I finally caved and bought myself a new laptop yesterday. A MacBook! Since I’m in school, I was also able to get $110 off and an iPod Touch. There’s a rebate for the iPod, so eventually this number will be $299 lower.
It’s funny, I don’t feel guilty spending that money. I even wound up having to use my debit card (originally was planning on using the credit card), so it’s not a dissociation from the cost.
This is huge. I feel guilty if I spend $10 on a pair of shorts!
I’m trying to decide why I am able to just feel excited for the computer without balking at the cost. I think the following factors have played a role:
- I saved up! I had a $500 birthday gift (specifically given so I could buy a new computer), and I also socked away my tax rebate for this purpose.
- I spent over a year agonizing over the computer. Dells are cheaper, and I get an additional discount through work. Eventually, I selected the Mac because it’s smaller than Dell’s other laptops without having that expensive “ultraportable” label attached. I’m in love with the white case. And hey! Free iPod Touch!
- I made the money invisible. This was probably the biggest factor in keeping my sanity intact. Typically I track my accounts obsessively (about once a week I’ll fill everything in and track down receipts and try to figure out what REDBB on my online statement could mean). Even my spending account (the one that’s supposed to be for guilt-free spending), I try to keep a huge buffer. Keeping the money invisible means I don’t fret that the $1100 might be better served in savings than buying me electronics.
Now the only issue left to question is whether to keep the iPod Touch. Pros: it’s shiny; I don’t know anyone who has it (I confess, I enjoy being envied!); and it was free so it’s not like I could have gotten $300 of a computer OR the free iPod. I might have bought the MacBook anyway. Cons: I could probably get $250 for it on craigslist, which would cover most of the extra I spend over my savings (about $330 dollars); I can’t bring it into work, so I don’t know how often I would get to use it; and I already have an iPod that I don’t use.
In the name of frugality, I should sell it. What are your thoughts?