Google's constant digital deals are killing my wallet ... sort of

Published: March 8, 2012

I'm a sucker for a good deal. I always have been and I'm convinced it's something that I will never have any control over. It's in my blood.

From the time I was a child to the time she passed away last year, I can remember my great grandmother bragging about the awesome deals she found at the store every time I saw her. It didn't matter if she needed or wanted what was on sale ... it was on sale and it was good deal. Too good to pass up.

I'm essentially the exact same way when it comes to digital content. I realized this when I opened the My Apps section of the updated Play Store, where there are 90 installed applications on my tablet (most of them paid), and 28 previously purchased apps still at my disposal.

If you've read any of my articles about applications (especially this one), you're well aware that I have a problem with buying apps. Sometimes I find myself on application buying sprees. Someone recommends I try a new app. I try it, then I buy it. And shortly thereafter (more like five or six premium applications later), I'm left wondering if and when I will ever need or use those apps and why I bought them.

A more recent problem of mine has been buying games. About a year ago, the extent of my mobile gaming was Angry Birds. But that grew old rather quickly and I had graduated from XOOM to the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, which allowed me to attach a USB controller and play old PlayStation games of yesteryear – it opened me to an entirely new world of mobile gaming. Fast forward a couple months and now I'm the proud owner of way too many Android games that I'll probably never play more than a few minutes each. (For the record, the number is just shy of 50 games. Eek!) I had never really put any thought into it until I decided to download all of the games I own that are compatible with my Transformer Prime.

For what it's worth, a lot of these apps were bought through deals. Since Google has transitioned Android Market into more than just a place for Android applications, into a digital store of several types of content, they have been running promotions left and right. There was one to celebrate the 10 billion downloads milestone, one for Christmas, and the most recent is in celebration of their rebranding of Android Market to Google Play.

As I explained yesterday, Google has priced select albums at $3.99 for an entire week, others are two-disc sets for $5.99. Each day, they are offering a new album for $0.25. And they have chosen 25 awesome applications to offer for $0.49 each.

I've made it pretty clear by now, I can't pass up a good deal. Of the 25 applications and games, I bought all of the ones I wanted – that I didn't already own, of course. There are only six that I don't have now. And even though I prefer streaming my music instead of actually owning it, some albums for $3.99 is too hard to skip out on, not to mention at $0.25. (There's no such thing as too much LMFAO or Adele, right? Right?) Also, Spotify, my music streaming service of choice, simply doesn't have everything I like to listen to. So being able to scoop up some of those songs I've been missing for almost pennies on the dollar is a huge plus.

I guess everyone wins in the end. I get the games, apps and songs I've been eyeing for some time now for a fraction of the price while Google and the developers (or artists) still make some money. And while I'm not dumping oodles of money into the Play Store all at once, it really starts to build up over time. This is just the third day of one promotion of the several I've participated in and I've spent somewhere around $12, give or take, already. We're not even halfway through the promotion. Someone take my credit card away already!

I'm not complaining by any means. I'll be happy so long as Google keeps offering great music and apps on the cheap for whatever excuse they can find to "celebrate." But, personally, I have to work on my purchasing habits. I could probably stand to buy only the apps I really want or need rather than the ones I may want to use six months down the road.

That said, I'm interested in hearing whether you guys and gals like to get in on the awesome deals Google has been running lately. Do you scoop up everything you can, like me? Or do you only buy the ones you really want? What about deals like Humble Bundle, where you pay what you want?

Bonus question: Is there anyone else out there who has some inexplicable mobile gaming fetish like I do?

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