Oh, trusty MacBook. Not so bloody trusty any more are ya?

Ok, I’m being harsh. I bought my last laptop on student discount in the early Autumn of 2008. It was my first mac. It was a basic spec aluminium MacBook that saw me through dissertation. It saw just short of 300 job applications shortly after that. Then it was carted from Kent to Cornwall every couple of months for the best part of a year when I had a boyfriend there. Then I started podcasting on it. And then it saw more of East London than ever expected when Sam and myself did a two year stint on Hoxton Radio. 

The good ol' days - The High Tea Cast, episode one.
The good ol’ days – The High Tea Cast, episode one.

Despite being scratched to buggery and having more than one purple nail varnish stain on it, that little MacBook stuck with me as long as it could. But now it’s dead, and I’m typing on it’s successor right now (IT’S LIKE TYPING ON A SUPER-QUICK CLOUD OF DREAMS). I couldn’t necessarily afford it, but what is a blogger without a computer?

Here’s how I’m affording my swanky new computer.

1. Get a discount

There’s three ways to get money off:

  • Make friends at the store your buying from, and use their staff discount.
  • Make friends with a student, and use their discount in return for a large Frappacino.
  • Scout Amazon for the best deals.

Beware the last point – always check the warranty that’s coming with your machine from a reseller. Also, I very nearly fell for the Amazon trick of them marking up the price of each machine for the specification below what it’s worth. Then they “knock down” the price and call it a sale. If you’re tempted by a deal, check the hard drive size, speed and memory of the computer on the Apple website against what you’ve found on Amazon. 

2. Pay it off gradually

Let it be known before I start, I in no way, shape or form recommend using credit cards for everyday use. Or for anything other than an emergency, as it goes. I threw away the pin number to mine on purpose.

On this rare occasion, my once-used credit card was my best option.

Loans are a no-no. Like, always. There’s rarely an excuse to take out a payday loan for something that isn’t food and warmth, and even then there are probably better options.

Finance plans are often high in interest and limited. If you buy your computer on monthly payments with Apple, for example, you can only select to do it over two years or 36 months at 15% interest. (Apart from in December when a ten month interest-free plan becomes available with Apple, apparently. I couldn’t wait that long, but it’s a nice option.) That’s a very long time to be paying for a computer.

Credit card seemed like my best option. I am able to decide how much of it to pay off each month, and I can easily keep a check on it through my bank’s phone app. If you’re considering the same, just make sure you’ve researched properly and chosen a card with a low interest rate. Then COMMIT to paying off as much as you can, as quickly as you can.

3. Sell stuff

Time to clear the bedroom out lads! I started selling shoes I don’t wear to scrape some extra pennies together. eBay will become your best friend if you do it well. Luckily, we have a handy guide to help you out. Got more bits and bobs worth a pretty penny? We’ve got you covered – you can sell pretty much anything online

I also am selling my old mac on mac4cash.co.uk, and an old first generation iPad that I never use. I liked the mac4cash system – really easy to use, and it’s knocking a couple of hundred quid off my shiny new machine.

4. Get your personal finances in order

There’s basically never a bad time to be shit hot at saving money. If you make a combined effort to pull the purse strings on your groceries, bills and working life spends, you’ll have paid for your new computer in no time. We’ve got budgeting guides for all these and more – get reading!

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