How Should I spend My Tax Return...

Digitalflick

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2002
119
0
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.
 

AJ Muni

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2005
1,147
17
Miami
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 I dont understand why you would want to buy an outdated product which will be replaced by this year, and which is statistically slower??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...
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
16,723
1,027
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.
 

electronboy

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2005
274
0
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.
 

Digitalflick

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2002
119
0
I went through the credit card deal with my first 3 macs..trust 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. :)
 

Digitalflick

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2002
119
0
AJ Muni said:
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...

This is clarity .. thank you
 

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
0
NYC
electronboy said:
If you are like most Americans with $2000 or more in credit card debt, mail the money to your credit card company.
Amen. If only more people thought like this.
 

turtlebud

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
563
39
Digitalflick said:
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.
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).
 

cgratti

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2004
782
0
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....
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
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.
 

Digitalflick

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2002
119
0
cgratti said:
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....
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.

katie ta achoo said:
Invest it, and get an EVEN BETTER camera in addition to a new computer this time next year. :)
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
 

asherman13

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2005
914
0
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.
 

iEdd

macrumors 68000
Aug 8, 2005
1,956
4
#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
 

Jschultz

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2005
878
12
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/expenses...how does this work? Does it necessarily equate to a bigger refund?
 

nospleen

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2002
2,332
645
Texas
Jschultz said:
I have a question.

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