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Buy it now or buy it later?

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I am graduating with my Masters degree this Fall and my parents are wanting to do something special for me. I need a new laptop because my old one is crashing> In order to ensure that I get exactly what I want my parents said they would just give me the money so I can by it myself. The problem is my wife is taking huge issues with this.


Her argument is three fold. First she feels that I’ve become to obsessive with electronics. I got a new digital point and shoot camera for m birthday at the beginning of the year. I bought myself a new iPOD with the left over money that I had saved for grad school, and I would like to get a digital SLR camera whenever the money is available (I won’t put it on a credit card). Second, we are planning a six month Wilderness trip, that we would be leaving for in a year and a half from now. She feels that if I were to buy the computer now it would be “obsolete” by the time I get back. It would be better if I just took the money from my parents and put it into a savings account and let it accrue interest until we get back from the trip and by the laptop then. Lastly, I have access to a laptop from my job which I should be able to use until we leave. thereforeeee, I don’t really need to buy my own laptop, I can use this one for now and buy my own when we get back.


My argument is this. The money isn’t ours that I’m choosing to spend instead of saving for our trip. It is meant to be a gift of celebration from my family. Second, our credit cards are being paid off, and we are meeting our goal for savings and have a reasonable plan to save more than enough over the next year so money shouldn’t be an issue (although it always is). In response to her argument about the computer being obsolete when we get back, technology is changing rapidly. Anything I buy now will be obsolete 6 months from now and this fact will never change. I plan on keeping the computer until it crashes which should be a least four years if I take care of it. The only legitimate concern she has that I agree with is that Vista sucks and a Mac (which I can not afford with this money) would be a better buy. In response to my obsessive need for electronics, the things that I have gotten over the last year were gifts, mostly from others, but admittedly I bought the iPOD. If any of you have been through grad school you understand the hell that I went through and I think buying myself a $250 congratulations gift was not unreasonable.


I’m at a loss. Is she right? Am I being selfish? Should I invest the money and wait to buy a laptop later? Is it right to take the money from my parents and even do this even though they were suppose to get me something? What do I do?

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I think that if you chose to save that money for the trip rather than to buy a laptop it would affirm to your wife that you do have a control over your obsession with electronics, I can relate to you, I dont know what it is but I am always buying a gadget here or there, honestly though the feelings of your wife should be more important. and the thing is the longer you hold out on the laptop the cheaper,faster, and nicer you'll be able to get.

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welcome to enotalone - i think her best argument is that since you will be going on a wilderness trip for 6 months, it may be wiser to put that money into a cd, and then buy a laptop when you get back. it will be cheaper, and what's the point of a laptop sitting in storage for 6 months? plus, it might not be a bad idea to have that money sitting in an account, if heaven forbid, there is some kind of emergency during the trip and you need cash.


apart from that - i am not married, but it sounds like it is your money, from your parents, to buy yourself a treat, so get what you would like. i don't think buying a camera, ipod, and laptop are unreasonable at all. i view my ipod as a necessity so i don't have to listen to people's inane cell phone conversations.


instead of vista, may i suggest just sticking with windows XP? that's what i did when i bought my dell a few months ago.


ultimately, it's your gift, not a gift to you as a couple. good luck with your decision.

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I went through the hell of a 'boot camp' style MBA program for two years (actually only the first year really sucked). When I graduated I plunked down $200 for a Mont Blanc pen as my 'reward' (why? because everyone I ever interviewed with had one so I figured it was a corporate requirement - but now it sits in the box because I think it and people who use them are obnoxious - hence why I am thinking of a career change... but this is about you so on to my point


So the $250 for the iPod is no problem. I don't think you are obsessive and I've had my eyes on some SLR's myself.


As far as the laptop goes, I agree with the other poster who seems to think it would be best for all if you can wait two years (which is a long time) to get the new computer. It sounds like it would mean a lot to her. And it should give you some good will for when you really want to go crazy with the 80" Plasma TV in about three years.


But if in the end, you choose to get the laptop now I do not think you are selfish - because two years is a long time and in that time it sounds like you'll need a good laptop for the iTunes and the other multi-media things you will collect over this time period.

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apart from that - i am not married, but it sounds like it is your money, from your parents, to buy yourself a treat, so get what you would like.


I'm married, and I agree 100%. I don't see why there would even be a question about this money or any invitation for input from someone else, spouse or not. It's a gift from your parents to YOU. Period. So in my eyes that means you can do what you want with it, when you want.


I don't like to waste money at all, but sometimes I believe that if you can, you have to live for the moment. Everything does not have to be so practical and planned out all of the time. You worked hard for your degree and this money is a gift which you were not even expecting or planning on, so why not use it as a gift and get something you desire and enjoy, and use it now?


Congrats on your degree,



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oh wait - i see that you aren't leaving for your trip for another year and a half? in that case, i see nothing wrong with buying a laptop now.... it won't become that obsolete at all. and a laptop is a necessity, imho.


now, if you were leaving on that trip in just a few months, i would think buying a laptop now wasn't a great idea. but you have plenty of time now to use and enjoy it.

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I agree that your wife is being unreasonable. May I suggest checking out Ebay, especially CSR Technologies for a laptop. I bought my current one and it's great, it has Windows XP and a warranty on it, my sister and I have both bought laptops off ebay from this company and have had no problems with them at all. Just a suggestion

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