So you've decided to buy a new laptop or desktop computer. You've set aside the budget. You've done your online research. You're ready. Confidently, you head over or click over to your shopping destination ready to enjoy a well-prepared for, quick and easy, headache-free shopping experience. You find the one you're looking for, put it in your cart, and BAM. All of a sudden, you're being seduced by the extra add-on's and upgrade options and you find yourself staring confusedly at the screen. This was going to be so easy, wasn't it?

Alas, navigating around some of these shopping websites can be a bit overwhelming anyway. None of us have time to research *all of the things, all of the time.* We do our best, but how can you really know whether or not that extra powerful processor, or whatever, is actually worth blowing your carefully outlined budget?

It's nice to know there are consumer advocates who've made it their very job to research some of these things for us. According to Consumer Reports researchers, here are few so-called "money traps" you may seek to avoid:

Super-sized storage. I know, we're Americans. We are used to getting almost everything as big as possible--from our houses to our dinner plates to our TV screens. So having as much storage as we can get is an easy pitfall in which to tumble. Plus, when we sit and reflect about how many photos and videos we have, especially in high-rez, it seems like a great plan. Better safe than sorry. According to CR specialist Antonette Asedillo, "a 256GB solid-state drive should suffice for the average user." I mean, now we have all of these cloud devices, too.

What about those "game-ready graphics cards?" So, I'm a gamer. I get the anxiety around this issue. So, if you're a fully committed gamer or you are a film editor, this may be a good idea. However, for most people, one doesn't need it--especially if it adds potentially hundreds of dollars to your cost.

Uber-fancy screen display. It's tempting to want to get the ultimate, latest tech when it comes to your screen definition. I mean, even if we get the latest, tomorrow they will be offering the next "must-have," life-changing display option. Truth is, the 4K Ultra High Def display is nice. However, if you're not streaming movies made to be shown in 4K or work with photos for your daily living, you'll probably be just find with the standard 1080p.

How about some smart ways to upgrade your technology. Learn more from the folks at Pickypinchers.com.