Do you set a monthly allowance for app purchases?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| May 22, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than willing to buy an application if it suits my needs, and it does so well. Whatever that need may be at the time, if the application does what it’s supposed to do and I like the way it looks (because I do have to use it every day, right?), I’ll gladly give the developer what they believe is fair for their app. Of course, that can sometimes mean I pay quite a bit of money for an app, and sometimes it means that I pay a bit more than I probably should have in a particular month.

But, if it’s worth it, it’s worth it, right?

A long, long time ago I asked all of you if you believe there’d ever be a time that we’d see a purchased app go cross-platform with us, if we were jumping ship from one mobile OS to another. While there are plenty of people out there who are so invested into one ecosystem that they just outright refuse to leave, others aren’t like that. They may switch platforms simply just to try it, or may hang around a bit while they wait for that first OS to announce something new. Whatever the case, some people switch platforms, which means they lose access to applications they’ve bought previously.

Which is why a software license for a game, or an app, would be great, but it’s only a pipedream. A very distant one at that. I’d love it if Rovio could make Angry Birds like that, though. I . . . I’ve bought that game a lot. I don’t really play it all that much anymore, or any of its “sequels,” but it’s definitely a game that I’ve bought more than once. All because I switched platforms, and I needed something to play.

I’ve got a friend that refuses to pay for applications. I mean it. He just doesn’t spend his money on apps. Any of them. No games, either. He has actually gone as far as to make sure that his credit card/debit card isn’t even applied to the Google Play Store. No matter how many times I’ve told him about a cool app, or game, he simply just nods, and goes about his business. For someone who loves smartphones as much as he does, it honestly shocks me a little bit that he’s just refused to jump onto the application bandwagon.

I’ve asked him why in the past, and he told me simply that he has “other things to buy,” and he can’t waste his money on apps. I thought I was being rational when I pointed out that the app I was showing him at the time was only ninety-nine cents, but again he just shook his head and said, “No.” Simple as that.

I went along with my business, because I have jumped onto the application bandwagon. I’ll admit it. I love ‘em. Not all of them, mind you, but a good amount. And, like I said above, I’m more than willing to pay up to help the developer keep making cool things.

But I need to create some kind of battle plan, here. Because there are some months that I, like my friend, do want to buy other things, and they’ve been out of reach because three weeks before I bought a few apps instead. Or more than a few, in some cases. Having a monthly allowance for apps doesn’t seem like a bad idea. After all, I’ve made allowances for other things every month, like video games for instance. Why would it be any different for apps?

I think that boils down to the fact that apps are, in most instances, easier to buy. After all, it’s right there on your device of choice, and it’s downloaded in a handful of seconds more often than not. You get immediate satisfaction. Plus, there are multiple ways to pay for an application these days. Now it doesn’t have to come right off your credit or debit card. You’ve got PayPal as an option, or even charging it to your wireless bill.

Ease of use and options make buying apps quick and easy, and if you’re anything like me then you’ve taken advantage of that ease more than a few times. Have you created a monthly allowance for your application installs? Is it something you’ve ever considered? How many apps do you buy a month, do you think? Let me know where you stand when it comes to buying apps.

Products mentioned