In today’s day and age, when your computer dies it feels like the end of the world. We’re so reliant on being connected that losing a piece of technology can literally bring our work, social lives, or mindless entertainment to a screeching halt. When that happens, we rush out to find a replacement, and oftentimes the stress causes us to be more liberal with our price range.
Don’t be scared. Be prepared.
The next time you have a laptop emergency, remember these tips to find a replacement fast, without spending outside of your budget.
Refurbished laptops are usually a great deal. These are laptops that have been returned for one of any number of reasons. Maybe it didn’t work. In that case, it has been repaired. Maybe the new owner found a better deal after purchasing, and decided to send it back for a refund. Maybe a company had a lease on their computers for a few years, and at its expiration returned the two-year-old model so they could go out and get new ones.
Whatever the reason, these not-brand-new products are a great deal for the frugal shopper. If you buy from a reputable seller, like Newegg or Best Buy, these laptops typically come with a warranty giving you the best of both worlds: lower prices and peace of mind.
Don’t Buy Features You Don’t Need
Computers can do amazing things, and they get even more amazing with every day that passes. It’s easy to be tempted by all the bells and whistles used to upsell consumers, but think about what your needs are before you purchase. Are you a photographer who uses a lot of editing software? Then maybe you legitimately need the priciest of all Macs. Are you anybody else? Then you probably don’t. If you’re not a gamer, you probably don’t need 16GB of RAM. Know yourself, and buy accordingly. There’s no point in spending extra money on features you won’t use.
Check for Student (and Educator) Discounts
Many retailers, including the two mentioned above, offer student discounts. If you’re still looking to buy shiny and brand new, take advantage of this, and look at it from every angle. Many of these retailers are surprisingly flexible with who qualifies as a student, or who qualifies for an educational discount, with Apple being among the most generous. In the Apple Store for Education, you can qualify for a discount of up to $200 off a Mac if you are a college student, the parent of a college student (if you’re purchasing for said student,) or an educator. The term educator casts a pretty wide net, as they include teachers (homeschool or traditional,) and all faculty and staff at all grade levels, K-12 or post-secondary. If you work in education, make sure to take full advantage.
The next time your technology gives out, or you’re shopping for an addition to the family, evaluate your needs: new versus refurbished, and top of the line versus functional. Applying discounts for education and coupon codes available to the general public takes such a minimal amount of time that it’s not worth rushing through without. Take a deep breath, think it through rationally, and save a ton of money.