Photo-snapping cell phones, plasma TVs, retro-colored Hummers, reconstructive surgery to get J. Lo's nose -- if "cool" can carry a price tag, a lot of items are vying for your hard-earned dough.
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, consumer electronics sales nationwide are expected to total a record $99.5 billion in 2003. (FYI: Last year, 354,327 folks went under the knife seeking the perfect slope, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.)
Got an extra $5,698.85 burning a hole in your pocket? That'll certainly cover the cost of a new schnoz in many states. But don't whip out the plastic just yet. The folks at Money Management International went on a shopping spree for some of the coolest of cool electronics out there. Here's what you can get for nearly six Gs:
- 42" Plasma HDTV Flat Panel TV -- $4,149.99
- Apple iPod MP3 Player -- $499.00
- Cannon PowerShot Digital Camera -- $399.99
- Sony PlayStation2, with one game -- $249.99
- HP iPAQ Pocket PC -- $289.99
- Panasonic DVD Recorder -- $399.88
Not in sticker shock yet? Consider this: At $20 an hour at a 28% tax bracket, you'd have to work a total of 396 hours for coolness, essentially tacking on almost 10 weeks of extra work this year.
We're not saying to stick with 8-track tapes and a VCR that's on the fritz. Just consider the cost of an item relative to how many hours you'd need to work to pay for it. And while you pine for PlayStation2, set up an automatic savings situation so that you don't trash your credit (which is sooo uncool).