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So today I took a little trip to my local Best Buy to purchase a laptop. The ironic thing about this is that I owned a laptop no less than 2 weeks ago. No, it didn’t break or need replacing, I just realized that it had set in the same exact place for around 3 months without receiving any use (I just used my desktop computer), so I figured I’d throw it on Craigslist and see what I could get for it.

I made out pretty good, getting $535 dollars out of something I had paid about $700 for about a year ago (you’ll all come to learn that I LOVE Craigslist).

And then I was told I would be traveling for work for a duration of 2 weeks.

Not only had I just sold my laptop no less than 2 weeks ago, but I also recently started a little blog on the internet you might have heard of called Financial Highway, which is something that needs lots of daily nurturing and support in its current infantile state .

I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a nice, powerful laptop, to replace my desktop. This leads me to a money-saving/productivity tip…

Replace your desktop with a laptop:

If you already have a desktop and a laptop, chances are you only use one at a time. The entire purpose of a laptop is its mobility. Why not simply plug your laptop into your existing computer screen, keyboard, and mouse and use it as if it were your desktop? By doing this, you have a stationary computer at a desk that you can use just like you would use your desktop, and when you need a laptop to say, travel with, take to the couch with you, or lay in bed and watch Hulu on, all you have to do is unplug it from your screen.

The process becomes even easier if you have a wireless mouse and keyboard.

Additionally, you’ll no longer have to swap files back and forth between desktop and laptop, thereby preventing that inevitable realization that when you finally get to the bookstore with your laptop, you didn’t grab the right files from your desktop.  

Some of you may be wondering why I am recommending purchasing expensive electronics when this is a blog that espouses the frugal, minimalistic lifestyle, and my answer to that is this: as long as you at least break even, there’s really no harm, and in fact, having the necessary skills to work deals like what I’m about to explain is an incredibly useful one to have that can save you lots of money over the long run, while allowing you to accomplish what you need to do.

For example, I stated that I sold my old laptop for $535 Dollars. Now, I know I bought it for more than that about a year ago, but that’s already a sunk cost, we’re not concerned about the past right now.

The laptop I bought today I paid $912.04 for. Don’t worry; I can actually do the math… I realize I’m still $377.04 in the hole. It’s only when we add in the last part of this equation that it begins to make sense, that last part being the fact that I still have a desktop computer to sell.

What do I do when I have electronics to sell? I throw them on Craigslist. I should be able to get about $450 out of it, meaning that not only have I covered the entire amount that I spent today on my brand-new laptop, but I’ve made an additional $72.96, once my desktop sells of course.

Now while some may call this profit, I’m not so quick to label it as such. Remember how I said don’t worry about the past? Well, now's the time to worry about the past. I bought my old laptop for $700, and sold it for $535, resulting in a loss of $165. Apply the “profit” of $72.96 to that deficit, and after all is said and done, after the purchase of two laptops, the sale of one laptop, and the sale of a desktop, the total amount of money that was lost and can never be recouped is $92.04.

 Not too bad really, especially over the course of a year. I suppose we could have figured up the loss on the desktop by comparing what I bought it for versus what I will get out of it, but I bought that thing years ago for an amount I do not remember… besides, we can only go back so far before it  becomes a mute point.

Something else to consider is that the longer you own something, the less significant the cost of that item becomes, as it can be looked at as being spread out over that entire length of time.

The moral here is that if you must make purchases like these, at least think about how to mitigate the cost as much as possible by selling the old equipment you’re upgrading and/or replacing, and try to not go too crazy with the purchase of the new item.

Of course, you could simply save a lot more money by not making any of these purchases at all.