Thinking about the amount of money a decent laptop costs can be overwhelming. You probably want a powerful laptop for gaming, graphics design or day trading. But you don’t have the money to buy it on a whim. We have good news—you can save for it within a few months.
There’s no shortcut for acquiring the money you need for your dream laptop. You have to save it or look for an extra source of income. Below are tips to help you hit your budget quickly without resulting to extreme money-saving measures.
1—Create a Budget for your Laptop
Laptops come in all shapes and sizes. There are machines which cost as little as $99 on eBay. And then there are next-generation PCs that go for upwards of $2000. What’s your budget and what laptop are you looking for?
Many new laptops priced between $300 and $999 can handle most tasks people buy laptops for. That includes streaming movies, playing video games, shopping online, simple coding work and browsing social networks.
You probably have specs for your dream laptop. List them down and determine whether they are all important. For example, a touchscreen laptop looks cool. But it can be pricey. A machine with 16GB of RAM is powerful. But you don’t need much RAM for regular office work.
In other words, be ready to compromise on certain things to afford your dream laptop. If you want your dream PC with all its bells and whistles, though, that’s alright. There’s a way to afford it.
2—Create a Monthly Savings Goal
Your goal is to purchase an $1800 laptop during the festive season in December. Assuming you have six months to save, then you need to set aside $300 every month. Depending on your present bills and obligations, $300 might be a lot of money.
But if you’re determined to purchase your dream laptop in six months, then you need to commit yourself. According to financial experts, a great way of achieving your savings goal is to save first and spend the rest of the money.
Scratch that. Pay your bills then deposit $300 into your laptop savings account. Whatever remains after that is your budget for the month. By following this principle, you’ll never be tempted to skip on saving.
Investing is a wonderful thing. In six months, a $300 investment could grow into $600, $900 or $2000. It could also lose value and become worthless. But this is why you don’t invest without doing research.
With your goal being to buy a dream laptop, look for the best performing stocks and shares ISA. Create an account and invest an amount of money you can afford to lose. The beauty of ISA accounts is that they don’t attract capital gains taxes. So, whatever profits you earn from your investment is yours to keep.
That being said, stocks aren’t the only investment vehicles nowadays. There’s day trading, which is highly risky albeit profitable. Then there’s crypto investments, starting a business or profiting from a skill.
The bottom line is to earn money besides your monthly salary. This extra income can help you achieve your savings goal quicker or help you afford a better machine.
4—Find Extra Ways to Cut your Spending
Buying new clothes and shoes every month is great, but it impacts your savings goal. You can’t save much when you’re spending on luxury items regularly. As a solution, record all your expenses and find ways to cut on your spending.
Create a list of the amount of money you spend on groceries, fuel, bills, entertainment, travel and miscellaneous. You can even use a spending tracker to keep tabs with every payment you make.
The goal is to look for monthly expenses you could do without. Let’s say you’ve subscribed to three TV streaming networks. Yet, you barely watch TV. You could cancel your subscriptions on two of the networks and save an extra $100 per month.
When you think about it, there’s a way to save on nearly every expense. For example, you could substitute eating out for home-cooked meals. You could substitute foreign tours with domestic travel. Crucially, have a savings goal to ensure you cut on your spending modestly.
5—Consider the 50/20/30 Rule
If you find it hard to cut on your present spending, consider using the 50/20/30 rule. It says you should spend 50% of your monthly income on compulsory bills: groceries, rent, mortgage and insurance.
Next, save 20% of your income. This money isn’t necessarily the one you’ll use for purchasing your dream laptop. It could be a nest egg that could come in handy if you lose your job or get into an emergency.
The remaining 30% of your income is designed for your lifestyle choices. Let’s say you have fitness in mind all the time. This is where you can deduce money to buy the latest workout equipment. It’s also the money you should use for entertainment.
If you’re keen on buying your dream laptop soon, you can consider cutting on lifestyle choices to save. Let’s say you earn $3000. Half of the money is dedicated for rent and essential. Twenty percent of your income, ($600) is your compulsory savings. You’ll have an extra $900 you can work around to save more.
6—Don’t Overthink it
Saving money shouldn’t be complicated. You can start small, say by damping pocket change into a savings jar. You would be surprised by how fast it takes to fill up a medium-sized jar. This also means you don’t have to follow everyone else’s guideline.
If saving 20% of your income is unattainable based on your present expenses, then start by saving 5%. If you can do it for three months, look for a way to increase your goal to 10%. There’s no secret: you have to compromise.
Think about stuff you buy every month that you don’t really need. Leave them out of your budget and save the money for your dream laptop.