Recently, I purchased a Nintendo Switch. By no means am I a “gamer,” but I do enjoy playing games. It’s actually great exercise for my fingers, which is a bonus because I’m always looking for creative ways to do physical therapy. At $299, some may think it no big deal, but for me it was a major purchase that I debated on making for a couple of years. I am enjoying it, but I definitely don’t want to have to buy another one. I’ll do everything I can to avoid anything happening to my Nintendo Switch, so I can get all of the value out of my purchase.
In insurance there is a term called risk avoidance. If we can avoid a risk, then we won’t have to spend extra money insuring against the risk. An obvious example is that we cook on the grill outside to avoid the risk of burning our house down. We can use risk avoidance techniques in less obvious ways as well.
I remember when my dad’s job gave him a computer to use in his home office. I don’t know how much that IBM XT cost, but playing Frogger on a 5.25” floppy disk was AWESOME! My sisters and I were welcome to use it as long as we followed one rule: No food or drink at the computer. We were reminded of this rule so often that I still follow it to this day. It’s just a great rule and I think everyone should follow it. (On a side note, it is fun to catch my parents violating their rule!)
How often have we had to buy a new tablet or laptop because it was broken by a spilled drink? Was it really so important to have that drink near your equipment? I don’t know about you, but after I spend $500 on a tablet, the last thing I can afford is to buy another one. By using this simple rule, you may be able to limit some risk of having to replace your equipment, which can save you money.
Another example is the obsession with taking our phones to the toilet. Relax, everybody poops! The difference is that if you drop a magazine in the toilet, you lose a few dollars. However, if you drop your phone in the toilet you could be out $1000. Plus, it’s kind of gross! Yes, I know phones are waterproof now, but should we test those limits? Is it really worth the risk to scroll Facebook while doing your business?
Living in the present and saving for the future is hard. Everyone wants more money regardless of your household income level. We can say we need a raise until we’re blue in the face, but the odds are pretty low that our bosses will give us more money. However, I believe that if we can use a little risk avoidance, then maybe we can cut some wasteful spending and have more resources with which to plan.