Dear lazyweb

With all the talk about the cool products from ZaReason, I am getting a hard case of hardware lust. Not to surprising, as my main system is a seven year old Compaq. After drooling over the choices available, the one thing that always gets me is price, or rather the financing of said price.

How do folks finance their hardware if they don’t have a credit card, other than saving up for a relatively long time? Are there any other options out there for the credit-strapped people out there?

It is probably best I don’t find the funds, really, and learn to control the urges 😀

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14 thoughts on “Dear lazyweb

  1. In some stores, you could put something on layaway, but they require you to pay in a relatively short amount of time.

    You couod also go to a furniture rental place and rent to own. However, that is quite a bad deal in the long run.

    You could also open a savings account dedicated to a computer. It won’t be linked to any ATM/debit card. That will make it much more difficult to take it out for an impulse purchase. 😉

    Hope you get the computer you want, as a 7 year old Compaq sounds like a pain to use.

    • it isn’t difficult, actually, most of the time. Running Kubuntu Lucid And Maverick with no reall issues, though compiling something big can make it overheat, or running gimp with too many other items running can bog down things down. I am not unhappy 🙂

    • Of course I don’t NEED it, but saving for something that can be hundreds and hundreds of dollars takes a very very long time if you have minimal cash for saving every paycheck :), plus my salaried job both makes it impossible to work more hours to make more money and prevents me (due to scheduling) to effectively have a second job.

      Controlling the lust is easier, looking at my checkbook is much like taking a cold shower 🙂

  2. I don’t have a credit card…no credit. I work full time (-ish) in the summer and part time during school. During school I make just enough to cover rent + food. During the summer more hours means I have enough to cover rent + food + 1 laptop by the end of summer. Having a roommate/flatmate to split the rent in half is a key part of this equation though. Without a roommate/flatmate, I could absolutely not afford my rent, let alone a laptop. Also, I got a netbook, so it cost 1/2 what the “real” laptop I bought 2 years ago cost.

    The fact that my bank’s web UI lets me set aside money in a wishlist for specific purchases to remove the temptation to spend on other things helps a lot. I’ve actually managed to end up with savings (now to make those last through Christmas…).

  3. Haha, I am TOTALLY feeling the same hardware lust after reading those posts! In fact, I started browsing some of their laptops about a half hour ago and pondering how I could justify getting one (my netbook is almost 2 years old, and I travel while working and the netbook is so small to work on…) and how I could modify my budget to be able to afford one. Alas, it probably won’t happen, I have a credit card but buying non-emergency things I can’t immediately pay off is a big no-no in my book.

  4. I was surprised at the poor screen resolutions for most of the laptops. Not one of them does full HD. 🙁 The only one with a respectable screen is the Verix 1656, with a 1680×1050 screen. Bring that up to 1920×1200, and I’d be sorely tempted to get one as my laptop replacement. I noticed System76 has one now…

    As for payment, that’s a good question. Being able to rent one has some nice tax advantages, if you’re a business. Otherwise, I’d set up a savings account, and just slowly start putting money towards it. Set a timeframe and laptop you’re after, then put away the amount in the account and leave it locked away until you’re ready to buy.

    Say you’re willing to put $600 towards your next buy, and you want replace your laptop in 6 months. Then you’ll need to put away $100 each month or ~$25 per week. So skip those caramel machiatos for 6 months, and you’ll have enough for a spanking new ‘puter. In the long run, it doesn’t really matter how much and how long, but rather that money put away for it stays put away for it. Otherwise, after 6 months, you’ll think, “Sweet! I’ve got enough for my new lappy!”, but when you check your accounts you’ll think “Crap! I forgot to pay back myself all those IOU’s for caramel machiatos!”.
    The one case where you’re allowed to break the rule is if your current lappy decides to meet its maker. If it happens soon, then maybe all you’ll be able to afford is something held together with duct tape and silicone caulking, but at least you’ll be able to check your email… maybe.

  5. Just a general suggestion. If you have trouble saving for something inexpensive as a laptop, it means you have little financial wiggle room.

    In other words: your default spendings (rent, food, healthcare) and your income are too close to each other.
    Somewhere down the lines you made a slightly less optimal choice.

    Because you need some serious breathing room there, to deal with unexpected events.
    I’m from Holland, so I don’t know how hard/easy life is wherever it is that you are, but generally the rule I advice people over here is to have at least 200 euro’s breathing room. They are expenses everybody forgets to take into account.

    There are also some great websites (i don’t know any american ones, but i know there are dutch sites like this), where you can upload an export of your back-statements, and they then draw nice graphs about it and show you where your money went. (and suggest a few ‘sponsored’ improvements, which are not always bad)

  6. If you want another Compaq laptop, I just bought one of these: Presario CQ62

    The ones at (sadly) Wal-Mart have Intel processors and graphics, which means they work great with Ubuntu. Even a 2.2 GHz Celeron is probably much faster than a 7-year-old laptop, and while these don’t have webcams, memory card readers or HDMI ports, yours might not either either. The CD drive doesn’t seem to work, but there’s always Windows 7 if you need optical drive use; and the speakers and microphone don’t work yet, but plugging in external speakers or earbuds works fine. I love the minimalist style on mine, as well as the large 15.6″ screen. And it’s a lot quieter than the System76 Darter Ultra I was using earlier.

    … oh hey, want to buy a 2008 System76 Darter Ultra for really cheap? >.> I’m selling mine on eBay, here. I won’t send the copy of Vista if you don’t want it, either.

  7. Pingback: Re-discovering KDE, sort of ( or What a difference a year or 5 makes) « claydoh's blog of ill repute

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