New Computer Feel for…$63.67

My computer is now blazingly Fast!  I am a very frugal individual when it comes to purchases, where I really weigh in on the value and impact a purchase has on my life, not just today – but going forward.  The last 6 months to 1 year, my computer (aluminum Macbook I bought in 2008 – the first one to have a unibody aluminum casing, which I bought for less than half of what it cost when it first came (I did a few things to make this happen.. haha)) has been acting very slow when it came to multi-tasking.  Multi-tasking activities such as: Word Document, Excel, iTunes and web browser – all open at the same time.  I almost went and bought a new tablet or a new computer, but didn’t.  This is where the Frugality of me comes into play. I began my thorough research on my Macbook.  It has treated me so well since I bought it in October of 2008 – I know, almost 6 years and still going strong.  Nothing was really wrong with it, I still have over 50gb of space free, the batter still lasts a very long time (1.5-2 hours easily), the screen is amazing and the no-virus mac has been phenomenal.  To buy a tablet or a new laptop, I knew I would probably shell out between the $250-$500 mark on this item.  I care a lot about what I can do on my computer – blogging, watching videos, listening to music, reading articles – that it is an extremely important piece to what I enjoy doing in my life, that I concluded – something had to be done.  Something had to be done to ensure I can keep doing what I love to do, with my top 3 things: Blog about finance/frugality/investing, reading and music/videos.  I had a decision to make, but similar to buying a dividend stock, I wanted to research and then see ALL of my options.

To my next point – I knew I only had 2GB of RAM in my computer.  Apple specifies that you can only upgrade this current Macbook to 4GB of RAM.  I thought – okay, I could double my RAM and then have better speeds in the multi-tasking realm.  However, I came across a few articles.  One article in particular caught my eye as it said “‘Secret’ Firmware lets late ’08 Macbook use 8GB“.  I knew that I came to the right place.  When reviewing the article, my Macbook in fact could hold this 8GB RAM kit – also known as – 4X the RAM that I currently had.  From reviewing items at Amazon, I could have upgraded to 4GB for about $34.27.  OR – I could take the chance and go for the “secret” 8GB bump for $72.99.  I knew I had credit card perks for Amazon in the amount of $9.32, which would reduce this price.

Decision time.  I had 3 options.  I could spend an average of $375 on a new laptop/tablet that could do what I wanted to do and be happy with a device that would last me 3-5 years, at a minimum.  I could upgrade to 4GB of RAM that would last a year or two and slightly bump the speed for $35.  Lastly, I could go for the outside the box play and upgrade to 8GB of RAM, as it would be snappy as heck with the multi-tasking that I do, keep up to speed with new programs that come out and also extend the longevity even further than the 4gb update.  Needless to say – I went with the 8GB.  To me – this will last at least 3-5 more years with how snappy this feels.  I truly can say that I don’t think I’ve ever felt something run so fast with different programs going on in the 6 years I’ve owned this Macbook.  This falls inline with me saving money as part of me Aiming to Achieve a 60% Savings Rate as well, but not delving out hundreds of dollars on a NEW device.

Another pro – I don’t have another item/material thing in my house.  In fact, I am going to sell my previous 2GB of RAM online to someone who needs it.  Therefore, this further reduces the cost of my purchase and I can move older items out of my space.  With the way we are as individuals in Society, once we are “done” with something, “tired” of it or the world says its “outdated” – we rush to buy the “next” hot item or big thing, only to continue the cycle again… and again… and again – I think you see my point.  Something as small as this item/purchase goes even further – when you go to purchase something ask – do you NEED it, is it a WANT out of life than a need?  Will this impact you for 30 seconds or for years and years to come?  Have you outweighed all options?  If you can say that something  you are about to buy truly means something to you, will impact your quality of life for a long period of time and it is truly the best value option in your decision, then you have done your homework or more homework than we typically do on average.  Personally – I am done buying one time one minute satisfaction items.  Experiences and increasing the quality of our self being so that it positively impacts others is what I’m after.  How about you, the readers?  Come across anything similar to this?  Are you making the right purchase decisions to improve your quality of life?  Would love to hear from you, thanks for stopping by and talk soon!

-Lanny B

25 thoughts on “New Computer Feel for…$63.67

  1. Sounds like you made a great buy! For roughly $64, it seems like the purchase made a huge impact and should allow you to continue with your laptop for at least a few more years. Keep up the frugal mentality and you will surely meet your 60% savings rate goal. Best Wishes! AFFJ

    • AFFJ,

      Thank you! I actually get really excited at the end of the day to hop on my personal computer – because I know I can get that much more done in the same amount of time as I used to, so thats a huge plus. It also reduces the frustrations and increases my satisfaction levels with the “on the dime” processing my computer has now. Thanks again for the post — I hope it does last me 2-4 more years after this update/upgrade. I’m pushing for that 60% this month, should be interesting! Talk soon.


  2. Great post! I had a similar experience with a Powerbook. I got that thing back in 2005 and had it upgraded to 1GB of RAM (its max). I used it throughout college and medical school and it was main computer until I got an iPad (and later an iMac). It was still trucking along when I gave it away as a Christmas present to a friend for her use in college. It ran Leopard and Photoshop CS2 without a problem. Macs may be a little more expensive at the beginning, but they hold their value so much better.

    • Scott,

      I couldn’t agree more. Luckily, I bought my macbook for half the cost as well at the time ~ $500, when it was going for $999 with the student discount. Even if I couldn’t get the bargain I did, I would have probably purchased it anyway back in 2008 since my PC laptop lasted about 9 months – I wish I could have enacted the “lemon” law on the laptop. Even though you do pay a premium up front – it usually outlasts twice the life of a personal PC and then some – with mine being a great example. I am running the latest versions of everything and somehow am amazed I can rock 8GB of ram! It’s impressive. Nice job staying with the Mac in this department. Hope all is well Scott – thanks for stopping by!


  3. Frugality at its finest. Awesome. Like you, I took the frugal route and bought a used laptop on eBay and installed the free operating system Lubuntu. I’m a big fan of Linux. Use Open Office or Libre Office as my Microsoft substitute and couldn’t be happier. I think everyone should give Linux a try (LinuxMint for newbies IMO). You can’t beat the reliability and software available and the price of $0 will make every frugal warrior happy.

    • Divhut,

      Thanks for coming down to this post. Nice – used Laptop eh? How is Linux? More customizable than you could ever imagine? What are the biggest pros and cons? I’d be curious to see what you think, as I had a few friends in the tech world try to sell me on Linux before. Thanks DH!


      • Well, the biggest pros are that it’s free, robust and has thousands of software that’s also free. It is also extremely lean which means it can run on very old computers with little hard drive space, ram and slow cpu. I have been using RedHat Linux since 1998 for my servers and my laptop that I’m using right now is running Lubuntu. For me there are no cons. I’m Apple and Microsoft free for a few years and haven’t looked back. As I mentioned earlier for a newbie or at least someone who isn’t quite ready to fully commit I recommend a dual boot with Windows or MacOS and Linux. This way you can have both. And for Linux newbies go for LinuxMint. It is the easiest migration from a Windows world IMO.

  4. Lanny, I did exactly the same as you with my now 13yr old PC, it can run Photoshop cs2, multitask anything I throw at it, and all for about £30 (US $50 or so). I am, however, saving up in my ’emergency household item replacement fund’ for the next computer 😆

  5. Lanny,

    Nice job saving some cash! Sounds like you’ve got what amounts to a new rig on the cheap. Awesome. 🙂

    I need to look into something similar. I paid $500 back in 2009 for my Toshiba laptop and it’s been a loyal companion…but it’s been bogging down a bit lately. And the thing operates at what feels like 500 degrees now on my laptop with the fan on high speed all the time. I’m still plodding along, but I’ll probably have to replace this thing at some point. But it’ll be another cheapo laptop I can use for another 5-6 years or more. I figure $100/year for a computer isn’t bad, but cheaper is definitely better!

    Best wishes.

    • DM,

      Have to save the cash! $500 5 years ago – so $100/year isn’t too shabby and is actually awesome. I have a friend who used to get a new macbook every two years and spend essentially $1K-$1.3K a year, and I kept thinking – the heck are you doing?! How about instead of buying it this year – you give me the cash and I’ll invest it in your name, etc.. Anyways – keep the laptop you have now to see how far you can stretch it. Any updates that can improve it? Any cleanout of the hard drive? Thanks Mantra, appreciate the post!


      • Lanny,

        I guess it depends what he did with the old one. If taken care of, they hold their value very well so other than the initial purchase, each subsequent Macbook probably didn’t cost him that much. But, I agree getting a new one that often (unless needed for high end work) does seem excessive.

    • Henry,

      Uh oh! Some competition here, with Macbooks vs PC, eh? Joking – it does feel great, I feel like it is a new machine and can handle much more than I ever thought it originally would – extremely excited and I think it will be great for more items on this blog, I can feel it. Thanks Henry, all about thinking outside the box and ways to save money and extend the life of the products we use!


  6. Great stuff! I should look into that RAM hack on my MBP as well. We recently got an iMac b/c the MBP is too slow for graphic work that I do on the side. Maybe adding additional RAM will allow us to keep using the MBP for other stuff for a few more years.

    • Tawcan,

      You definitely should! See if it will help and do a little research if you can – I have some links in the post. I honestly am excited being on here commenting back, it’s great how fast applications work now. Thanks for stopping by, let us know if you update the MBP!


  7. Just upgraded my 2010 iMac from 4GB RAM to 16 GB RAM all for $180. Next future upgrade in another 4-5 years time will be a SSD HD. Haha no need to ever buy a new comp at least for a decade!!

    • That’s amazing! 16GB of Ram… I can’t imagine, seriously cannot imagine what that’s like, as that’s double what I currently have. Smooth move I’d say, $180 bucks for 5-10 more years aka not too shabby.

      I’ve seen others talk about the solid state drive. Why not upgrade now? Any reason? Thanks!


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