… a laptop.
I keep telling myself I'd wait till the debt gets paid down a bit more, which is unrealistic given the size of the debt and my employer's inability to pay me market rate for my services. (The gap has closed in the last year, but there's still a gulf of a few $K.)
A few things pushed my hand, however.
First, laptops sold in retail stores are now installed with Windows Vista. I don't want to make the switch until after the first service pack, perhaps the second. My studio software all runs fine with Windows XP, and I don't want to drop money on a machine with an OS that may or may not work with that software. If I wanted a laptop with XP on it, I would have to get it now.
But I didn't want to put it on the credit card, and while I have the funds in my savings account to cover it, my balance would once again hover around the spot it has been for the last few years. The tax return and company bonus gave that balance a boost, and I don't want it blown in one purchase.
So I stopped by the credit union to take out some SXSW spending cash, and while I was there, I asked about a loan. Without disclosing any figures, the interest rate on the loan is significantly lower than my credit card. And I could negotiate the terms of the loan to make monthly payments manageable.
So I applied for the loan and got it.
Today, I signed the paperwork for the loan, then went home and ordered the laptop through my office's employee discount program. It's a Dell Latitude D620 with Windows XP. Nope, not the laptop of choice for home studio work, but then again, I have a Dell desktop, and it's produced everything by Eponymous 4. I'm not at the point where I'm going to gig with the thing, so I don't mind.
Perhaps the poorest excuse for such an extravagant purchase is the fact I may not have access to a computer for the entire week I'm at home in Honolulu. In my past visits, my brother would let me use his desktop, but that computer has since died.
I've never carried a laptop on a plane before. I'm going to have to rethink my luggage situation.