I had to rethink that a bit, though, after taking on a little consulting gig this past weekend. And yesterday, when a coworker pointed me to the 40%-off Dell promotion posted at Ars Technica, I just had to make my move.
So all told, I'm spending $902 (not counting the whopping 2% reward I'll get from the Citibank Merchant Dividend Network), and I'm getting a Dell Inspiron 6000. I'm generally not a big fan of service contracts and extended warranties, but in the case of cars and notebook computers, I'm a buyer. (In this case, I took Dell up on their 3-Year Plus package.)
The computer is nothing special, really. All I need it to do is (1) give me wireless internet 'til my eyes glaze over, (2) run Excel and Word, and (3) handle Quicken. Not like I'm gonna be doing heavy gaming on it or anything.
Now here is the truth: I've contemplated (read: agonized over) this purchase for two days now. I pulled the trigger about an hour ago. Already the guilt is kicking in. The money will come from my Freedom Account; specifically from the subaccount I set up for Appliance & Electronics purchases. All those monthly contributions are about to make themselves useful, I guess.
Here's a quote from my wife Lisa in an email to me this morning. I was concerned with how she'd view the purchase, knowing my penchant for "financial belt-tightening" recently ... and my decided slant toward over-cautiousness. (Well, our situation is pretty precarious, thought the guy with no non-mortgage debt and $5400 in savings.)
"Don't confuse ME with the voice inside your head," she wrote. "I suspect you're having more issues with yourself and buying the computer than with me."
Quite succinct. And quite true. Oh, but my mind does a fantastic job of beating itself up when it comes to money situations like this.
Way back when, I was able to fend off the desire to buy a Nikon D70. But this time, Dell was just too much for me. Oh, they're good, with their spiffy, easily-navigable website, and their insidious 40-percent-off Coupon Codes. You got me this time, Michael Dell, though not easily.
I made it tougher on me than anyone else could probably do.