The Frugal Canadian

A frugal spender seeks to find new ways to save money and increase her net worth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fighting the urge to spend money

I desperately want a new computer. My existing PC is extremely slow and increasingly becoming less reliable as I see the blue screen of death more and more these days. I've decided to make the switch to a Mac and am looking at a model which retails for $1699($1937 including tax).

Maybe I've been completely swayed by Apple's clever ads. The "restarting" ad is a personal favourite at the moment. Although it is more expensive than a comparable PC, most of my computer time is spent on multimedia activities and after checking out Macs failry extensively I decided to make the switch. Still, I'm not going to rush out and buy one. I've set a goal of raising enough money from sources of income other than employment. I've been working hard since January 2006 and I'm getting pretty close.

Poker winnings - 890US ~$1000CDN
BestBuy gift card - $100 CDN - from a poker bonus
Focus Group Stipends - $200 - for attending marketing research group sessions
Side Business Income - $335
Pending Business Income - $250

Total - $1,885

I'm so close but still short $50. I should reach my goal by the time Leopard comes out.


At 7:29 PM, Blogger Will said...

Buying a new Mac is hardly frugal of you. In fact, you even state that it's more expensive than comparable Windows computers and that you've been swayed by adverts. Have you added in the cost of getting the software you need to replace (which, I presume, you already have for your PC)?
Do NOT be swayed by Mac ads. I was a Mac user from 1987-1997 and will never go back. There is nothing worse than having no choice and that's life in the Apple environ. You will have no choice (or certainly not the extent of choice) of available software (free or pay) a windows world has.
What are you really using you computer for? Don't you really just need to replace the box (it's a desktop, right?) Then you can do that for under $1000 and have a killer set-up.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Frugal Canadian said...

I admit buying a Mac is not being frugal. That is part of the reason why I'm using ancillary income to purchase my new Mac. I'm sorry your Mac experience wasn't a good one but I truly feel it's the right choice for me based on my computer needs and use. Interestingly enough, you owned a Mac throughout the period where Steve Jobs wasn't part of the company. He completely turned the company around and restored Apple to profitability. I currently have a laptop so i would require a monitor, keyboard and a box. I am switching to an iMac which I admit is still more expensive than a PC. I haven't actually been swayed by the ads but I do find them entertaining. I'm happy to say goodbye to Microsoft and if I was REALLY desperate to run a windows program, I can easily do so with Bootcamp which is a going to be a standard feature in the new OS

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't forget to include the $100 you will save not having to buy virus software and a firewall.

macs are sexy

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought you were buying a house?
Your title says is all. Fighting urges is number one in being frugal. Do you really need it?

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do not have to buy virus software or a firewall.
You can download AVG Free (anti-virus)and ZoneAlarm (firewall). Both are free. I first heard about them on a local weekly radio program about computers and sponsored by a local computer retailer. I have used them for almost three years and they work very well indeed. You can Google them to get reviews and to download them.

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$100 for virus software and firewall? Nah... Try one of the many highly rated and FREE softwares at cnet (e.g. avast antivirus). That's the beauty of PC, it's relatively cheap to keep on top of the performance curve if you know your hardwares and softwares. The big downside is windows is a huge pain sometimes...

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being influenced by Apple's "clever ads" is hardly being frugal. Also, that doesn't really justify the need to buy a Mac. What apps do you find you use on a regular basis? And what apps do you think will replace those Windows apps on your Mac? Also, I notice you mention you're going to get Leopard. Why? It won't add to your productivity, and its a waste of money on a minor upgrade to the OS when it really will not change any of the applications that you will run.

Unless you're encoding video all day and need a powerhouse, you probably don't really need a Mac. Even then, you probably don't need a Mac.

Saving $100 on antivirus is a horrile incentive. There are many many free and really good (probably better than the $100 versions) anti-virus programs out there.

Lastly, if you were really frugal, get a bare pc, and install Linux on it. It has come far enough now that you could probably just install it yourself and not have to pay a cent.

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the same position with my computer about 3 years ago. I bought an iMac and never looked back - no more pop-ups, unwanted ads, or using 3 scanning programs to remove viruses and spyware.

It might not be the most frugal decision, but it brings a world of joy not having to restart every 15 minutes.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Macs are the best! We work on Macs all day, every day, and have done for 10 years. My wife LOVES her IMac. Buying the best tool for the job is smart shopping.

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just be aware of the lousy customer service Apple provides...We bought an IMac in May and 10 days later the hard-drive failed. The company we purchased it from refused to do anything about it; Apple Service basically said we don't exchange anything outside of 7 days and that they have a "three strikes and then they'll exchange" policy. (They also claimed that since Apple doesn't make the hard-drive in their computer!!!??? that they have no obligation to replace it. We didn't add the hard-drive or anything. That's how it came from Apple!)
So we had no choice but to take it to an Apple service depot, where it sat for over a month. ("Oh, no, Sir, we don't keep spare hard-drives in stock. We have to order them could take three months to get it in")
After doing some research, I've come to the conclusion that this is standard Apple service. They have no competition/no reason to give good service because they have managed their market so well. So when you do get your Mac, just pray that nothing goes wrong.

I, too, thought the Mac commercials were clever. Now, I just want to retch when I see them.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see that someone else has the Mac fever too. I've decided that my next 'pute will be a Mac, but since my current computer is only a year & a half old, there's no real need for me to get a new one. But the next one's definitely a Mac.

And as Will said, Mac's are definitely not for the frugal out there, but it that's what your heart's set on, then by all means, keep saving up your pennies till you're ready. That's what I'm doing!

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being frugal doesn't mean that you can never spend money on stuff that you want.

The whole point of saving on pointless crap is that when it comes to stuff that you really want, you can afford it.

If he wants a Mac, he should buy a Mac. OS X is quite great compared to windows.

At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's true that the Mac ads are quite funny, especially the ones that show the Mac as an attractive young man while the PC is shown as an older less attractive guy. The thing about the Mac ads is that there is really no one to counter those ads... who's PC? IBM/Lenovo? HP? Toshiba? Sony? Microsoft?? There's not one company that runs ads that will sway the Mac ads. I own 2 Mac laptops and they are a delight to own. I actually bought my last one and even got some cashback on my purchase so that was a definite plus. FYI, I got it through Frugal Pal ( Overall I would recommend buying a Mac, yes, they might be a bit more expensive than a PC but they're certainly more fun and sleek looking. I'm pretty happy with the ones I have.

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an iMac and iBook and frankly, have no desire to switch to a pc. I have a newer iMac but I also have one of the original iMacs over 10 years old and still works good to this day. You don't need to buy virus software BUT you will probably need to be Microsoft Office so be aware of that.

I was able to get mine discounted through a university store--apple offers discounts for teacher, students, if you work at a university etc . . .hope that helps.

At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear good things about the new Mac OS. However, I dislike the fact that Apple products cost an arm and a leg to have them or repair them. They're obviously a lot prettier than PCs but like munkay said unless you're encoding or working with a lot of graphics (software is still pricey) then it's not necessary to have a Mac. I honestly think it is an unnecessary asset. We can say whatever we like, but it's still not our choice. Enjoy your purchase!


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