How do you afford it?

baummer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 18, 2005
949
27
Southern California
I have been a fan of Apple for a long time. But, because the cost of the machine is expensive for someone like me (university student, living on my own, part-time worker), I always have to resort to using PCs, which I'm growing more and more disgusted and frustrated with. My question is...how did you afford it? Any tips? I try to save, but with rent and food costs, as well as books, etc., I just can't save enough money for anything. I'm lucky if I walk away with $10 after bills are paid. Anyways, sorry about this rant, just wondering if I'm missing something.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
I bought my first Mac as a college student. Basically it was with money I saved from my summer job. Plus, I bought a used Mac, and sold my old computer. This was all in 1987 (gasp!). I believe I paid $500 for my computer. If I could do it then, you can do it now.

[edit]: It's all coming back to me now: one trick I used to save money was to only use cash to buy things. I kept my cash for two weeks in my bedroom. If I ran out of cash, I was out of money. No cheating -- no cash machines, no credit cards. I could send money home to Mom for "saving," but you could also do this with a bank account as long as you don't have a cash machine card.
 

baummer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 18, 2005
949
27
Southern California
Good suggestions so far. Problem is, I don't have much to save. I currently make around $900 per month. Rent is $750. After gas, food, and school expenses, I have nothing. See my dilemma? I mean, just to buy my mini ipod it took me a year and a half and a generous donation from my family (and keep in mind I did take advantage of the edu discount and spent about $240).
 

scem0

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2002
7,028
1
back in NYC!
Create a Gradient Creator, advertise it, advertise on it, and benifit.

Actually, I've only earned 20 bucks off Gradient Creator, but every cent counts I guess. I don't even touch it and it earns me money, so I'm happy about that.

scem0
 

7on

macrumors 601
Nov 9, 2003
4,940
0
Dress Rosa
My $200 B&W will do anything I want to do on a computer. Though I do have a 2 year old powerbook.

It's just you can usually stretch the life of Macs out. I've had my PBook for 2 years, and most people I know from freshman year are already on their 2nd computer.
 

kgarner

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2004
1,513
0
Utah
You could always try to get ten of your friends to try one of those deals on f-r-e-eminimacs.com. (no hyphens). I usually by an older model for less and use it until the situation becomes untennable (sp?);)
 

rhpenguin

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2003
929
0
London, Ontario
I bought my first Mac (2003 iBook) when i was in College and had just finished my Windows 2000 certification courses..

Heres how i did it.

I sold my RAWKIN pc for like $1200 and then i got a cheque from the government for survivor benifits (my mum died a few years back and the government gives you money for it if your in school) which afforded me my iBook.

Thats how i got my first Mac.
 

Drgnhntr

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2004
101
0
San Diego
I have always bought end of life apple products. Right after (sometimes before) apple released new products, they drop the prices on the old models. They are still new with full warranties, they are just not the latest thing. I find that this saves along the lines of a few hundred dollars depending on what you are getting. The problem is that no one really knows when apple releases new products so it makes planning a pain. I have also always used educational discounts and that will stack with end of life product discounts. You should check your school's bookstore electronics department as I have found the best deals there.

eMacs and mac minis would be good places to start. Wait until they are updated and look for deals. If you want to upgrade later, macs have good resale value and you can put the money towards a newer mac.

I know what you are saying about money in college. It's rough, and I am still paying the debt I acquired. I don't know if you have considered a roommate, or if that is even possible. There are loans and I believe that most student loans allow for computer purchases. If your school is near a research institution, they typically pay well for "research subjects". If you are really tapped for cash and really want a mac, I would suggest the loan. Student loans have really low rates and don't need to be paid back until you graduate.
 

blackfox

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2003
1,208
4,026
PDX
In direct opposition to Wordmonger's (good) advice, I offer my (bad) advice:

Credit. As a student, CC companies love you, and even with a relatively low limit, you should be able to afford a mini, or alternately, put some monthly expenses on the card, and save the cash.

Or, if you are really desperate, go through Apple Loan - which will seriously gouge you on interest, but at least you'd get your computer.

This plan, if done wisely, has the added bonus of building your credit. If done poorly, however, it can be a major headache.

Used macs are also good, and fairly cheap with the intro of the mini. My macs are from 2000 and 2002 respectively, and both fine performers.

Good luck.
 

chanoc

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2003
339
0
Anchorage, Alaska USA
Get a "stable" roommate (not a relationship) to cut costs. I sleep in the living room for only 200.00 a month and my roommate has the bedroom and pays more. Eat at soup kitchens and get food at foodbanks. Volunteer at foodbanks and get a *****load of food. Buy a cheap Power Mac off eBay. I got a PM G4 733MHz off eBay for 500.00. If credit interest is no concern, take out a loan at the Apple Store Online. Get a better job. :)
 

Drgnhntr

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2004
101
0
San Diego
baummer said:
You obviously haven't seen the costs of renting an apartment in California...
It just plain sucks and I couldn't afford it. I lived with my parents and had a horrendous commute. My sister is up at UCR, and paying about what you are for a one bedroom. She shared it with another girl and it was working great until the roommate bailed. My wife had to have three roommates when she went to school in La Verne. Finally, a girl I went to school with at UCSD had 5 other roommates just to make the payment. I don't know of anyone that could swing their own apartment while going to school. Are you totally against having a roommate?
 

chanoc

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2003
339
0
Anchorage, Alaska USA
baummer said:
Problem is, I don't have much to save. I currently make around $900 per month. Rent is $750. After gas, food, and school expenses, I have nothing. See my dilemma?
Gas? Ride the bus like the rest of the poor folks. I am making 1,300.00 a month washing dishes. Got an interview for a Web Designer position next week - hell yeah!
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
When I was in college computers weren't available so it's hard to comment. Although the things that I did have came from the money that I earned in the summer or my parents were good enough to purchase what I needed. Maybe your parents would be willing to help you with a Mac mini. The educational discount should help.
 

angelneo

macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2004
1,537
0
afk
I paid for my laptop using a college loan (but its a PC laptop). kind of regret about getting that loan as after 3 years the laptop went bye bye on me, and I am still paying off the loan at that time.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
2
iowa
You only have to come up with a big investment once... so long as you sell your machine every year or two (once you're on a schedule stick to it), use that money and you'll only have to pay a small additional amount to get a new machine. Of course this works better on the pro equipment than the consumer... And you can keep a studio display and use it with multiple PMs, so you don't eat the depreciation (in theory). Every independent graphic designer i've known did this, because it's hard to come up with the necessary $3,000 every 5 years for a whole new system. Without going onto credit, which is kind of silly for a purchase that will be obsolete before it's paid off...
 

Leareth

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2004
1,569
6
Vancouver
A large number of schools will give you loans to buy computers, thought you would have to justify why a mac versus a PC, my school is very mac friendly so I am lucky in that account. As well there are technology bursaries available from external donors you might want to look at one of those. You could also take out a line of credit with your parents being cosigners at a lower rate than credit cards. Speaking of credit cards if you get the one with 2% cash back you have 2/3 of your minimum payment paid every month...so that might not be a bad way to go.
What about Federal Student loans? or student loans from a bank?
Another tip is see if you can plan your class schedule so that you are commuting less per week, saves gas and food moneys. Last term I had all my classes on mon and tue with the rest of the week free to work full time that other students could not take up due to their class schedule. my weekends were free.
I am not sure what year level you are but 4th year and above students usually can become TA's and Tutor-markers which means salary, benefits, extra grants and bursaries ,and occasionally they will buy you a computer and accessories. An friend of mine got his powerbook, printer and one year of ADSL paid for by the school because he is TA one class for two terms.
 

KingSleaze

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2004
410
0
So. Cal
baummer said:
I currently make around $900 per month. Rent is $750. After gas, food, and school expenses, I have nothing.
Cut out the gas, get a bicycle. How far is it to school? 3 miles? That's 15 minutes at a slow pace. Good for your health and pocketbook.
 

Dros

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2003
484
1
chanoc said:
Eat at soup kitchens and get food at foodbanks.
I would feel pretty bad about taking food from charities that are trying to help the truly needy, then turning around and buying a Mac with the money I've saved. I would suggest instead beating up bums on streetcorners for their spare change.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
... I don't...

Unfortunately I misjudged (don't we all) and as a result I carry a whopping ***$4500*** balance on my credit card today. (Pleeeease don't tell my mom...) Still trying to pay that off, ever so slowly, but the money I make from being a Master's student just doesn't go far, especially when I have to pay for gas and maintenance for my car, and my admittedly rather frivolous lifestyle of occasionally eating out with my friends and other incidental expenses.

I bought my 12" Powerbook using an Apple loan. The interest was killer, but that's where I made my mistake... see, they were offering interest-free for 180 days, and I jumped on that. I ordered my 12" ($2800 Cdn) along with Final Cut Express for $149. Trouble is, the fine print says that the 180-day interest free deal is only good on the FIRST charge made to the loan... and guess which was charged first? Yep, I got a 6-month interest free loan on a measly $150, and paid something ridiculous like 26% on the other $3000. This was unexpected, so I transferred the balance to my credit card, which charges me "only" 18%, and I've been trying to get rid of it on and off ever since. (About a year and a half now).

I've been making liberal use of eBay and the local buy/sell groups to get rid of gadgets and other things I no longer need... I've even (*sniff*) decided to let go of my iPod. At least for a few months until I graduate and hopefully land a good paying job of say $65,000 or more. :D

Other than selling all my older gadgets, one thing I did find very nice was offering to take notes for disabled students through our school's center for disabilities. Last term, I was paid $20/hour to sit in class and type up notes for a student with vision impairment. Good money, and I got a good refresher on UML and software design too :)

Good luck...
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
3,418
4
Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
notjustjay said:
I bought my 12" Powerbook using an Apple loan. The interest was killer, but that's where I made my mistake... see, they were offering interest-free for 180 days, and I jumped on that. I ordered my 12" ($2800 Cdn) along with Final Cut Express for $149. Trouble is, the fine print says that the 180-day interest free deal is only good on the FIRST charge made to the loan... and guess which was charged first? Yep, I got a 6-month interest free loan on a measly $150, and paid something ridiculous like 26% on the other $3000. This was unexpected, so I transferred the balance to my credit card, which charges me "only" 18%, and I've been trying to get rid of it on and off ever since. (About a year and a half now)
What a scummy thing to do. I mean, that's just rotten. I am disgusted that Apple teams with these lowlife bottom-feeders. I would have threatened to send it back to Apple. MBNA are blood-thristy scum bastards.

(I'm glad my Apple Loan is PAID OFF in full! Never again with MBNA!)