How to convince parents to let me buy a MacBook with my own money.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by booste, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. booste macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2009
    Canada, In an igloo obviously.
    I've been wanting my own laptop forever really and since this summer I've decided I want to get a mac. I've decided a refurb White MacBook (From jan 09).

    Now the only problem left is convincing my parents (and probably grandma too) that me buying the MacBook is not just for the novelty of it or that I'm just going to huddle in my room all day on it all the time.

    I do spend a fair amount of time on the computer each day and I'm getting into programming, one of the reasons to get a Mac is so I can try to learn iPhone programming. I would use this computer for school quite a bit too because I'm in a game programming and development class. And once I leave high school (Grade 12 next year) I'd use this computer for university.

    But my grandma is the one who set me up with the bank account years ago and has put quite a bit of money into it. About 25% of the $1150 in there now is from relatives in Norway and the rest is just random deposits. How can I convince everyone that this computer is not just a waste of money? I only recently got actual access to my bank account too so I don't want them thinking I'm just spending the money for the sake of spending it.

    I also plan on getting a job very soon so the money would be "replaced" in a few months. I do have enough right now in total to purchase the MacBook I want.

    I probably have too much info in this post... but how should I approach asking my family if I can buy this "investment for my future"... after all it is my money right?
  2. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    tell them that you'll be using it to dabble in your hobby (iphone development) and that you can make money from it :)
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Since I haven't met your parents or grandma or discussed this with them, my guess is this is what they're thinking: this money has been there waiting for you for years, and you "only recently got actual access" to it, and now you want to spend nearly all of it on a computer. You might not be spending it just for the sake of spending it, but you might be coming across as being in an awfully big hurry to spend it, and nearly all of it.

    Again, they might be thinking this (and if so, I completely agree with them): If you're going to "replace" the money in a few months, just save that money and buy the MacBook a few months from now. Lots of us, even grownups, save our money over a period of months or years to make major purchases like computers, rather than emptying our bank accounts the first chance we get.

    Sorry to sound like I'm siding with your parents, but they might just be looking out for you, and if that's the case I think you'd be doing the right thing by waiting a few months to buy.
  4. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    When you get the job, make some money and get the unibody MB/MBP. That is a win-win situation because your family won't think what you said and you get a better computer. Take a class at your local community college over summer and use that to get the educational pricing. In the summer, Apple usually has the back-to-school promotion giving you a free iPod and you can also get the $100 rebate on a printer.
  5. mreg376 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Since it will help your education, I can't think of a better use for the money. Can they?
  6. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Or just buy a refurb, which are good-as-new and offer the same warranty, and save even more. I think unibody refurbs are only $1099 in the States?

    As for your parents... I'd wait till you've got the job, and then tell them it's your money. The money you've got now is a bit tricky, since while it's yours, your relatives will likely be quite interested in what you're spending it on. ;)
  7. booste thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2009
    Canada, In an igloo obviously.
    Well I plan on getting a WMB refurb for exactly $1118.88 including tax (from canada) and yeah I think i will tell them that it will be good for my eduction and the sooner the better right?
  8. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Just go to your parents/grandma and say:

    "Look. I've done a lot of research, and believe that the Mac is my best choice. I'm extremely interested in diving into iPhone development, which will help my career and allow me to explore new programming languages. In addition, it has superior software, a higher satisfaction rate, better build quality and much better customer service. Plus, if I go with a refurbished machine, not only will I save about $200, but I'll get the same warranty and a just-like-new machine. I've earned the money and the MacBook at $1100 with tax is the best option for me, by far."

    Personally, I told my parents I earned the money and I wanted to buy a Mac. They were fine with it, but since my parents don't spend a lot of time on the computer they still can't justify spending over $1000 on any computer when you can spend $400 on a POS Dell :p
  9. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    I think that if you earn the money before buying the macbook they would feel a lot better about you buying it.
  10. SecondDealer macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
    Just tell your mother how the computer will help you do better at school, take notes, type homework etc. The one thing that parents love is believing that their kid is going to do well at school. However, be careful because if you get the computer and your grades drop it will be the first thing they blame, that's what happened to me, anytime something goes wrong my mom blames it on my poor defenseless MBP
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Instead of telling them that you plan on getting a job soon, just get the job, and after the first paycheque comes in, buy it. Without the job, it won't go over well with your parents, whereas with the job, it may smooth things over.
  12. Mr. Giver '94 macrumors 68000

    Mr. Giver '94

    Jun 2, 2008
    Buy it and tell them when they find out....


    I would suggest approaching it saying you want/need it for schoolwork and personal hobbies that will be enhancing to your life and (potential) future career.
  13. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    List of pros and cons...

    First, do you currently have access to a Mac? If yes, forget it. Respect their decision and live with the one you have. If you have an iMac and want a laptop, that is not a need.

    If you do not have a Mac, I would make them understand why you want it.

    I believe the best way to convince them is to show them you did not make the decision easily, and that you did a lot of research.

    Think of all of the pros and write them down. Think of all of the cons and write them down. Be extremely honest... More honest than you have ever been about anything. Probably should list nearly as many cons as pros. But, make the Pros really count.

    Make them understand that you are thinking of this as a career path. Show them the iPhone development kit stuff you are interested in. Show them what it is you want. Take them to the computer and show them the website. Show them how it is the very least expensive Mac that includes a monitor.

    Oh, and if you don't get the unibody, which I recommend if possible as it's only $1099 refurbished, then definitely get the white with the Nvidia graphics. I think the aluminum is much better built and has LED backlit display. But, the white one is fine and will run SL fine but do get the Nvidia graphics at a minimum. It is so much better than the Intel graphics.

    Good luck and best wishes.
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Think of this as an investment decision in a large business. You're the junior executive wanting funds for a new project. You've got to convince the board of directors why this would be a wise choice and a productive investment.

    Gather up all of the information you can on Apple computers versus windows, pros and cons. Show them apps sales figures from the itunes store, and tell them about any proposed apps. Stress the long term investment from learning to program for that media.

    I mean, if pull my finger can make money for the app store, how hard can it be to turn a buck?

    Legally, it's your money, but your relatives see it as an investment in your future, or your own personal rainy day fund.
  15. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    Prove to them its educational benefits...
    Ive found the built in dictionary an indispensable tool for writing university essays - if your going to be writing, thats something a mac has over a pc

    Maybe give reasons that you wont need to replace a mac as quicly as a pc - they dont really degrade and slow down over time that much. Theres not really any reason why a mac cannot still be useful after 5 years, although probably not the most cutting edge things
  16. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    To be fair it is not exactly your "own money". It's money your relatives have given to you, now if they expected you to put it towards a laptop for uni or something similar then that would be fine, but it seems that they think there'll be something better for you to spend the money on than one big thing, so I think you have 2 options.

    Take them into an Apple store (or anywhere that has a specific Apple representative) and have them go through the various benefits ie the OS, the design, support, ways it's great for school etc. That's what persuaded my parents that I should be allowed to spend my money on a mac.

    Wait a few months and save up your own money. It's a given that you're going to need a laptop for uni, so your parents can't argue with you buying one and this way you avoid people being unhappy with the way you're spending the money they saved for you. If you wait 'till the end of Summer you might qualify for the back to school offer
  17. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    Sorry, but I'm gonna side with your parents on this one.
    You really don't need your own computer in high school. You still live with your parents, you mentioned that you already have access to a family computer. A lot of high school teachers probably won't even let you have it out in class, even if you just want to take notes. I assume your high school is fairly well equipped technology-wise if you're in a game programming class (and since you've been in the class for awhile, they likely provide you with computers). You just don't need a new computer.

    Wait a year until you're going to graduate and head off to college. Not only will you be scoring some sweet graduation gifts (if you've got nice grandparents, you might be able to get a free macbook out of it), but you'll have had a job for a year, have extra money to burn and you'll be able to get the newest model before you head away to university (which you'll want if you're continuing in computer science).
    Plus, you're a lot more likely to need a laptop in college. You'll be living on your own, so you'll no longer have access to a family computer.

    Trust me—utilize the technology that is available to you for free right now, then buy the best Mac you can afford as soon as you have a real need for it. You can justify to yourself a Mac purchase right now all you want, but the straight truth is that you have access to a useable computer right now and a new one isn't going to miraculously improve your grades or get you into college. You're clearly doing fine in school and a MacBook isn't going to change that (might make your grades drop if you install World of Warcraft).

    Save your money.
  18. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    I tend to agree with this. Or bargain with them. Get a job and save up half the money. Tell them you'll buy it when you've saved half, then replace the other half of the money within a certain number of months.
  19. eRondeau macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    Promise them you'll hardly ever use it to look at porn. :D

    Even better, tell them that "all those bad websites" just don't work on Mac's.
  20. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
    Like others have said...

    try to come with a business plan proposal or something similar. If you can convince yourself as well as your parents the benefit of getting the MB then you're fine.

    Otherwise, just wait. One year is not 'forever' :rolleyes:
    What about other expenses that may come up? Are you going to get a car? (insurance, gas, maintainance)
    What about going out with friends? (meals, tickets, etc.)
    Are you parents going to pay for college, are you going to split the bill, get financial assistance?

    See, there are plenty of things you may not(or may have) thought about. You really need to thoroughly think through this MAJOR purchase before just buying it. You'll effectively be 'broke' if you just buy it.

    Is this job 'locked' down? Is there any chance you won't get it? Or maybe you'll get less hours than you liked? Or maybe you'll hate the job and quit it?
    Then you won't have the money in a few months like you thought! Plus, have you thought about the taxes that will be deducted from your pay? It'll take a bit longer than you think to earn the money back.

    Maybe also you should clarify with your grandma and relatives if they where giving you the money with any preconceived notions of what is was for(e.g. college) or if it was yours free and clear.

    Even if you find out it is yours free and clear. You can show your family how responsible you are by waiting and earning the MB through your job. :D

    If you have access to Mac's at school or through a friend you can always try your programming with those. Just get books and learn the old fashioned way (paper and pencil) before you test it out. Proper planning is the most important part of computer programming. There is so much to do with programming before you type even the first line of code! ;)

    See it's not so simple huh? :cool:
  21. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Not to mention that saving up money to pay cash for a major purchase gives you some time to really think about the purchase before you make it. Seems to eliminate or drastically reduce buyer's remorse.
  22. techfreak85 macrumors 68040


    Jan 13, 2008
    get the money. show them da $$$. and print off a sheet of benefits.
    but the key is that its ur own money. dont buy it if u dont have the cash in hand. if people did that, we wouldn't be in this econ sit.
  23. kitch95 macrumors regular


    Jun 5, 2008
    I would wait until you get the job save up some more money until you have enough get an mbp. I think seeing as you are in to game development and want to get in to iphone developing you would probably appreciate the extra screen real estate and graphics power.

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