It finally happened, the ultimate breakage in my moral foundation: after struggling for years with financial literacy, I was almost debt free. Again! But, being the smooth brain that I am, I cOnSoLidAteD mY dEbT instead of hunkering down for another six months so that I could have some more financial breathing room. It was an easy decision considering all of the DIYs and home improvement goals I have – and also meant that I could start saving every month now, instead of waiting to save until next year.
And then, the iMac happened. In all of its golden-hued, gooey gorgeousness, it instantly crept into the recesses of my mind. I wanted it. But let’s take a step back and examine the myriad of delusions I assembled to convince myself that it was ok to buy it. Firstly, the existing MacBook.
I bought my current MacBook Pro in 2017 after the 2016 refresh to replace my 2012 model. I was happy to buy a 13” in place of my 16” in order to bridge the gap in screen sizes and to “increase mobility” or whatever. I quickly bought a dell monitor and it served me well, especially in the early days of the poinsettia when even I, a lowly retailer, was homebound in lockdown and working customer service from home. This combination worked well, and for 40 hours a week for two months I was a normal desktop computer worker.
In the months since, the battery has failed. It now only works when plugged in, an issue I never had with the 2012 version – that battery lasted at least a year longer. In a panini, going to the apple store for a battery replacement is more inconvenient than ever. I don’t have speakers, so when hooked up to the monitor the sound comes from the closed MacBook. I have the Magic Trackpad, and while the trackpad gestures are great for browsing, it’s nowhere near as precise as a mouse. The MacBook also just feels slower than ever when compared to my newer devices, and I’m sure there’s some power throttling with the battery issue, but I don’t know. And at the end of the day, the iPad is my mobile computer – I’m even using it now to write this.
When tallying everything up – the fact that I use my computer exclusively with a monitor, need the battery replaced, need speakers and a mouse (the iMac comes with color matched keyboard and mouse), and that it’s just pretty – I was willing to buy it from the beginning, but I could really make up some excuses to justify it. The biggest question was when would I buy it? I could save up for it, easier now that I can actually save. But no, that’s too big brain. The only true option for someone just on the verge of being debt free was, of course, more debt!
Enter the Apple Card.
I really, really didn’t need another credit card, and honestly even during the application process I was secretly hoping they would decline my application. (They didn’t.) But let’s be real: I will always be an Apple shill, because even when they annoy me they’re still better than the alternatives. And I can still pay off the installment plan early, but it’s nice to have the peace of mind that I don’t have to. (The debt addiction is strong with this reasoning.)
And I still got a trade in offer, even with the dumb battery, that was surprisingly about a quarter of the price. Since the iMac isn’t coming until mid-June and the trade in packaging needs to be returned within 14 days, I’ll be without a computer for a couple weeks – but in all honesty, there’s quite often several weeks between using it anyway. I have a tendency to use it at the height of my creativity, so it does fall into disuse when I’m at my low points. That being said, at least when the iMac just sitting there, it’ll be pretty. I know it’s not a popular computer savvy opinion, and maybe it makes me an apple shill, but the aesthetics do matter to me.
I’m excited to have the M1 chip when I finally get it. On top of all of the interior design and DIY things I want to learn, I also really want to get into some creative projects with this blog and other corners of the Internet. I was one of those early 2000 blogger teens and it always gave me joy, but there are some things I never invested much time in – I loved Photoshop but I didn’t give illustrator enough attention, and now that I have switched away from Adobe to affinity software, I really want to get into some vector design – Since I’ll be busy paying off this computer and my loan, I’ll need something to do that I don’t have to pay for. I’ve spent some money lately since getting the loan on things that I have needed for a while, but I do feel much more financially literate. Big part of it is having some thing I’m actually moving towards, and with my farmhouse dreams there’s no room for a reckless spending.
It finally feels like I am being responsible. Even though I know in the back of my mind there’s that reckless spender ready to drop thousands of dollars, like on an iMac for instance, but I do feel better about that decision versus some stupid ones in the past. I’ve always had a history of spending recklessly the sadder I was, but I didn’t have a compass to steer me away from it. I’m sure there’s a little ADD compulsivity there too. Now I picture my future goal. I see the plot. Small hiccups are much easier to pass.
And I’ll have a new iMac too, I guess.