I've never been an early adopter when it comes to technology. I waited a month before I installed iOS 7 on my iPhone and I'm glad I did - the hassle and bugs just weren't worth the trouble. As hard as it can be to migrate to new technology, it can be equally hard to let go of some of the older gadgets we've grown to love.
There are plenty of devices that are approaching their "use-by" date and just aren't worth the money any more (wanna slightly used fax machine or VHS player?). Before you consider buying any of the five items below, consider if they're actually a redundant purchase and a big waste of your money.
When Google released Google Maps Navigation for Android it knocked 20% off the value of big turn-by-turn navigation players TomTom and Garmin in a single day. Since then, Google Maps has spread to other mobile platforms like iOS, and its accuracy and usability has improved. So, why would someone pay hundreds of dollars for something we all can get for free? Sure, there are weaknesses with Google Maps (you still need cellular service), but it is now possible to load up a map and directions before a journey. Standalone GPS devices really don't offer enough extras to make them worthwhile.
2. Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Point-and-shoot cameras are also victims of the smartphone revolution. As a separate device, you've got to remember to bring along your compact camera if you want to use it. Then there's the hassle that most cameras require you to plug into a computer to upload and access photos (there are a few wireless options). The most compelling reason is that basic compact cameras no longer offer better specs over smartphone cameras. For example, the Nokia Lumia 1020 32GB Windows Smartphone boasts a 41-megapixel camera, and it's easy to share photos because it's connected to the Internet.
3. Handheld Camcorders
Video camera manufacturers have tried to keep up with the digital revolution, but there's very little incentive to buy one. Many smartphones and tablets have HD recording capabilities and built-in software makes video easy to edit and share.
4. Alarm Clocks
Even your alarm clock isn't safe! Why buy a standalone device that tells the time and plays the radio, when you already own one? You can set your smartphone to operate as an alarm clock and wake up to a tune from your own library.
5. Flash Drives
SPOILER ALERT - the cloud is here to stay. There's an impressive wealth of free cloud storage out there. Set up multiple accounts and you can store everything you need on remote servers that you can access from anywhere.
Ok, there will ALWAYS be reasons to purchase some of these items. But for most of us, avoiding them is easier than you think -- resulting in some extra cash in your bank account to spend elsewhere.
The Boomer Brief would like to thank Simon Hill (no relation), a technology journalist with Dealnews, for sharing his insight. You can follow him @dealnews on Twitter for the latest roundups, price trend info and stories. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.