#1 Edited by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

So, here is the thing. Right now im looking for ways to cut down on costs, save more money, and live more on a budget. Im 25 and honestly can NOT save money to save my life.

The thing is I really want to get some form of computer for personal use. im getting tired of using the family PC and want to get something that I can use for school, personal use, and maybe even some games.

I know that saying I want to budget myself and then saying I then want to get a computer are probaly conflicting things. But honestly I think I really need something i can use for college coming up in the fall. Im tired of taking hand written notes, so im more than likely going to be looking for a laptop or something like a Surface tablet.

and im thinking of moving to more cost effective platforms as well. such as android and windows products. since Apple isnt exactly affordable.

So im considering selling my iphone 5S and Ipad 4 on Ebay and then using that money to get a good windows laptop and a android phone or windows phone thats more affordable. like a nexus 5 or if I wanna go cheaper a Moto G or something. I figured that could then leave me maybe about 500 or so for a windows laptop.

But is this perhaps a dumb idea? Does it make sense to sell what I have now and am mostly ok with to try and get other things that would perhaps be more useful and more cost effective in the long term.

I dont want to be unhappy with what i get though. I dont want junk products. and I hear alot of people say windows are kinda junk laptops.

But I dont know, do you guys have any advice?

#2 Edited by Zella (731 posts) -

The thing is that to get a laptop that can play games decently you are gonna have to spend a lot more than 500 bucks on it. If you are more focused on being able to use it for note taking during class then you could always just look into getting a keyboard for your iPad, I've seen multiple people in my classes go that route. I used an android tablet with a keyboard for note taking throughout my first year and most of my second year and it worked fine. You can really do a lot with a tablet now a days, if you have your own TV then you can easily hook up your iPad to it for a better media experience, and bluetooth keyboards allow for better internet browsing.

While I am a die hard windows and android user you also have to consider the longevity of an Apple device compared to android. Android develops so quickly that a Nexus 5, which I currently own, will probably be outdated within a year and a half (it will exit Google's two years of support they promise). I have friends and family still rocking their iPhone 4's, the original model not the S, without many problems.

In the end it is totally your decision but I would recommend trying to focus in on what exactly what problems you want to solve and list them in priority. Also make sure to look at alternative routes to solve a problem, such as peripherals for your devices. Though yeah I would give up much hope of much modern gaming on a laptop working with your budget, as much as people on these forums will scream about how gaming laptops are terrible they can actually be decent but they are often pricey.

#3 Edited by Raven10 (1769 posts) -

I actually have some major pieces of advice:

1. Almost all colleges these days have school sanctioned laptops. Most of the time there are both Apple and Windows options. If you buy a laptop from your school you will get a discount and the school will service your computer, often for free as long as you remain at the school. I would highly advise looking into an option like that.

2. You should also look into the computer recommendations set forth by your department. Most often arts and communications fields use Macs while business, engineering, and science use Windows. See if your department lists a specific computer or at least a specific OS on their website. If they don't then I would recommend emailing the head of admissions for the department for advice on what type of computer would be most worthwhile.

3. I would not sell your current phone and buy a worse one. The phone you have is much higher quality than the ones you mentioned. It isn't costing you any more than those phones now that you own it. So keep it until it breaks. And that last part is the key. You have the very latest model of phone. You don't need an iPhone 6 or a 6S or likely even a 7. As long as your phone is working and supported, keep it until it breaks.

4. Lastly, when it comes to buying a computer, don't get one that is built poorly. It's better to spend a bit more now and have a computer that lasts for four or five years than spend barely anything and then have to replace it a year from now. I would recommend getting a laptop with a solid state drive not a standard mechanical hard drive. It will last you a lot longer.

#4 Posted by LiquidPrince (15921 posts) -

You could always just use Evernote on your iPad. It's great for taking notes and is cross platform so if you ever end up on a different device, it will most likely carry over. Would save you some money. However if you do want a more traditional computer experience, Surface Pro tablets are not bad, but they are on the expensive side. Also Nexus 5 is an awesome phone, no matter what you decide about the other things.

#5 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4203 posts) -

Surface 2, or maybe an upcoming Surface 3 would be alright, I think. Surfaces usually have a bad-ass Tegra on them. Windows Phone: Sony is supposed to be releasing two Windows Phones, one in July, and one in October. The Nokia Lumia ICON is basically the US version of the now awesome international Lumia 930, which is basically everywhere except US version. So, Verizon has the exclusive for the Icon, and it released in February. Its supposed to maybe be a 6-month exclusive, but who knows, sure. February + 6 months equals August, so maybe T-Mobile+Sprint+ ATT might get on that or something.

Android err, its whatever, I guess. Android Central, and WPCentral are both good Mobile Nations websites about phone fanboy things. Also good forums over there. WMPowerUser is also a very good place for rumor-ey Windows Phone news, just saying.

Oh, and for cheap stuff: My cousin just bought a $60 Lumia 521 on ebay, brand-new and off-contract. He seems to be liking it pretty well, and 8.1 has sort of released by now. I have an old HTC Radar on 7.5, so I'm pretty sure I'm staying on WP. Anywho, hope you find something good.

#6 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -
@zella said:

The thing is that to get a laptop that can play games decently you are gonna have to spend a lot more than 500 bucks on it. If you are more focused on being able to use it for note taking during class then you could always just look into getting a keyboard for your iPad, I've seen multiple people in my classes go that route. I used an android tablet with a keyboard for note taking throughout my first year and most of my second year and it worked fine. You can really do a lot with a tablet now a days, if you have your own TV then you can easily hook up your iPad to it for a better media experience, and bluetooth keyboards allow for better internet browsing.

While I am a die hard windows and android user you also have to consider the longevity of an Apple device compared to android. Android develops so quickly that a Nexus 5, which I currently own, will probably be outdated within a year and a half (it will exit Google's two years of support they promise). I have friends and family still rocking their iPhone 4's, the original model not the S, without many problems.

In the end it is totally your decision but I would recommend trying to focus in on what exactly what problems you want to solve and list them in priority. Also make sure to look at alternative routes to solve a problem, such as peripherals for your devices. Though yeah I would give up much hope of much modern gaming on a laptop working with your budget, as much as people on these forums will scream about how gaming laptops are terrible they can actually be decent but they are often pricey.


yeah, that definitely was a big consideration (using a external keyboard with my ipad 4) but i was worried it would look odd in class. and honestly, if im going to PC game, im going to build a desktop machine. I was just saying id be neat to do light gaming if I could.

@raven10 said:

I actually have some major pieces of advice:

1. Almost all colleges these days have school sanctioned laptops. Most of the time there are both Apple and Windows options. If you buy a laptop from your school you will get a discount and the school will service your computer, often for free as long as you remain at the school. I would highly advise looking into an option like that.

2. You should also look into the computer recommendations set forth by your department. Most often arts and communications fields use Macs while business, engineering, and science use Windows. See if your department lists a specific computer or at least a specific OS on their website. If they don't then I would recommend emailing the head of admissions for the department for advice on what type of computer would be most worthwhile.

3. I would not sell your current phone and buy a worse one. The phone you have is much higher quality than the ones you mentioned. It isn't costing you any more than those phones now that you own it. So keep it until it breaks. And that last part is the key. You have the very latest model of phone. You don't need an iPhone 6 or a 6S or likely even a 7. As long as your phone is working and supported, keep it until it breaks.

4. Lastly, when it comes to buying a computer, don't get one that is built poorly. It's better to spend a bit more now and have a computer that lasts for four or five years than spend barely anything and then have to replace it a year from now. I would recommend getting a laptop with a solid state drive not a standard mechanical hard drive. It will last you a lot longer.

Im actualy considering looking into a refurbished macbook air maybe. I think i could get a pretty good price on one. ill have to check though. and I hear those are pretty great laptops.

Im unsure what my major is. I was considering business technology. I also have been taking communications or theater arts classes.

#7 Posted by joshwent (2175 posts) -

If games are a part of your desire to get a new computer, I'd echo what others have sort of said here and go for getting something way cheaper for note taking and put the rest towards a desktop. I recently built a PC for my girlfriend for about $550 (monitor not included) and it can play modern games from the past 2 -3 years at usually max settings no problem. You wouldn't really get near that for a laptop in the same price range.

#8 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

@joshwent said:

If games are a part of your desire to get a new computer, I'd echo what others have sort of said here and go for getting something way cheaper for note taking and put the rest towards a desktop. I recently built a PC for my girlfriend for about $550 (monitor not included) and it can play modern games from the past 2 -3 years at usually max settings no problem. You wouldn't really get near that for a laptop in the same price range.

what parts did you use? my main worry if finding the right components.

#9 Edited by Dixavd (1354 posts) -

As others have said, look into other options first. Currently I'm looking to upgrade my laptop which is breaking in some severe ways on a hard-ware level. However, that's only because I require more of the things a laptop is suitable for (such as being able to bring with me the ability to write documents, edit video and images with Adobe products like photoshop, be able to learn and interact with game engines like Unreal or Unity, and be able to use scientific applications on the go/moving data and the ability to open it from different work-stations). Since you have implied you are used to a desktop PC, moving to a laptop will still feel very odd to you anyway. If you just need it for notes and portability then the iPad you already have will be more suitable (especially since iPad apps are something you wouldn't be able to use on a laptop and some of them are incredibly useful - especially when specifying topics of areas you want help with for the subjects you are doing; it's actually quite a booming place for education apps at the moment and most of it is free). Just make sure a laptop is the thing you want (and not just the product you think you want due to connotations on what you think you would need to do work on the go).

Hope you find something that suits you but my personal opinion is that changing your entire (PR-speak) "ecosystem" just to accomodate a laptop seems like a bad idea (especially when it would technically limit you as having a PC and an iPad nets you the ability to do more things than a PC and a Laptop).

#10 Posted by Raven10 (1769 posts) -

@raven_sword: If you don't know what type of computer you'd need most for classes then I might do as others suggested and start by just getting a keyboard for your iPad and then ask your professors and classmates for suggestions. To share a personal story, when I started school I was a film major so I got a Mac as my school used Final Cut to do editing which is an Apple program. A semester in, though, I switched to being a game design major which then required me to get a new computer because the engine we were using at the time did not support Mac development. So over the course of a year I spent like $2500 on two computers and I could have saved $1000 of that if I had known from the start what my eventual major would be. So I would hold off for now and wait until you have your major down and then base your OS choice on the software used by that department.

#11 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

@raven10: yeah, honestly I'm just unsure what to do for a major. I love theater, but don't think that's really a major.

I was thinking of something with computers, but coding sounded very dull.

Was considering also something involving tech and business or something. I just don't know. And I'm already 25 years old.

#12 Edited by Raven10 (1769 posts) -

@raven_sword: I wouldn't worry about that. One of my favorite pieces of trivia mentions that Walt Disney was nearly 40 years old when Snow White came out. And since you are into theater, another favorite piece of trivia is that Samuel L. Jackson was in his mid-40's and had made 30 films before he got his breakout role in Pulp Fiction. And he was 61 when he first played Nick Fury in Iron Man. People will tell you that by 25 you should know what you want to do with your life, but some people just don't. It's nothing to be ashamed or upset about.

#13 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

@blu3v3nom07: you don't find the lack if apps a problem in windows phone. I'm using a lumia 920 as a side device right now and that's one thing that would perhaps be a deal breaker for me even though I like the OS quite a bit.

#14 Edited by Zelyre (1177 posts) -

@raven_sword: Brand new 128 gig first gen Surface Pro can be had on Amazon for just over ~$620 delivered. You won't do heavy gaming on it, but Skyrim at 1280x720 is very doable. We've been deploying Surface Pro 2's, and they feel really solid. Of course, this is without a keyboard, which drives the cost up higher.

Best Buy has (had?) a promotion where if you had a .edu address, you could set up a college account and get $150 knocked off a Macbook. Brought the Macbook Air down to $750. So, ~$800-$825 out the door.

I'd avoid the Surface RT (Non-pro). It might be handy for taking notes, but since you're using it for college? A lot of schools use Black Board. Guess what doesn't work with Blackboard? IE 11. Someone also described the Tegra as bad-ass. I'd describe the Tegra as bad, ass.

If I were still in school, I would get a Surface Pro and get my text books in electronic format, if offered. My iPad 4 renders multi-page PDFs too slowly for my liking, no matter what I do to optimize them. I wouldn't want a traditional laptop with a platter based drive. I'd want something with stylus support so I could write my notes down. Typing is fast and all, but I always needed to make annotations and illustrations. Being able to squeeze in a game from my Steam library like Terraria or Starbound would be icing on the cake.

#15 Posted by joshwent (2175 posts) -

what parts did you use? my main worry if finding the right components.

It can really seem like a daunting task to build a PC (especially a cheap yet high powered one) considering the almost infinite number of parts in their infinite combinations, but there are resources that help take a lot of the guesswork out of it. I love this stuff but I'm nowhere near an expert, but with help from a few key sites and methods it was all pretty painless. (and fun!)

The first step if you don't have a grasp on even all the parts that make a PC go, is to just spend a little time watching videos. YouTube has tons of great things from folks who build computers for a living. Even a general search for, "how to build a computer" will probably help a lot. This 3 part series from newegg clarified most of the things I was unsure about:

The next would be looking for some articles about perspective cheap builds. Many PC sites will release articles a few times a year about the best parts in certain budget levels, like what graphics cards are currently the best around $100, $200, etc. There are also articles about entire PC builds also based around a target budget. Here's a pretty good article from Lifehacker to get you started.

Once you have an idea of what parts might be good, head over to a retail site (I like newegg, but others are fine too) with reviews from folks who've actually bought them and look up those parts. There are usually sections like, "Users who bought this also bought..." with links to parts that are similar but cheaper, or other components that are compatible. Also, check out the reviews. If there's one thing PC enthusiasts like talking about, it's how product X sucks and you can get product Y that does the same thing for cheaper.

The last step, once you've found parts that look good to you and you've seen them being praised by others, is to make a list in an awesome site like pcpartpicker.com. There, you can add all of the parts you're considering, and it will automatically tell you the estimated power required so you can base your power supply choice off of that, and even if all of your parts are compatible. It's a priceless help. But of course, it's good to make sure on your own, so if you just google, "is 'part x' compatible with 'motherboard y'", there should be lists that you cam double check with. Here's a link to my build on that site, but don't necessarily take those parts as a recommendation. They're all great, but it was about a year ago, so you're sure to find some things that are even more current and cheaper.

Also, a last optional step once you have the build sorted out is to post it for others to see and let you know if they think it's good. There are lots of sites out there which actually specialize in that, and you can even post your build right in pcpartpicker, but if you really want, some folks even post their perspective builds in the PC forum right here, and we're always eager to help.

So yeah, I went from a dude with only the most basic knowledge of computers to building a crazy cheap pretty powerful PC just by dedicating myself to going through these steps. If you put the time in, you can get a great computer out, and with the added satisfaction of having made the damn thing yourself!. Good Luck!!

Bonus random tips:

- You don't really ever need more than 8 gigs of ram if you don't plan on doing crazy high res video editing or 3D modelling/animation.

- When budgeting, don't forget peripherals (Monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc.). These can easily add a ton onto the overall cost, so it's best to think about those while you're deciding on the other parts. Of course, it's what's inside that counts, as it were, so you should absolutely try and get the best internal parts and skimp on a cheap keyboard or something if you have to.

- Like the point above, don't forget that you might need to buy an OS. Despite being kind of old now, Windows 7 Home Premium still goes for around $70, which can be a nasty boost in cost if you've budgeted everything else without it.

- Have fun! Really the most important tip. If you ever feel overwhelmed, just remember that you have the internet (aka, the collected wisdom of PC builders around the world) at your fingertips. Google your question, or ask on a PC building site, and you'll have your answer in no time.

#16 Posted by MB (12291 posts) -

If you're trying to save money, why are you buying a 3DS XL when you already own a perfectly functional 3DS? Just stop buying stuff.

Moderator
#17 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

@mb: we'll, the size of the original 3DS isn't too comfortable to use. And I'd like the better battery life. Plus I like the screen clarity on the XL more I think.

#18 Posted by MB (12291 posts) -

@raven_sword: right, but you're trying to save money...and you don't need a new 3DS. See what I'm saying? Stop buying things that you don't absolutely need, and you will magically start saving money.

Moderator
#19 Posted by Sweep (8845 posts) -

The spelling of opinion is too perfect to change, but I'm going to alter the thread title to be more specific.

Moderator
#20 Posted by Zelyre (1177 posts) -

@mb: Hah. That reminds me of someone I used to work with.

He wanted a new handgun, but bought an air pistol instead since it was cheaper and he wanted to start saving money. He started plinking in the house and a BB chipped the glass on his TV. He then bought a new TV to replace the chipped TV. After getting the new, bigger, and more expensive TV, the entertainment center was no longer big enough for him.

Now, not wanting to repeat the plinking incident, he remodeled his basement so he could have a place to plink his airgun. While moving stuff around, he figured with some carpentry, bullet traps, special cartridges, and redoing ventilation in the basement would let him shoot in the basement.

I recently asked him how his saving plan was going. "I haven't used any of my credit cards since I got my April statement!"

#21 Posted by Chop (1996 posts) -

Seriously, dude? You save money by not buying frivolous stuff. Despite what uh, commercials might tell you, money does not turn to dust if you leave it in your account.

Don't buy a new computer. Don't sell your phone and buy a new one.Don't sell your iPad. Don't buy a new 3DS.

#22 Edited by RVonE (4636 posts) -

@mb said:

@raven_sword: right, but you're trying to save money...and you don't need a new 3DS. See what I'm saying? Stop buying things that you don't absolutely need, and you will magically start saving money.

@chop said:

Seriously, dude? You save money by not buying frivolous stuff. Despite what uh, commercials might tell you, money does not turn to dust if you leave it in your account.

Don't buy a new computer. Don't sell your phone and buy a new one.Don't sell your iPad. Don't buy a new 3DS.

All of these things.

#23 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

@mb: yeah, I think I see what you mean.

Honestly, I just thought maybe a new 3DS would deal with my issues with the screen quality on my 3DS I have now . To me, it looks kinda washed out or blurry. But maybe that just how the 3DS screen is. It sort of just looks overly warm. I thought maybe I left it in my car one time or something in the heat, but can't remember if I did or not.

The only thing I can think if that I do want to replace soon is the tv in my room. The panels kinda dying out it looks like. It has this ghosting on it. And the TV 7 years old anyway, so it's probably time to replace it anyway.

#24 Edited by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

@chop: I know. One day I would like to get a computer to game on, though. It would be great to dive into that gaming ecosystem.

#25 Posted by ripelivejam (3821 posts) -

is it buy bonds sell stocks, or the other way round?

#26 Posted by MB (12291 posts) -

@raven_sword: I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I'm pretty sure the problem is you and not the screen on your 3DS. You think there is something wrong with everything you buy.

Moderator
#27 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

@mb: yeah, probably. It makes it hard to know the difference though. Wether it's me or the device.

#28 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

I think slot of my spending comes from anxiety. Like, I dropped my iPhone a few days ago. It was in its case. Now I'm thinking it's not working right, even though the phones functioning. So I soothe that anxiety by buying fast food or buying a game or whatever to get my mind off of it.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever going to pay if my card, get my car fixed, and etc. I'm not making much right now (about 90 dollars a week) so it's making it hard to accomplish all that.

#29 Posted by DarknessMyOldFriend (221 posts) -

@raven_sword:

Getting a celexa scrip sounds like it would save you a lot of money then.

That's a bit flippant, but seriously, see someone about your anxiety. It doesn't need to be debilitating to be an impediment. Your school probably has services for just this sort of thing. Talk to a therapist.

#30 Edited by CornBREDX (5128 posts) -

The best answer I have for you is to just relax and remember all these things you keep buying or replacing is not things you need. The whole point of a budget is to know what money you need to spend and spend nothing else. If you were making more money you could add a frivolous section to your budget, but it doesn't sound like you are so it's best to live in your means for now. With the extra money you should save it for things you need- like a computer (I assume from what you say you need one and in my opinion these days having a computer is almost essential- you can even use it to make more money).

Anyway, I don't know if you need help making a budget but that is key to economic success. You don't need to pay to learn how to budget, because it's simple- I mention this because I see people take classes on budgeting and that's a total rip off.

Create a budget and stick to it. In as little as a few months (depending on what you make versus what you have to spend) you should find that you have saved a decent amount of money.

Just a general tip, really. If you need an example on creating a budget I can write more about that, but I don't want to overstep my bounds. If you need that though, just let me know or whatever. I should probably say that I am no professional in money management or anything- I just know how to save money and live comfortably with very little.

#31 Edited by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

@cornbredx: well, I still want to have my hobbies. So I'm worried I'll always have to not buy things I enjoy or whatever. I don't know if that makes sense, but I worry I'm going to always have to compromise, budget, and not buy things I enjoy like video games, tech, and etc. I feel like if I budget I'm giving up stuff I like and making my life less enjoyable, you know?

And yeah, I wanted to get my own computer so I can do stuff for school and also be able to game on it. We do have a family computer, but its not super great.and like I said, wanted my on computer in my room.

#32 Edited by CornBREDX (5128 posts) -

@raven_sword: It's just living within your means- you can still have your hobbies and what not. If you are spending so much per month that you buy what you want all the time you may want to rethink what you spend. Something a lot of people don't do is look at what they buy each month and consider whether they actually need to or not- but only you can decide that I am only working with speculation as these are personal commitments you have to make for yourself.

If you make enough to still buy games and have that as part of your budget it isn't problem, but if you want to save you'll have to be willing to sacrifice something you may not actually need for a short period of time. When I want to save up for something big I usually buy one game that will last a long while while I save up the money I'm not spending for whatever it is (for example I know Dark Souls 2 will last me some time and that was the last big game I bought and probably will last me several months although it doesn't really have to for me- I also have a hefty back catalog too). With sales on steam all the time it is actually fairly feasible although it sounds like you don't get to game that way much yet, but it's something to think about I guess.

The foundation of it all, though, is just coming up with a budget, even if it has whatever game you want to get at some point on it. If you're the type to buy a lot of games per month you may want to cut it back to one or two or something. I don't know what all you're budget would entail, though.

A typical budget would be like this:

Necessities (Must pay- bare in mind the actual prices will vary based on where you live and your living expenses per month so this is just an example):

Utilities (electric, water, gas, etc.)- $100

Internet/cable- $200

Rent/mortgage- $400

Car payments- $250

Insurance- $50

Food- $150

Again this is just an example, and the numbers are made up (I'm actually being fairly lenient on this even based on where I live, how I live, and this is a low end budget). Bare in mind, you know, you may not have some of this stuff like rent/mortgage or utilities. It's just an example.

Anyway, if you make 1500 a month (again just an example, I know you don't haha) your budget says you have 350 after expenses to spend on whatever you want. If you add a savings amount to your budget of 100 per month you have $250 to spend however you want. You can adjust these amounts to your liking/needs- the point is mainly to stick to it. It's fairly easy to still get things you want while paying for what you have to as long as you maintain your budget- basically meaning don't spend outside of what you have to. I usually have a cap on "what I can spend on me".

The thing I find the hardest to maintain is not spending to much on food because I never know how much is enough, but everybody is different on how they spend money.

Anyway, you'll find if you write out all the stuff you have to spend money on each month (even if that is just food, gas, car payments, etc.) then you can more easily see what you have left. Then it's just a simple matter of deciding how much you are willing to put away into a fund (whether it be a bank account or a piggy bank) that is only for saving for whatever it is you want to save for. Obviously the more you save per month the faster you will reach your goal, so that's something to consider as well.

A budget is mainly knowing what you have to spend and sticking to it- it's a good way to visualize what you have to spend and that helps you realize you only have so much left over for whatever and out of that you can determine what you want to save and what you want to spend on yourself. At that point it's just up to you to not break your budget. It probably wont be harmful to you if you do (yet, maybe later down the road you may want to actually stick to a budget more closely but I suspect right now it's not an imminent need but more so something you know you should do, and you're right you should) but the more you break your budget the longer it takes to save up money for whatever it is you save it for.

Hopefully that helps. I wrote a lot and I don't know if you even needed all that, but I thought why not- I'll just give you all this info and you can ingest it how you need to.

haha I'll shut up now

#33 Posted by dagas (2820 posts) -

Sounds like you still live at home. You will never learn to take responsibility for your economy as long as you do that because then your parents pay for food, housing etc.

You say you make 90 dollars per week and you have a car? A car is a huge expense! At least here in Sweden you need to pay car tax and insurance, gas is cheaper there in the US but still expensive and then you have repairs. I make €400 per week which is a low paid job and I could not afford a car.

You can bike, take the bus or carpool. Also you don't need the latest things! A two year old phone is fine, you don't need to upgrade each model. You don't need to 3DS XL if you have a regular one.

You need to learn the difference between want and need. I have a 2008 Sony LCD that is 720p. I want a new one with 1080p. Do I need that? No! I only use that TV for PS3 and very few games are 1080p.

I save money as much as I can, sometimes I need to take from my account because unforeseen expenses but most of the time I save money. I could buy a 4k TV but then I would have used most of my savings and it would be stupid to do so. You need to plan your purchases and if you need that or not.

The only people who can afford to live like you are people making a minimum of 1000 bucks a week.

#34 Edited by CornBREDX (5128 posts) -

@dagas: Ya. I was trying to be nice about it, but I get the same impression as well.

It's his money, though. It is good if he wants to save it. At some point it will come down to how willing he is to stop spending so much on wants.

#35 Posted by CorruptedEvil (2741 posts) -
@dagas said:

Sounds like you still live at home. You will never learn to take responsibility for your economy as long as you do that because then your parents pay for food, housing etc.

You say you make 90 dollars per week and you have a car? A car is a huge expense! At least here in Sweden you need to pay car tax and insurance, gas is cheaper there in the US but still expensive and then you have repairs. I make €400 per week which is a low paid job and I could not afford a car.

You can bike, take the bus or carpool. Also you don't need the latest things! A two year old phone is fine, you don't need to upgrade each model. You don't need to 3DS XL if you have a regular one.

You need to learn the difference between want and need. I have a 2008 Sony LCD that is 720p. I want a new one with 1080p. Do I need that? No! I only use that TV for PS3 and very few games are 1080p.

I save money as much as I can, sometimes I need to take from my account because unforeseen expenses but most of the time I save money. I could buy a 4k TV but then I would have used most of my savings and it would be stupid to do so. You need to plan your purchases and if you need that or not.

The only people who can afford to live like you are people making a minimum of 1000 bucks a week.

What this guy said. Stop buying so much stuff you don't need. 2 or 3 games a month is fine but a 500$ new toy every month is not.

#36 Edited by MannyMAR (436 posts) -

I think a good option for you personally, would be to actually open a savings account at a different bank or credit union than the one I assume you already have. I'm not sure what your job situation is at the moment, but if you're working you can do well with having 10-25% of your earnings go into said savings account.

The reason you'd also want it to be a savings account at a different banking establishment than the one you currently have would be to make it more difficult to access that money, and it will place one extra barrier in your purchase making. You'll start asking yourself more often, "Should I really go through the hassle of going to this bank, withdraw from my savings account, and then deposit this into my checking account just so I can buy *insert whatever item you're fiending for at moment here* and start saving all over again."

#37 Edited by keyvin (34 posts) -

The best way to save money is to make more money. Could you pick up some more hours or find a different job? I can't even pretend to make a budget revolving around $90 a week. That is $360 a month. $90 for gas, $120 for car insurance, $60-$80 for eating out and hanging with friends... That leaves you with $70 assuming you don't offer some of your money to your parents since they are paying the bills it sounds like. If you are in school at a major university they usually have really good student jobs you can apply for. I started of working in parking enforcement. It was pretty cool actually. I was the thin blue line between you having a parking spot and total anarchy. Then I moved to the resource desk at the library, followed by working tech support at an engineering super computer lab, to finally being the student system administrator on the cluster.

Seriously, you need to work more. You are 25. I can understand if you are in an area hit hard by the recession like rural Arkansas. But if you are in a major city, keep applying for every job offering more hours till you get one!

#38 Posted by EthanielRain (816 posts) -

I save by keeping cash...it's harder to spend when I can see it vs swiping a card. It's kind of addicting seeing your stash grow, too.

#39 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

Thanks for all the input and info guys. Much appreciated.

Oh, and I should have mentioned that m only making about 90 dollars a week AT THE MOMENT. My hours got cut, along with everyone else. When I get my normal amount of hours I make about 150 a week or so. Still not a ton though.

#40 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Without you listing your weekly/monthly expenditures, how are we going to make suggestions where you can trim down your budget? In general, if you want to save up money, don't spend any.

Assuming games and such eat up a big chunk of your budget, don't buy any day 1 games, get into a multiplayer-centric game, play that and the odd budget game, you'll cut down gaming cost to like 20 bucks a month, and still get plenty out of it. More even, some might say - because playing less games means going deeper, and deeper is the better experience for my money.

Find a better paying job is the other option. Easier said than done, I'm sure.

#41 Posted by Raven_Sword (3444 posts) -

And I probably should say that when I think about it, I really don't have many expenses.

We actually have gamefly, so I actually don't ever really buy games that much anymore.

And my parents actually pay for most my expenses. Which while I'm very grateful for, I'm beginning to wonder if I should start going off on my own when it comes to, like , my phone plan. Right now they pay for my phone plan, car insurance, for the gamefly, and they don't charge me rent.

I'm thinking of maybe going off on my own phone plan on Tmobile. They have a plan for 30 dollars a month that I liked that gives you 100 minutes of talk, unlimited texting and unlimited data.