Sigh. My computer is dying. I know, the typical “no debt at any cost,” “suck it up you spendthrift,” “need vs. want, need vs. want!” response is to save up money and then pay for it. But here’s the thing (isn’t there always a thing?).
- I make a lot of money with my computer. My freelancing goal, through online jobs, has officially been $1500 a month for the past two years. I’ve gotten over $2000 for the majority of the months. Last year, my total from the online company was around $35,000.
- Seconds and milliseconds matter. I often am working on 20ish documents a day. Some take 5 minutes, some take an hour. The main reason this is worthwhile is that my fingers are pretty good at taking short-cuts – things like CTRL+page down to get to the end of a document. No big deal, but that makes me probably 20% faster than I would be otherwise, which makes the pay worth the time spent.
- I also am able to work in bits and pieces, while waiting at the doctor’s office, while the kids are doing their dance and soccer and music and gym activities, etc. Those extra minutes add up to a lot.
- The battery is dying. I can only get about 15 minutes without the cord, which takes away some of those possible extra minutes.
- There is a spot that if you touch it just right, the computer instantly shuts off and you lose your work, and it takes ~10 minutes to get it back together. That doesn’t happen very much, because I am super careful about where I touch it and keeping the kids away, but that takes away some of those extra minutes.
- I often have to start the computer over because it is so slow as to be unusable. And by “often” I mean “2-3 times a day.” Restarting it speeds it up, by some. So, 20-30 minutes a day of time lost.
- Chrome is slower than dial-up used to be. Minutes minutes minutes.
- Sometimes, it takes up to 10 minutes to open a document – and if it’s a document that is worth $2.00 and is going to take me 4 minutes, well…that’s shitty.
- The keyboard adds random extra es and os, and sometimes doubles letters. Okay but I’m a copy editor, so I can’t have those…I ofoten have to go back and fix what I’ve typed. Minutes. See the word “often” above? That’s what it does. I don’t know why, but it’s annoying.
- Often, it’s slow enough that I type faster than where the cursor is, so by the time I see the extra es and os, I’m already well past that point, and have to either use the momuse (see what it did there? an extra m) (using the mouse cuts time) to go back and fix it, or I have to delete it all and start again.
Okay, I didn’t think I’d have this many points, but it’s a hardware issue and a software issue, and I think increasing my speed by 10% will pay for the computer. I’m increasing my official goal to $2000 per month for the next six months, with the unofficial goal being $2500. I’m well on my way to make that for March, and I haven’t even gotten the new computer yet!
So we ordered a computer, for about $1000. My husband has a no-interest card that we put it on for six months, and I’m not excited about adding debt, but having the new computer should add much more than that $1000 over six months.
So…yay! New computer! Boo! More debt! Yay, we’ll be richer! Boo, we’ll be poorer! Etc. etc. etc.