How I’m Going to Buy a New Computer Without Spending a Cent

By Carlos Portocarrero

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computer By Vision Valley Photography

The other day I was hanging around at Best Buy while my wife went shopping for shoes at DSW (which is the closest place to hell on earth, but that’s a whole different post). As I walked around in there and checked out the new computers, I got a major case of the gimmes

I want a new computer.

Do I need a new computer?

First of all, my wife and I have a desktop computer that her old boyfriend gave her way back when. This is an OLD computer that has reached the end of the line, all while performing admirably. I even upgraded the machine’s RAM a few months ago and it’s reached the limit of how it can be improved.

The machine I use is a laptop that I bought before traveling to France in 2003. Laptops don’t have as much flexibility when it comes to upgrading, and this one is also starting to show its age. The hard drive is crammed and no amount of trickery seems to speed it up to what I’m used to at work. 

In other words…it’s time.

Without Spending a Cent? Explain!

That’s what I’m here for. As I walked around Best Buy, it hit me that the stupid way to go about buying a new computer was to take out my credit card, pick the machine closest to what I want, and buy it right then and there. Worrying about how to pay for it down the line was something a stupid person wouldn’t care about because I’d have my hands on my new computer right away and my life would be so much happier/better/etc.

What I’m going to do is be patient and plan ahead: I’ve started a targeted savings account over at ING that’s specifically for this new machine. The account is starting from $0 and my goal is to save $1,000 as quickly as I can without spending any money from my paycheck. All the money I deposit in this fund will come from the money I make on this blog, any freelancing money I make, and any other extra income I get. 

Which means it’ll take WAY too long to get my new computer.

But having a specific goal and a very nice reward waiting for me on the other side means one thing: motivation

I’ve already put up some books on Amazon that I don’t need and were just taking up space. So far I’ve sold four books and have netted around $25, so I’m on my way. 

Not only that, I’m always on the lookout for how I can make and extra buck or two to drop into the computer account. It will probably take a really long time, but the best part is I won’t feel any of the guilt I usually get with big purchases. 

Why? Because I won’t have spent a single cent of my paycheck. Now, who’s interested in buying a guitar I’ve played like 17 times and looks brand new? Any bidders?

Oh and also, if you have any tips for making a quick buck or two, let me know because every little bit counts and my computer may not make it much further…

14 Responses to “How I’m Going to Buy a New Computer Without Spending a Cent”

  • Nikki Says:

    I’m not sure what your requirements are for a new computer but $1000 sounds like a lot to me. You might want to check out sites like to find out how much it’s really going to cost you. Otherwise you may end up waiting too long!

    My dad & my brother have both purchased nice laptops off that site in the past 2 months for <$600. The key is to know what you want & wait for it on that site because from what I understand some GREAT deals get listed occasionally. Just a thought.

  • Weekly Round-Up: Celebrity Edition — Green Panda Treehouse Says:

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  • josh Says:

    There are plenty of ways to make money, you need to be creative. I will buy your flat screen for $150.00. Now you are even closer to your goal and my babies room can now have a tv for when I have to feed her. Now each of us is happy. Please bring the tv with you next time your in town and I will give you the check.

  • Mrs. Micah Says:

    Shoot, $1k could buy you a desktop AND a little Acer Aspire One netbook for blogging/writing. /good idea on how to come up with the $$. I used blogging income to buy myself a netbook a few weeks back. :)

  • Nut Says:

    I don’t know about $1,000 being too much. I’m looking at buying a desktop that has some relatively high-end features. I want the fastest processor out there (or a notch below) so that the machine will last a while. Tons of RAM, a DVD burner, a decent-sized screen, etc. I had built a machine on, but maybe I’ll have to revisit the $ amount. Thanks for the tips!

  • Says:

    How I’m Going to Buy a Computer Without Spending a Cent…

    Buying a new computer can be expensive—here’s one way to do it without breaking the bank….

  • Hudson Says:

    It is relatively simple to build your own PC and save a ton of money. A few questions though…
    1. What will you do with the new PC? i.e Gaming, Business, Video editing….
    2. Will this completely replace your old PC. Will you keep your old pc or just toss it out. You can save a lot on software costs if you can transfer the programs to the new pc without violating the licensing.
    3.Are you going to use anything from the old PC? i.e. Key board, mouse, Hard drives, Monitor.
    4. Just to give you an idea you could probably build a great PC for around $700. 00 depending on your needs.
    5.Just an idea to get you to your goal faster

  • Nut Says:

    Hudson: Funny you should mention it. I’ve been saying for years that I would build my next computer. But now I’m not sure I want to put the time into it. I’m thinking of using it a little bit for gaming, but mostly word processor/Internet/Photo manipulation stuff. So it doesn’t have to be a monster but it does need to have some thump.

    I may reconsider but I doubt it.

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  • John Richardson Says:

    I recently got a fairly nice Dell GX270 from ebay for £22. It’s not a very high end machine but it’s perfectly good for what I do with it and you could easily pay a bit more for two and lump them together to make a dual core thing with heckloads of RAM.

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  • Chris Says:

    Heck you can build your own high end computer for roughly $400 buying from newegg.
    $1k is enough for a couple computers and a night out on the town lol.

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