5 Ways to Save Money on a New Computer
From streaming movies to storing photos to doing actual work, we rely on computers for so much more than we ever anticipated. And just like all other essential equipment, there always comes a time when you need to buy a new one. Doing so can set you back anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on your needs. Fortunately, regardless of your price range, there are several ways you can save money when buying a new computer.
Try Upgrading Your Current System First
It’s only natural to panic a little when your computer starts acting glitchy or slow, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end. Run anti-virus software, clean out unnecessary files and be sure you’ve installed the most recent operating system. Sometimes those simple steps can keep it going longer. You may also be able to add more RAM to speed it up, or add an external hard drive for more storage. Taking these basic steps first can keep your computer functioning and give you time to save up for a new one.
Determine What You Actually Need
Tons of memory and super-fast speeds sounds great, but they also come with a hefty price tag. Factor in what you actually use your computer for, rather than focusing on the bells and whistles. If you’re mostly using it for going online, along with storing photos and documents, you need less computing power than someone who is regularly editing video or doing design work. Research the features, pros and cons of the models you’re considering and choose accordingly.
Consider Buying a Refurbished Computer
Buying a refurbished computer can help your money go further. And it might surprise you to know that refurbished doesn’t necessarily mean the computer has been used and repaired. In some cases, it means the item’s outer packaging is damaged, or the item was sold and returned, but not used by the consumer. Additionally, floor models and demos also receive the refurbished label. When buying refurbished, be sure to ask a lot of questions, and check that all chargers, cords, adapters and accessories are included and in good working order.
Time Your Purchase to Maximize Savings
It’s not surprising that the best time to buy a computer coincides with back-to-school season. But that’s not the only reason you’ll find the best deals during July, August and September. It’s also the time of year the tech companies release new processors, so retailers start discounting their current inventory to make room for new stock. Additionally, some manufacturers offer additional discounts for students and teachers, so you’ll save even more if you fall into one of those categories.
Search for Coupons, Rebates and Cash Back
When making a big-ticket purchase, even a small discount can make a big difference. If you’re purchasing online, check sites like Retail Me Not or Coupon Cabin for promo codes. Install a cash-back browser extension such as Honey or Rakuten to earn cash back on the purchase. You could also purchase using a points or cash-back credit card. Just to be sure to have a plan in place to pay it off quickly. Otherwise, the interest charges negate any potential benefits.