperately need the money that we can earn from selling the Wii either. Sure, we have some new debt now (auto loan) and it is driving us nuts to not be “debt free” anymore, but we have plans to pay it off quickly and again, are on schedule. Do we really need to sell the Wii to pay off a little more?

I think there are a few behavioral psychology issues coming into play here. One of the books I read (Why Smart people make big money mistakes) talked of a similar thing, where we view earned money differently than windfall money. People tend to buy frivolous stuff with windfall money, where as they are more careful about earned money. (I wrote more about it here). But in our case, it is not like we won the money and chose to buy a Wii. We actually won the Wii and chose not to sell it. I don’t know if it’s the same or not – maybe some of the psychology majors among can help us understand it.

My only worry is that by having the Wii we may open up another “line of expenses”, you know, the temptation to buy new games and new add-ons etc. We used to love gaming before and maybe we will wake up a sleeping monster. But, I trust us to be smarter about our money now and think that if we do choose to buy an additional game or two, we will make up for it by not going out for our weekend dinner or a movie and make it balance out. This is what I talked about in my entry to the giveaway and looks like J. D. has decided to give us a test to see if we really are successful at handling our money better or not! Only time will tell whether we pass or fail the test :)

For now I am off to join the better half at the door to wait for the mailman :)

(P.S.: While I was looking for a nice image to add to this post I came across this interesting article that claims you can lose 27 lbs a year by playing Wii! I don’t particularly care about the weight loss, but sure could use some exercise. So, one more reason why the Wii stays!)

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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Mrs. Micah said...

I've also been reading Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes. I don't know either if keeping a found/won valuable object is the same as found/won money. There's at least the difference that you'd have to do some work to convert it into money. And that in its present form it's kinda useful to you. Well, it's something you can use (unlike me...I'm terribly with video games).

Hope it's much fun and not more added expense!

P.S. Thanks for the link. :-)

Finance and Fat said...

I bought a Wii before I got serious about getting out of debt. I can't really afford it, but it's a sunk cost now and I'm keeping it. :)

That being said, the Wii is really a lot of fun- especially when you have friends over. You'd be surprised how much exercise you can get playing the Wii Sports games that come bundled with it.

You will likely end up spending more money on the Wii. You can't just have one controller...you will want more games...there is the Wii Fit coming out soon...but obviously you have proven that you can live on a budget and not go crazy with your money so don't worry about that.

Nivek said...

You'll be glad you kept the Wii. Just buy all your games for it used through someone like EB GAmes. EB Games/Gamstop start having sales on used games starting around the beginning of November and you can get some great deals.

ispf said...

Mrs. Micah: The better half used to be crazy about games. I am pretty sure, I will get my ass kicked every single time we play - but it will be fun :)

Finance and Fat: Yeah, I am really looking forward to it. J. D. is throwing in an extra controller and a Mario Party 8 - isn't that great? I didn't know about Wii Fit - I will certainly look into that. I hardly have time to go to the gym these days and it will be good to have something at home, so I can guilt trip myself into exercising :)

Nivek: Thanks for the tip! We haven't played in quite some time and are quite out of touch about where to find the best deals for buying games. So that really helps!