I am drooling over the new 27″ quad core iMac computer. Lusting might be a more appropriate word. But, I can’t justify it unless I start to take on a lot more contract work (which isn’t going to happen right now). I bought my current 24″ iMac about 2.5 years ago and it still runs fine. Although, admittedly it’s barely fast enough to run some of the current games out there on the market (Sims 3), and it’s not the greatest when I’ve got multiple design programs opened at once.
When I bought my current iMac, I had just started up this blog, I was still in debt, and I didn’t have the cash to pay for the computer. But I bought it anyway. Looking back on it, I still probably would have done it the same way. I was fresh out of college, and people were approaching me to take on design contracts. If I didn’t take those contracts, well that’s just lost money. I was using a crappy little laptop which couldn’t run any of the Adobe programs without freezing up, so I needed to upgrade ASAP. Did I need a $3,000+ computer? Probably not. But with programs requiring faster computers and with the pace of technology, I knew I needed to get a fully loaded computer in order to keep it around for at least 5 or 6 years. And at that time (March 2007), I had my computer and all the rest of my debt paid off in 2 months.
Obviously when I buy my next computer, it will be in cash. By the time I’ve saved up enough to buy exactly what I want ($2,500-$3,000), it’s going to be 2-3 years down the road – minimum. And that’s okay. Yes, it will probably be another iMac (unless a Macbook Pro seems like a better idea for portability – but you get more computer for less money with the iMac), and no I will not be going back to PC even though it’s cheaper.
In the meantime, I love my current computer. But I know that if I were to ever get serious with my design business (meaning take on more than a few thousand dollars worth of work per year), or if I start my own business as my full-time job, I’m going to have to upgrade. Especially if my computer isn’t set up to handle the next release of the Adobe Creative Suite (which is what I am fearing).
Yesterday I got that $315 in the mail that I’ve been waiting for (from a design contract). So this morning before work, I promptly deposited into my bank account, and then treated myself to a delicious Starbucks drink + slice of pumpkin loaf (I rarely ever go to Starbucks – maybe only a few times a year – mostly b/c of the price, but also the calories are outrageous).
If BF gets that work-related opportunity (we won’t know until late October), I might think about getting a PT job. I know I’ve said that often and have never followed through, but he’ll have commitments 1 or 2 nights per week, plus some things will also be on weekends. It’d be nice to find a job that would be flexible, so I only have to work 1-2 shifts per week, and it can work around BF’s schedule – because when ski season starts, we’ll want to go on most days that he doesn’t have commitments.
While doing design work is great and I get paid oodles more than a regular PT would ever bring in, I can’t say that I enjoy doing it after a full day of work at my FT job, doing the exact same thing. I know I’d rather a job where I don’t have to use my brain. Or at least, less of my brain than design work takes up. But to find a flexible, easy job in the area that I live in – well that’s pretty tough. But I’m in no rush.
I just sent the invoice for my last contract. It was a bit more than I quoted, because I had to buy some stock images. So hopefully I will have $315 coming to me in about 2 weeks!
So as of right now, I have no side gigs on the go. I’m kind of relieved, but I’m sure I’ll pick up something soon. Until then, I’ll just be happy working 40 hours/week. :)