Not getting the latest and greatest may be the simplest advice I can give anything looking to save their money. "Early adopter" is the title given to trendsetting customers; individuals who procure the latest and greatest because its predecessor is no longer enough to meet their wants. Wants, not needs. And therein lies my arguments against being an early adopter. Not having the constant urge to buy the latest and greatest is perhaps one of the main reasons why I am not an Apple customer.
Think of early adopters as the guinea pigs or mice who give their good health and in alot of cases their lives to test vaccines that keep us healthy. Mice who are injected with cancerous cells so that they can be treated for it. But would there be a need for the vaccine if the mice weren't injected in the first place? The cancerous infection in the case of early adopters is marketing. Marketing makes you believe that you have the need for something that you didn't previously.
So what should one do if not buy the latest? Buy the same product, but a model that is one or two generations older. Not only will you save a lot of money, you will also have a product that is more mature but lacking market driven features added to entice those who already own a prior version. I like to use the example of cameras because camera technology at its fundamental core is very basic. People have been taking good pictures for decades without the not modern features. Were your parents not able to take pictures of you without a "face detection" feature? We're all photos before the advent of "shake reduction" blurry?
I understand that this thinking does not apply to all items, electronics or otherwise, but it applies to a lot of the items that are rapidly evolving. New features may seem like great additions to products that you use everyday, but before investing in such technology ask yourself if you really need it? How often will have a need for the feature?
Waiting to upgrade or procure new technology will probably also save you from the headaches of glitches and bugs that are inevitable for any new product. It also gives you enough time to see how the market reacts to it, whether it ends up in a graveyard (think HDDVD) or significantly less drops in price like the original iPhone. The only time I will suggest or becoming an early adopter is in cases where instead of paying the extra "early adopters tax", you pay less for it than older tech and get an "early adopters discount"!