Friday, October 26, 2012

Fiscal Fridays: Live like no one else

It's been a while since I did a Fiscal Fridays post, mainly because there's not much to talk about. Ever since I got my new job six months ago, money's been pretty easy. I have enough to pay my bills, have a little fun, do a little shopping, and work on my Dave Ramsay Debt Snowball. In fact, I'm on track to pay off my next debt, the loan from my dad, about 18 months ahead of schedule. (The Best Buy credit card was the first.)

But this week, I realized that I can no longer update the software on my Macbook (I know, I know...#firstworldproblems). And my first thought was to buy a new Macbook Pro. At first, I had all these reasons in my head as to why it would be okay to charge a new computer.

Oh good lord, it's glorious.

I increased the limit on my Best Buy card, to $1,600. With that, I could easily get the 13" Macbook Pro without maxing out the card. I'd have 18 months to pay it off, in payments of less than $70 a month. And then I started thinking about why I need a new computer. After all, this one is nearly six years old. It has only one gig of RAM, and I only have about 10 gigs of space left on my hard drive. Plus, there's the whole can't-update-software thing, and the computer sometimes CRAWLS. Editing blog photos in Photoshop can be a nightmare, especially when it takes a good 20 or 30 seconds just to rotate a damn image. That brand-new Macbook Pro was practically in my shopping cart.

And then, I stopped myself.

I reminded myself that I am really trying to pay down my debt. That I'm currently on track to have everything, including my car, paid off in less than a year and a half. And while $70 a month seems like nothing in exchange for a new computer, it's $70 that I won't be able to put toward paying down my debt. Or going shopping.

And then I thought, really thought, about how my computer is working. And you know something? It still works. Yes, it's a little outdated, and yes, it's a little slow. But for about $100 (less if I take the time to scour eBay/Amazon) I can buy new RAM cards and replace my two 512 MB cards with two 1 GB cards to double my memory. I don't need a new computer. I just really want one.

Dave Ramsay says that if now you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else. What he means is, if you can ignore the "instant gratification" culture that's forced on us day in and day out, later you can have everything you want and more. Putting things I can't afford on my credit card simply because "I really want them" is what got me into this mess in the first place.

So right here and now, I'm starting a new savings plan. I'll cut into my "fun" money and start saving to buy a new computer. Because let's face it, this one won't last forever. I'll be lucky to get another year or two out of it. But if I start saving now, I might have all (or at least most) of the amount ready to go by the time this old gal kicks the bucket. And the less I charge, the better :)

1 comment:

  1. Good viewpoint. Love that you are considering fixing it over splurging on a totally new one. not many people consider that these days! Especially not with electronics ... Good for you and thanks for the reminder :)


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