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New laptop vs. Credit card, Fight!

QuarterMasterQuarterMaster Registered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I currently have an Asus EEEPC 1000H (one of the original netbooks). It's served me extremely well over the past year and a half, from taking notes in class to checking my email. However, as of late it's started to become a little long in the tooth (and short in everything else). The screen and keyboard are becoming too small, battery life is dwindling, and the power just ins't there anymore. Recently I found this very nice Asus UL50AG for what seems to be a very reasonable price, and found myself itching to buy it.

I'm a college student, so battery life and portability are paramount. I love the 8-12 hours on the bigger Asus, however I'm kind of afraid it might be a little too big. It's about twice as wide and 2lbs heavier than my current netbook. Also it costs money. I have a credit card with a 0% introductory APR for another few months. This, coupled with a steady income, means I would be able to pay it off quite easily without incurring any interest. However, the thought of being in debt terrifies me. So I come here to ask what the collective mind of the Internet would advise! Thanks for any input, and feel free to ask questions if I didn't answer them.

QuarterMaster on


  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    You take on consumer debt when it will make you more productive.

    If you think that upgrading your laptop will yield tangible results in school, then go for it.

    Jasconius on
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  • Wicked Uncle ErnieWicked Uncle Ernie Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Jasconius wrote: »
    You take on consumer debt when it will make you more productive.

    If you think that upgrading your laptop will yield tangible results in school, then go for it.

    This is solid advice. Don't buy because you want to, but because it will allow you to produce more in some fashion. Or if you want to play vijda games, the only other proper reason to buy a computer :P

    Wicked Uncle Ernie on
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Make a budget plan: with your financial aid and all other funds, will you be able to pay off the laptop before the introductory rate expires? Will you be able to REALLY pay it off providing you reserve enough money for food, recreation, and other expenses? The more honest you are with yourself, and the more you do the math, the more paying off the debt will pan out for you instead of being some vague leech on your monthly financial plans.

    Also, once you figure out exactly how much time and effort and resources you must sacrifice to make this large purchase, you'll be in a better position to judge if you'll actually need it.

    Paladin on
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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Just don't make the same mistake I made with my first credit card - ignoring other expenses. Living with my parents I figured "Well, this tv is on sale for $1300, with taxes and the warranty about $1700. I make $x a week, which means I can pay it off in 1700/x weeks. I just won't buy food on my own or go out drinking for those weeks." I forgot that I also have to pay my share of the gas for the car, and in the end the 'not buying food or going out drinking' plans went straight out the window. And then there was interest payments - my credit card at the time was 26%, which seems a little ridiculous now and worked out to about $37 a month - luckily about half way through I got offered one of those 0% interest for 6 months deals with free balance transfers on a new card so I took it and did the swap. Sure, if I'd had a little more discipline I could have paid it off sooner, but I ended up taking around 5 months to pay it off because for every step forward I took I took half a step backwards. I think in the end the only reason I even managed to pay it off that quickly was that I got my tax return.

    I'm not saying don't get it - just that you really need to work out a budget and figure out how much debt you can handle and how long you're willing to be in debt for it. For some people being in debt is a natural thing - they don't feel bad about it or worry about it (I'm not saying this is a good way to be), other people hate the feeling (like me, I'm not saying this is good either because once I'm out in the 'real world' I'm probably going to be getting a mortgage and that will be like signing up to be miserable for 40 years.)

    If you think you can hold off until you've put together enough money to buy it cash, I'd recommend that. Or wait until your next couple paydays have gone by so you at least have something to put towards it and lighten the burden.

    Wezoin on
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