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Debt Increase: Bought a Laptop

My new babyOh man, you don’t even know how excited I have. First of all, I’ve never bought my own computer before. Every computer I’ve ever had before has been a hand-me-down from my mom. Not that I’m complaining – since my mom is an avid online-gamer, her hand-me-down computers usually came with top-of-the-line graphics cards and as much RAM as she could shove in there.

But now I’ve got a computer that’s mine! And unlike my previous computers, it’s not chained to a desk. I am free to roam the world with my sexy new Toshiba. (And when I say “new,” I mean “new to me.”)

Yeah, I know, you’ve got questions.

“Um, Stephanie, can you afford this?”
Er… yes, and no. Technically, I should be throwing every penny I have at either my credit card or my savings. But by taking a small chunk out of both of those, yes, I can afford it. Also, I kinda need it.

“‘Kinda need it?’”
I am, as I’ve mentioned, going back to school in the fall. And I’ll be commuting from home, instead of living on campus. To help me bridge the gap between my living space and college, I wanted a laptop, so that I could work between classes. Ok, yes, I could go to one of the school’s numerous computer labs, but that would require lugging my external hard drive around, which literally weighs as much as this laptop.

Also, having my own computer when I’m in California this summer will help me get more done, and hopefully, earn more money. Yes, I’m hoping this laptop will actually pay for itself!

“Ok, so, wait. How much did you pay for this?”
$20. Seriously! Ok, I’m paying monthly. A friend of mine sold it to me for $280, and I’m paying him what I can each month (which will probably be right around $20 until the fall, when I’m hoping to pay more.

“Yeah… I thought you said loans between friends and family were bad.”
They are, so you’ve got to do it right. I’m hoping that I’ve done it right this time – I’m using an online tool called Buxfer to help. Basically, Buxfer tracks how much friends owe each other, if they split a dinner tab, or if roommates split a grocery bill, or if, say… someone sells someone else a $280 laptop, but that someone else can’t pay all at once.

“Wait! Doesn’t this break that ‘no buying stuff’ promise that you made?”
You mean the Compact? Nope. Compacting means you don’t buy anything new – I bought a used laptop! (Like I’d have the money for a new laptop, anyway.)

“Ok, fine. But you’re still crazy.”
I’m well aware of that. You’ll probably think I’m even more crazy when I get around to naming my laptop. I have a rather odd habit of giving my computers male names, and then referring to them as “she.” (Previous computers: Bob, Fonzie, and Fred – all female.)

7 responses to “Debt Increase: Bought a Laptop”

  1. Tracey

    I’d say this is an educational necessity and so is an investment in your future. Going to the school’s computer lab is a very inefficient use of your resources.

    Try examining that $280 as a percentage of your school tuition, e.g. (($280/(4 semesters @$1500 per semester))*100 = 4.67%)

  2. Nelson

    For $280.00 dollars? I say you made a fine decision. A new laptop can run as low as $900.00. If this will help you with school, I’d say it’s well worth the expenditure.

  3. Rob

    In today’s world, access to your own computer is essential. Especially if you’re studying. I’d say you made a wise decison and what can be better than investing in your future.

    I’s say it was well worth the money.

    Good Luck!

  4. Annie @ Credit Dispute

    You’ve made a fine decision in buying that Laptop for &280. And beside you’re gonna use it for your studies and other necessities, then buying that is worth it.

  5. fruition

    not ideal to incur debt at this point of time, should have probably waited till you have the cash.

  6. Didn't-Put-A-Human-Name

    Irrespective of all the nice reasons to increase personal debt to get a laptop, this reminds me of my first experiences in debt. It started out with a $400 laptop. While the payments were a measly $20 per month, one debt led to another and another. Pretty soon, I was swamped in an uncontrollable spiral of consumer debt which led to personal bankruptcy.

    My advice….get a part time job and save the money, and then buy the laptop cash!!!