It is time once again for Money Monday hosted by my friend Laura. Money Monday is where we share our financial successes and/or money saving tips. Hop on over to Laura's blog and hook up with your Money Monday post.
Eight long months ago I decided to start putting money aside for a laptop computer. I've had my current desktop computer for many years, and while it still works very well most days (I increased the RAM to 2G a while back), I have really wanted to have the freedom that a laptop will provide. I had been looking at a Dell (they send me catalogs), but Laura recently got a Gateway to replace her laptop that died and the price was very reasonable and the computer was comparable. My first computer was a Gateway and I never had any problems with it that I can recall, so I was comfortable making the change.
As a SAHM, in order to get extra money, I babysit my niece two days a week so she can go to preschool with Alex. So I started cashing my babysitting checks instead of depositing them and putting the money into an envelope. Actually I gave Doug the envelope and had him put it aside so I wouldn't be tempted to spend it on something else. :) I'm glad I saved up enough money already because when preschool ends in May, so will the babysitting gig. Jordan will be starting kindergarten in the fall!
Anyway, today was the day! I finally had enough money saved up! In fact, I had more than enough!
So Alex and I deposited the cash into the bank, bought Best Buy gift cards at Giant Eagle so we could get the fuel perks, and we headed on down to Best Buy to get a laptop!
While there I actually decided to go with a less expensive model than the one I had picked out online. It has a slightly smaller screen and different memory (same amount but different - too technical for me) but the sales guy told me this one will be more than enough to do what I want. I also got a wireless router (on sale!), a wireless mouse (on sale!), and a carrying case. And I still had money (gift cards) left over! Woo hoo!
I'm still debating on what to do with the extra gift cards. I may give them to Keira towards her laptop fund. (Her fund is moving along a lot slower than mine because she doesn't have a steady income and hasn't been doing much around here to earn some cash - ahem.)
Anyway, I'm typing this on my desktop because I can't quite get the laptop hooked up to the internet yet. Apparently I need an ethernet cable to get everything set up, so I'll swing by my internet provider tomorrow and pick up a free one (they said I could!).
In the meantime I totally messed up my desktop computer. I was hooking and unhooking cables in order to get the laptop up and running and my desktop computer decided to stop networking with the internet. A couple phone calls to my internet provider and, obviously, we're good to go. I still don't know what I did wrong though.
I'm a little peeved that the router shows you how to set everything up to get it working but one very important cable is "not included". Ugh!
While at Best Buy the sales guy, of course, told me about all the extras I could get with my computer. For $100 they could have it all "set up" and ready to go for me - programs installed, junk ads removed, and backup disks made. For another $130 I could get the "Advanced Plan", which I guess is the same as an extended warranty. I told him no thanks to both ... all I could hear was Dave Ramsey telling me how extended warranties are a rip off. :)
When he brought out the laptop that I wanted, he told me I just saved $100 because it was already all "set up" and that was the last one in stock. He said they set up 40% of the computers that they have, so remember that if you ever go to Best Buy to buy a PC.
Afterwards Alex and I went to Olive Garden for lunch. We don't have an Olive Garden here in town, so that is the closest one, and I like to eat there when I'm down that way. After we were done and the bill was paid, our waiter brought us those Andes mint things (chocolate mints) that I absolutely love. Alex inhaled his and I started to unwrap mine not even thinking and then I remembered - I'm not eating sugar! Ouch! That was hard! I love those things! Oh yeah, I guess I already mentioned that. :)
As far as fuel perks goes, I earned $6.94 off per gallon, which means I will get a couple free tanks of gas! Woo hoo! I still don't understand why I got that much, but I'm not complaining.
Tomorrow I will be picking up some summer clothes for the kids at a local consignment sale. They are very hard on summer clothes so I hate to spend a lot of money on them. I hate to spend a lot of money on clothes for them any time, but especially summer. :) So I love this consignment sale. And my friend is the owner/operator, so I feel good supporting her business.
That's it for me! Have a successful money week!