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Tips to Find Branded Laptops For College at a Cheap Price

Tips to Find Branded Laptops For College at a Cheap Price

These days every college student needs a laptop when in lectures, studying, or doing research. It’s a great way to take notes, making sure you have jotted down all the important information you need. This helps you prepare for future assignments and exams. Laptops are safer, too, especially with the introduction of online storage drives that protect your content in case your laptop gets stolen or lost. However, most college students struggle with finances, and often can’t afford brand name laptops with longer batteries, quality graphics, RAM, or hard drives. Because of this, college students often settle for low budget machines that end up being a headache instead of a positive addition to college life.

In 2007, I ran my own online store, and got brand name machines for a fraction of the price. Many times, I would go through the manufacturer, but a lot of times I would go hunting to find the best bargains. Even though this was in 2007, you can still utilize some of my shopping strategies today; I’ve listed them below to help you find brand name laptops for almost 50% off.

Know the Specs

Here’s the thing…

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Many college students don’t know what they want, and don’t pay attention to specifications. For you to start looking for the right bargain, you need a clear idea of what type of machine you need. Once you know the specifications, you’ll be able to compare prices from different sellers, narrowing it down to the best pricing. For example, when someone would call me about a quote, I always asked this question: What type of machine and specs are you looking for? This would allow me to narrow down my search, providing the buyer with the right information and quote.

For you to find brand name laptops for cheap, you need to know what you’re looking for. Think about the following:

  • Hard drive storage
  • Graphics card
  • RAM
  • Preloaded software
  • Keyword type
  • Brand preference
  • Wireless and/or Ethernet
  • Processor

Grab a piece of paper and write down what your minimum and maximum requirements are.

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You can also visit some review websites to find out what others are saying about the best laptops for college students. You’ll find a complete list of laptops, specs, and places where you can even order them online. Skim through each one and pay close attention to specs, brand, and price so you find one that fits your exact preference.

eBay.com

This is one of the best places to find laptops for a bargain because some people are looking for quick cash. Many times, people buy an expensive laptop, and right after running into financial crisis 90% of people usually invest in a laptop with a higher configuration than they need, so during tough times they may downgrade if necessary. For example, I can sell an expensive laptop for a lower price and still buy another one to surf the internet, send emails, etc. If you start skimming on eBay.com, you’ll find a handful of laptops for a cheaper price because people either upgraded quickly or need some extra cash.

Here’s a bonus on how to cut costs even more: Look for the “Make Offer” button because you can send in a cheaper offer than what’s listed. You might be able to save an additional $20-$50 dollars.

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Kijiji.com

The funny thing is, Kijiji.com is owned by eBay.com, and it’s more of a classified marketplace. This is for people who don’t want to wait for bidding to end or are looking to sell even quicker. Start by typing in the item number in the search bar and skim through the results. If it’s a popular model you’re looking for, then I’m sure you’ll see it listed for a fraction of the price. For example, here’s a listing for an iPhone 7 Plus 256GB which is normally $1400 CAD.

    As you can see, you’ll find some for $1200, $1080, etc. However, keep in mind you can continue to negotiate for a lower price.

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    Refurbished (with warranty)

    I did a quick search in Google for “refurbished laptops,” and more than 10 websites showed up in the search results. If you are tight on money, then this is an option you should explore. Refurbished doesn’t mean they didn’t work and have been fixed, it just means they have been cleaned up, or were demo machines that were displayed in stores. These machines also come with a 3-month warranty, with some stores offering a warranty extension for up to one year.

    Some of the stores that showed up are in my or area, and so are worth checking out in person. Do a quick search and visit some stores close by to test out the products before purchasing and build that comfort level. Just make sure you visit a store that has been around for years, and with a solid reputation. You can read reviews on the store by doing a quick search in Google again.

    College Bursaries

    Many colleges have bursaries in place to help students with tough financial situations or special needs; however, to do this you have to apply and fill out supporting documentation to get approved. If you qualify, then the college will give you some money to purchase a laptop for school, or connect you with a store partner to provide a brand name laptop for a discounted price. Head over to your college bursary department to find out what’s available to you, and how you can start the application process.

    Final Thoughts

    As a college student, it can be very hard trying to purchase high-quality gadgets because of the financial burden they place on your life. However, we live in a time where it’s very easy to browse online and find what we’re looking for at a fraction of the price. I would suggest you start applying some of the strategies listed above to find what your looking for, and always do your research beforehand. Knowing what you want will make it easier for you to locate and choose the right item.

    Featured photo credit: journalstar.com via journalstar.com

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2019

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

    Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

    Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

    This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

    Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

    What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

    Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

    When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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    How It Leads to Financial Improvement

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

    Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

    Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

    It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

    Types of Personal Finance Software

    When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

    Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

    For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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    Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

    When to Use Personal Finance Software

    So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

    Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

    1. You Have Multiple Accounts

    There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

    If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

    Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

    2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

    Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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    There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

    With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

    3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

    Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

    Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

    Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

    4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

    Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

    You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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    How to Get Started

    From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

    Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

    It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

    When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

    Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

    Final Thoughts

    Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

    In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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