Nearly every college student buys a computer at one time or other. Computers are irreplaceable when writing, communicating, and learning. However, computers are also excellent at eating your money! To get a good computer, without going broke in the process, utilize these ten ways to save money on your computer.
#1 Know What You Need
Before you go to the store and start looking for a new computer, do your research. Are you looking for a fast computer with lots of memory? A small computer to carry from class to class? A large screen computer to watch videos? If you know what you are looking for, you will be able to avoid wasting your money on a computer that does not really fit your needs.
#2 Know What You Dont Need
In addition to knowing what you do need, you should also know what you do not need. Unless you are a photography or video student, you probably will not need the most expensive multimedia card most likely, you would not even notice the difference. If you know what you do not need, you will be able to avoid wasting your money on computers with unneeded extra components.
#3 Use Rebates To Get the Best Deal
Computer companies love rebates because most customers never use them! By remembering to complete any rebates available for your computer, you can often save hundreds of dollars. Just remember to still compare prices sometimes a computer with a rebate is still more expensive than a similar computer without a rebate! Also, before you actually purchase the computer, make sure you fully understand how to complete the rebate – they can be pretty complicated.
#4 Buy Refurb1ished or Open Box Computer
Often you can get refurbished or open box computers at huge sale prices. For instance, Best Buy often sells its demonstration models at vastly lower prices. Refurbished computers are computers that have been returned for minor problems or simply because the customer changed their mind. The computer company then completes minor maintenance or repairs, certifies the computer, and sells it at a discount. Many open box and refurbished computers can be found online at places including NewEgg.com and TigerDirect.com.
#5 Do You Really Need the Extended Warranty?
Evaluate whether the extended warranty is really necessary. If you plan to carry you computer around campus, the extended warranty probably is useful, but, if you are only using you computer in your dorm room, it may be a waste of money. Personally, I would prefer to have the warranty, if only for the peace of mind, but cutting the extra warranty is one way you can save money on your computer purchase.
#6 Buy Last Years Model
Computer models change quickly sometimes even every three months. Generally, the new model will have a few slight improvements over the old model, but they are normally mostly the same. However, when the new model comes out, computer stores generally clear their inventory by selling the old models at steep discounts. Buying these discounted computers will give you virtually the same performance… for a much better price!
#7 Dont Buy It at All!
Sometimes, the best way to save money on a new computer is to simply not buy it at all! If your old computer is still working fine, try to get another year out of it. The new computers available next year will probably be more powerful and less expensive than your options this year!
#8 Avoid Unnecessary Software
When getting a new computer, try to avoid investing in unnecessary software. While this may seem like common sense, many people are convinced by the computer salesman to buy some extra piece of software. Unless you do graphic design work often, Photoshop is probably a waste of money other options will work almost as well.
#9 Transfer Software
If you have an important program already installed on your old computer, consider moving it to your new computer instead of re-buying it. For instance, I found that my copy of Microsoft Office is licensed to three computers. So, when I got my new computer, I was able to install it there without buying a new copy. If you only have a one computer license, consider uninstalling your program on your old computer and reinstalling it on your new computer.
#10 Use Free Software
Many times free software is just as useful as paid software. For example, Paint.net is an excellent free alternative to Photoshop. Although there are differences, you would probably not even notice them unless you do lots of graphic design work. I am still learning to use all the features on Paint.net! For more free software, read my post, 9 Essential Free Programs Every College Student Must Have“.
Have you saved money on your computer?