People make budgets for everything. Vacations, new cars, gas, a new home, gym memberships, etc. Some even budget in a morning coffee from their favorite barista everyday before work. Why is it, then, that some still have an issue with paying for an album on iTunes?
Most applications on the App Store are only a few dollars. The most expensive application I've ever purchased for the iPad or iPhone was somewhere around $10. There are more expensive apps, sure, but the median cost of an application is even lower than $10. So why is it that some would rather put up with free applications that don't work well (or not having any applications at all) rather then to pay for a good one?
Going to the movies with your loved one today costs anywhere from $16 - $30 (depending on where you live in the US). And that is just the ticket price. And you don't own anything when you leave. The big screen experience is certainly worth it for some movies but, if you're like me, you probably have a decently-sized high-definition television hanging on the wall in your living room. Imagine taking that money, spending it on a movie in iTunes, through Amazon, or on Netflix or YouTube, and having a few friends over.
Again, I ask, why is it so hard for people to part with a few dollars for these things? I think, among other factors, it is because of how easy it is to pay for them. People are afraid to tap a button and spend $2.99 no matter how good the app is. Or $10 no matter the Rotten Tomatoes rating of the movie they haven't seen. They're afraid of losing track of how much money they've spent on applications, games, movies, and music only to turn around and realize they've spent their lunch money.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Just make a budget. Like you do for other things. Set aside a few dollars per month - I'd recommend $10 - and use that to buy the apps, games, movie rentals, and music you want. Well-made apps are worth their sticker price. Watching movies at home (without worrying about getting letters in the mail from the MPAA) is a fantastic experience. Buying music is quick, easy, and supports the artists. These innovations (and the hard work of the people behind them) help make your life more productive, easier, and even more fun.
Stop being so afraid of spending a few dollars. You'll be happier.