How Should I spend My Tax Return...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Digitalflick, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. Digitalflick macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002
    And What will you do with yours? (If one is coming to you)

    Yeah its that time of the year, and I am expecting a return.... Now the question is.. what new toy should I blow it on. I have broken my choices down to 2 items. A higher end Digital Camera, and a G5 Dual Core.

    Does it make sense to purchase a power pc based system right now? Since the new Intel Macs are around the corner. I mean If I buy one tonight. This year or next when Final cut is at 6 or 7 Will I be able to get an upgrade? Im sure I will need a Intel Mac to take full advantage of the software. I just need some clarity on this.

    Digtal Camera. I am looking at the Canon EOS 20Da. or the 350D. I am wondering if I will really notice the difference in image quality between cameras. I have heard great things about both.
  2. Ryan T. macrumors 6502a

    Ryan T.

    Jun 13, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Intel systems aren't around the corner, they're here!

    Pick up a nice Intel iMac.
  3. AJ Muni macrumors 65816

    AJ Muni

    Aug 4, 2005
    Macbook Pro + Cheaper high end digital camera = Satisfaction

    Havent you seen the statistical comparisons between the Intel iMac and the G5 Duo core?? I dont understand why you would want to buy an outdated product which will be replaced by this year, and which is statistically slower?? Is it a great machine? OF course...but is it faster?? NO way...
  4. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
  5. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    The very first question you should ask is..."Am I carrying any credit card balances?" If the answer is "Yes," then you should absolutely do that first. You don't get the pleasure of having a new toy right away, but you do stop throwing money down the drain at insane interest rates. And that means that you will have lots more money in the months and years ahead...much more than your tax refund.

    I'm getting a refund this year for the first time ever...about $1400 total from the federal and state. I always try to avoid it (why give the government a tax-free loan?), but I thought I might sell some stocks (AAPL, notably) last year that I ended up holding onto until just into the new year, so my income is significantly lower than I had estimated it would be.

    I won't be spending it on anything specific, although I did by a new road bike a few weeks ago and have had a few other splurge purchases recently, so this will help the bottom line get back in order.
  6. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
  7. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2005
    Boring, but here goes...

    If you are like most Americans with $2000 or more in credit card debt, mail the money to your credit card company.
  8. Digitalflick thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002
    I went through the credit card deal with my first 3 me. After they were paid off, It was Strictly cash (debit card) purchases from then on. I even paid off my wifes balances.

    This extra cash is strictly toy money. No investing, I already do that. :)
  9. Digitalflick thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002

    This is clarity .. thank you
  10. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    You guys are so responsible.:p I'm putting part of our refund away for the PS3 and Rev.;)
  11. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Amen. If only more people thought like this.
  12. Digitalflick thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002
    dangit .. i forgot about the ps3
  13. turtlebud macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
    It's always nice to get a chunk of money back in the beginning of the year. I just hated having to pay taxes on my state refund - that never really made sense to me, but I digress.

    To answer your question, if you decide to get a mac, I'd get a G5 dual core right now (or in the next few months). If you can afford it, spring for the quad core. My impression is that new duo intel imacs aren't as fast as you'd think they are and of course with the brand new chips inside, there are bound to be kinks that need to be worked out. I wouldn't feel comfortable buying a revA IntelMac (which probably won't come out until June or later this year).

    I know that you mention that you want to take full advantage of the optimization that they will put into FCP6 or 7 and if that can ONLY be acheived on an intelMac, I can't argue with getting an intelMac. But realize that you'll probably be waiting around 6+ months if you want to do that because the pro series intelMacs probably won't be available until then. The other thing you'd want to consider is if you've invested much in your current software. I'm sure most developers will and are updating their software to univeral binaries, but the bigger ones (adobe, ms, etc.) will probably charge you upgrade to the the universal binary version. You can run them under rosetta, but I'm pretty sure they'll run slower than on a g5.

    If you decide on a digital slr, my best advice is to try them both out if you can. I originally was planning on getting the rebel but found it a little uncomfortable to grip after awhile because the grip was so small. In terms of picture quality, it depends on how discerning your eye is. You will get excellent shots with both, but the 20d gives you a little more control over the settings on the camera (through things like custom functions).
  14. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    I just spent mine on a Digital Rebel XT.

    I had to kick in from savings to cover tax and a new CF card, but that's OK. :)
  15. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    That's what I did...breathing a lot easier these days because of it.
  16. thedude110 macrumors 68020


    Jun 13, 2005
    A new bowling ball.

    I've worn down my grips on the old ball ...
  17. cgratti macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    Get the Digital Rebel XT... It has some great features, unless you want to do more than hobby photography, if your want to be a serious amatuer, then go with the 20D.

    And since your asking about cameras here, I take it your not a pro at photography so the Rebel XT will probably be more camera than you can handle for quite some time. You may have some $$ left over for some good Canon L glass....
  18. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I'll end up using my tax return to pay my real estate taxes and some medical bills. No joy, but better peace of mind.

    In the past, I generally spent every dollar of my tax returns putting in back into my home or my business expenses one way or another.

    A good rule of thumb is to put it back into some sort of deductable expense.

    This year I'll be writing off last years purchase of my G5 and my Dell 24" display, and my new project studio gear for a business expense.

    Retirement and college funds are also a wise place to stash this kind of windfall money.

    Being debt free is a good thing too.
  19. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    Invest it, and get an EVEN BETTER camera in addition to a new computer this time next year. :)
  20. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
  21. Digitalflick thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002
    Yes I'm not too saavy on the tech side of photography, but I can point and shoot really good!. Getting the XT with a really good lens is a great idea.

    Yeah but the buy now button is right under my mouse pointer.

    A macbook pro & rebel xt together work out to around the same price as a dual G5 with upgrades.. go figure
  22. asherman13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2005
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Well, you could buy me a MacBook Pro:p.

    That aside, what system do you have now? I'd recommend, if you can, an Intel Mac, a decent camera that takes RAW photos, and Aperture, since you seem to be into the high-tech photography stuff.
  23. iEdd macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2005
    #1. Don't get your hopes up for a big tax return unless you know for sure what it will be.
    #2. Don't spend it all at once :p
  24. Jschultz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I have a question.

    This is the first year I'm claiming myself as independant, and I also got a writeoff for school tuition/ does this work? Does it necessarily equate to a bigger refund?
  25. nospleen macrumors 68000


    Dec 8, 2002
    Yep, you should get a bigger refund than normal. I remember when I was in school, the Hope Credit (i think it is called), was sweeeeeeeeeeeet. I got a lot back that year. Noooooow, I am married with two kids and my refund was only 1200, go figure...:eek:

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