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A Wii is NOT an Investment!

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I just heard on the news that the Wii is getting a price cut of $50 because Nintendo is going to release the next generation in 2012. What really got my goose was when the anchor ruminated, “It’s really difficult to decide if you should invest now or wait for the new system.”

wii price cut retire by 40WOW, the word invest is getting thrown around a lot these days. Buying a Wii is not investing, it’s spending money to have fun. I also recently read many personal finance blogs about investing in clothes, luggage, international trips, and more. All of these are not investments, so why is “invest” getting so overused?

I think it’s an insidious plot by the corporations to help consumer feel better about spending money! After all, “investing” sounds so much better than “spending”. Today I’m going to “invest” in a take-out lunch! It will keep me from getting hungry and help me write a blog post. Then I’m going to “invest” in a pair of new jeans and a few polo shirts so I can send some old clothes to Goodwill. I’ll also “invest” in a tank of gas so I can get around…

Let’s face it people, all these are expenditures, not investments. Investments will make you money, not sit around depreciating. Anything that depreciates is not an investment in my book. Even items like business clothes and a car to get you to work is not an investment to me. Those things are just the cost of doing business/working. I’m not saying don’t buy the Wii, all I’m saying is to recognize that it’s an expenditure.

What do you think? Do you like to use the word invest to make yourself feel better about a purchase? BTW, I would wait until next year to buy the new Nintendo system. The life cycle of a gaming system these days are stretched out to 5-6 years. It worth waiting until 2012 so you can have the latest Nintendo that will last a long while. πŸ˜€

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{ 28 comments… add one }

  • optionsdude May 11, 2011, 2:01 am

    That is despicable. It is absolutely wrong to be using the word invest in the context. It is consumer spending plain and simple.

  • Moneycone May 11, 2011, 4:11 am

    In their defense, if it is bought for losing weight, then maybe you could call it an investment!

    But yeah, agreed, the word’s been thrown around!

  • No Debt MBA May 11, 2011, 5:22 am

    Investment is used way too loosely as is saving. You don’t “save” $2,000 when you buy your car for $2k less than list price with an auto loan.

    The only example I can come up with where investing might be okay would be buying an interview suit to get a good job if you had no suit before. That might be an investment in your career?

    • retirebyforty May 11, 2011, 11:31 am

      That’s true too! I can write another whole rant post about the word saving! πŸ™‚

    • The Saved Quarter May 12, 2011, 4:23 pm

      Actually, one of the definitions of “save” does work for this – “to avoid the spending of”. The very first post of my blog listed all the definitions of save, and how I applied them to my project of saving a quarter of my income last year:

      I don’t count “not spent” as savings for my goal, though. If it’s not in my bank account, it’s not saved. I’m the same with investing – if it’s not going to earn me money, it’s not an investment. A Wii is not an investment!

  • The Passive Income Earner May 11, 2011, 8:18 am

    Totally agree. The lose weight factor is possibly an investment in yourself but you don’t really need a Wii to exercice. You’ll probably buy the board afterwards for another 100$.

    I was at the airport yesterday and the cashier offered to the person ahead of me a 2 for $8 bag of nuts when one bag cost $4.29. Not much of a discount, but the person had to think about it … It’s insane how they try to make you feel you are getting a deal. (Slightly different than investment but it reminded me of it)

  • krantcents May 11, 2011, 11:21 am

    Do you mean there is no expectation of favorable future returns? I wouldn’t buy it anyway. Whatever happened to intelligent buyers? This reminds me of McDonald’s advertising on children shows so your children would push the parents to go to their restaurant. The word invest or investment is becoming overused!

  • Kevin @ Thousandaire.com May 11, 2011, 12:00 pm

    It could be an investment. What if I’m spending $200 a weekend going out Fri-Sat-Sun to bars drinking and buying cabs and having a good time. Then I buy a Wii and play it on weekends instead of going out. I’m saving money after just two weeks. That’s a great investment to me.

    Also, people “invest” in a gym membership. A Wii can have the same benefits if you buy the right games, which I think is a good investment in yourself and your health.

    I think there is a difference between spending and investing, but I also think you can invest in a Wii, depending on your circumstances.

    • Kellen May 12, 2011, 5:58 am

      You can make an argument for it, sure, but the Wii is still just saving you money, rather than creating new income. Not to say that it isn’t a more worthwhile purchase in the situation you outlined than if you just buy it AND keep spending lots of money going out πŸ˜‰

      • retirebyforty May 12, 2011, 9:33 am

        That’s exactly my thought!

      • The Saved Quarter May 12, 2011, 4:26 pm

        Yep – unless you’re hosting Wii nights and charging a cover to your friends, the Wii isn’t bringing in any extra money. It’s also really unlikely to appreciate in value. Saving money is great but it’s not the same thing.

  • Robert @ The College Investor May 11, 2011, 11:19 pm

    I bought a Wii as an investment in my health :). I thought I would use the Wii Fit and work out…that lasted about a week!

  • [email protected] May 12, 2011, 12:03 am

    whoa whoa whoa…Wii is not an investment πŸ™ !!! I waste hours on that thing. I guess it should probably be considered a liability since I waste productive hours πŸ™‚ I can’t be the only one.

    • retirebyforty May 12, 2011, 9:32 am

      Haha, I wasted a lot of time on games too. We all need some leisure time.

  • South County Girl May 12, 2011, 4:50 am

    I totally needed to read about a post like this because it has really been on my mind lately. My fiance and I are on a major budget to pay for our wedding, especially while he continues to job hunt (he moved from Utah to California for me in March… were getting married in July)… and all I keep hearing from people is spend spend spend…

    We were looking at a new location for our wedding and the lady who we were renting the venue from started talking about how your wedding is more than a day, its an “experience, an investment in your marriage…” She was just trying to get us to up the anty for more decorations…. but it stung my nerve just the same…

    • retirebyforty May 12, 2011, 9:31 am

      Congratulation!!! Try your best to keep the cost down especially if he is still looking for a job. It’s not worth it to go into debt to pay for a wedding. IMO, the experience depends more on the people attending than how much money you spent! Hope you have a great wedding!

  • Barb Friedberg May 12, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Well, actually, as an excellent wii tennis player, I could argue that a wii is an investment in one’s health. You could reap positive physical benefits from playing wii! πŸ™‚ Tennis anyone?

  • Samurai May 12, 2011, 6:49 pm

    We always use INVESTMENT as a way to justify our splurges! LOVE IT!

    My watch collection is an investment πŸ™‚

    • retirebyforty May 12, 2011, 8:33 pm

      You make money from your watch collection so that’s an investment. πŸ˜‰

  • youngandthrifty May 12, 2011, 11:24 pm

    Wow- I can’t believe they actually said that! That marketing is downright bad. A Wii is not an investment- it won’t ever appreciate in value (unless its special edition I guess?!).

    LOL investing in take out lunches.

    I think people are just lying to themselves to justify their purchases.

    Just like how some people think buying LV bags are investments.


  • Money Reasons May 15, 2011, 10:20 am

    Wow, I’ve noticed that use of the word “invest” in context where it shouldn’t be use. It’s aggrevated me to the nth degree also!

    I think it is either a clever company or somebody with high media exposure that is very popular (in a cool way) that must have started misusing the word.

    Look at the way that John Stewart has make the phrase “Not so much” a popular way of disagreeing or saying “No”.

    Yep, I think if you track it back to a point of origin, it was probably some famous person who used the word “invest” instead of “spend” to be clever.

    But you are absolutely correct, Spending doesn’t equal investing. Investing is a subset of spending, investing is spending to potentially make money instead of for fun (as you say above).

    Sad huh…

    Great observation!!!

    • retirebyforty May 16, 2011, 8:53 am

      I bet it’s some door to door salesman in the 40s. heh heh. πŸ™‚

  • Jackie May 15, 2011, 12:02 pm

    I thinking spending should be called what it is ‘spending’. If you are investing in something you expect to recieve some kind of return on your investment. A wii, clothes, food, ect are spending money to have fun, provide needs or wants. So yes, I agree too many people are misusing the word investing and confusing the younger generation who are still learning to be responsible with money.

    • retirebyforty May 16, 2011, 8:54 am

      Exactly, if I don’t see any return on investment, then it’s an expenditure.

  • Financial Success for Young Adults May 16, 2011, 6:55 am

    A saleswoman had the nerve to tell me that a pair of expensive shoes was an investment, because I would wear them over and over again. I laughed and said no, thank you. It get thrown around so much these days that it amazes me how the word investment has gotten confused with long-term purchase. It’s still spending!

  • Darwin's Money May 17, 2011, 6:46 pm

    Nice catching that hidden word in there, “investment”. It’s amazing how adept advertisers are at sprinkling in subtle little motivating phrases and words no matter what BS they are.

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