How do you finance your system purchases?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'd like to buy a new system as soon as possible, but I have car payments, student loans, and so on...and frankly not enough in savings.

So I need to figure out how to finance the purchase of a new machine. I'd really like to NOT put it on a credit card -- as I have enough debt as it is.

So my question for you all is this: How do you buy your new machines? Do you put them on a credit card, use Apple credit, or have enough in savings to take care of it outright?

Granted, a Mac isn't anything near the cost of a new house, but $3000 (for some machines) is still a decent hit to the pocketbook.


  • Reply 1 of 24
    bodhibodhi Posts: 1,424member
    Join a Credit Union and take out a computer loan. Credit Unions are Non-Profit and usually have very good rates.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    stunnedstunned Posts: 1,096member
    Savings savings savings. When u finally do get a mac, u will feel very proud of yourself.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Chores from my parents* for a year and a half + Christmas money. All for a 9600AV but then at the last minute, the Beige G3's came out.

    *$0.50 for mowing the grass! For a YEAR! Don't worry, I have my revenge. I put on an elaborate show to fix a printer and wow'ed them. Now they think Apple computer repair is very hard and won't touch anything broken. Hey, they're my parents, they owe me.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    As someone who continually wishes to yield to computer lust, I feel for ya.

    The thing I have to ask is this... aside from the lust what are you really going to use this new Mac for that you can't do on your old Mac.

    When I do this, I am reminded that I am essentially a hobbiest. I do some fun stuff with videos and photos, but nothing that my [email protected] tower can't handle.

    I WANT more, but I don't need more. I am not a developer, web designer, photoshopper, 3d artist or anything else that would make me a buttload more money if I didn't have to wait an extra minute on some sort of rendering.

    My ONLY mac purchase in college was a Mac Classic II. I made due on it until I was working as a teacher and then bought myself a used Powerbook 180.

    If you can't justify it, you probably shouldn't buy it.

  • Reply 5 of 24
    I'd have to say that if you have a computer that works (is not broken), then you have no business buying a new one for anything other than CASH.

    Remember ... you asked for this with your post !

    In my past, I have bought computers on credit (as well as cars and houses and God knows how many other things by way of creditcards). I now owe for nothing other than my home ... when you start getting rid of your debt you free up all sorts of cash for buying whatever the hell you want. I know it's hard, but you really are better off waiting ... your present computer is just fine ... really (I have no problems running OSX Jag on an origional iMac 266).

    OK, enough preaching.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    I got all my computers as free hand-me-downs from my parents until I got a dual 500 G4 last fall. I paid for it with money I had saved up from working at a grocery store over the summer. Not fun but nothing compared to $0.50 for mowing the lawn.

    My most recent purchase, an iBook, was bought with an Apple Loan but even so, it was only so I could get some time to sell my G4 for about the same price as the iBook cost. So technically, I took out a loan, but I paid it all off within a month.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    Steve Jobs comes by and breaks my legs. He may even let me let him break my thumbs this week for a ram upgrade! It's not easy man. If your credit isn't bad, then I'd get an Apple Loan.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Cash. We're DINKs my wife and I.

    My wife got her parents to buy her and iBook last year for X-mass <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
  • Reply 9 of 24
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    got a job.

    but i've found the best way to do it is to sit down one day and calculate out what it would cost you to buy a top of the line system. you know, that one you really, really want.

    then sit down and figure out how you'd make it work with your finances. then don't buy it.

    two years later look at the specs you had written down for your dream machine and the price. now price it out and see what you could pick it up for.

    the price drop will be so huge you'll never be seriously tempted to buy another machine new again.

  • Reply 10 of 24
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    My grandmothher got me my iMac for my 12th birthday (I think it was my 12th) and then in 2001 I bought my iBook myself with some money I got for my Bar Mitzvah. My next computer I'll make my parents pay for
  • Reply 11 of 24
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    That's the spirit!
  • Reply 12 of 24
    noseynosey Posts: 307member
    I have great relations with the perfect Leasing company...

    I was able to make over $5500 with a computer I never would have been able to buy if I hadn't done that... All graphic design and photography for an employer.

    Now that the computer is paid for, though, I have more business coming in, and most of it requires a bit of travel, so I am looking to lease again... It is currently part of the business plan, but I kind of need to have it before the business gets going.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    Join your student credit union.

    I make my purchases in cash, out of savings, and tend to look around for excellent deals. My iBook 700 was purchased on clearance, was a demo machine, on edu discount, and included applecare fo phree. I buy what I, realistically, need and forgo those unecessary extras.

    Buy relatively inexpensive macs. If you're a pro that needs the power, you don't. Unless you're doing some routine rendering a 'low end' machine is probably not going to effect your productivity/creativity. Look at pscates.

    I'd also recommend using the cash you save to pay for your shareware, to keep the karma up.

    [ 02-02-2003: Message edited by: serrano ]</p>
  • Reply 14 of 24
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Alcimedes - great post. It really IS amazing what a couple years will do. It makes any top of the line, "OMG I have to have this" set up look like something you'd get your Grandma to play card games on.

    I definitely would not want to use a credit card for a computer purchase. Imagine the poor guy (and you know one is out there) who decided "you know what, screw this, I am getting my dream system, finances be damned"... and used plastic to pick up a 23" Cinema HD display and a dual 1.25 GHz PowerMac back in October. He's made 4 payments, probably barely got $400 of it paid off along with the $400+ he's paid in interest... and now that system is worth $3000 less. That would be enough to contemplate a little wrist slittage.

    Well, or at least to post their angst here, and get ripped to shreds over it by some young punks who've never even had to use their own money for a computer... but that's another story.

    Anyway, I financed my first Mac by using a line of credit at my bank. I think back then I got it at prime + 2.5%. It's paid off now, but that line of credit is sitting at 7% right now, just a tad less than the 17.9% credit card I have.

    Basically, so anything other than having it on a high interest credit card. You will have a hell of a time getting that sucker paid off.

    BTW, no offense intended to most of the fine young punks I know here.

    [ 02-02-2003: Message edited by: murbot ]</p>
  • Reply 15 of 24
    rodukroduk Posts: 706member

    I saved for my first Mac, then having bought it started saving a little on a regular basis for my next Mac right away.

    That way your money is going towards your next Mac, rather than paying off the credit on your last Mac, so you're always ahead in the cycle. The only disadvantage is the initial delay before you can afford to buy the first one.

    I also think you're less affected by price reductions, as you can spend the money and forget about it, rather than paying off credit for something that no longer has the same value.

    Once you've started buying Macs on credit, it's difficult to break the cycle, as you have to pay off the last Mac and save for the next Mac at the same time.

    [ 02-02-2003: Message edited by: RodUK ]</p>
  • Reply 16 of 24
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Yep, after the first one is saved for and bought, sock away $100 a month or so, and you'll have almost 4 grand in a few years. If you bought the first one on credit cards, that monthly savings would have been going towards interest.

    I have a little Mac fund that I add a bit to every month, under the wife radar of course.

    I also have this weird savings habit. I'll think about going out for a beer, decide against it... but still toss $10 into my little stash. Or I'll see a cool magazine, almost buy it, think "nah", and drop a $5 bill and some change into the stash. I don't seem to miss the $5 here and there, but it adds up like crazy.

    [ 02-02-2003: Message edited by: murbot ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 24
    rodukroduk Posts: 706member
    [quote]Originally posted by murbot:


    I have a little Mac fund that I add a bit to every month, under the wife radar of course.

    I also have this weird savings habit. I'll think about going out for a beer, decide against it... but still toss $10 into my little stash. Or I'll see a cool magazine, almost buy it, think "nah", and drop a $5 bill and some change into the stash. I don't seem to miss the $5 here and there, but it adds up like crazy.


    Neat trick.

    Your wife thinks you're a wonderful husband for not going out for a beer every night, and you get to regularly buy a Mac.

    You win both ways.

  • Reply 18 of 24
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    Cash and AppleCare.

    Cost of Pismo with Airport Card, Airport Base Station, Apple Care: $3800

    Cost of PowerBook G4 1 GHz Replacement Machine: $500.

    Year I can buy a new Mac: 2007.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    cash, strait up. I normally try to buy everything like this (then again i'm younger then u are...i'm still in high school). I would say in ur situation to take some of the spending money u have and put it will build up rather quickly

    i want a computer now but i can't afford one...welli can but i need a car to get to work this summer so i can earn money to buy a computer and help college.

    Edit: Screw it i'm not gonna tell about how to save money, if u dont know read a book, i wont bore u

    [ 02-02-2003: Message edited by: ast3r3x ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 24
    Job. Cash. Don't tell wife.

    Actually, she knew when I bought a TiBook for her (go figure).

    I bought my first Mac (IIci) with a credit union loan. Then I lived the credit card game for a while. I won't do that again. If I don't have the money, I'm not buying it.

    As a point of reference, I remember a colleague who was bragging when he bought his 486 setup for over $5000. That was just before the Pentium was introduced. I'm still laughing at him.

    Pick a Price Point (e.g., $2000), pick a set of must-have Specs (Quad970, 2GB PC6400 RAM, 120GB HD, etc.), and wait until the Price Point and Specs match up. In 2020.
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