How We Plan to Buy a New Computer Without Busting Our Budget

Last year I bought a computer at Costco.  It was a lemon right out of the box.  (Of course, my husband insisted I was the problem because he thinks I’m hard on computers and always screw them up.)

I called Costco’s concierge service, and they walked me through some strategies to fix the computer.  At this point, my wonderful husband had customized everything to my liking and had everything set up for me, so I really didn’t want to return it.  Luckily (I thought) I didn’t have to because the Costco customer support seemed to have fixed the computer.

Until, I kid you not, one week after the 3 month window to return the computer had passed.

The Lemon Computer Is Falling Apart, One Piece at a Time

Since then, things have steadily gone down hill.

After about 4 months of ownership, the wireless keyboard and mouse no longer worked with my computer.  (They do work on my husband’s computer, so I know the problem is with my computer, not the wireless keyboard and mouse.)

Then, a few times my computer just wouldn’t turn on all the way.  All that we could see was a blue screen, and my husband had to spend quite a bit of time fiddling with it to get it to work.

A few months ago, the connection to the printer cable no longer worked.  Now I can only print using my husband’s lap top, which means all day when he’s at work, I have no way to print.

Now, the number 2 button won’t work, and whenever I try to watch a video, whether it’s on the Discovery Channel site or Netflix, my computer automatically shuts down.

Costco Comes to The Rescue Again?

I called Costco, and they said I could send it in free of charge to have it repaired, which is a wonderful service.  If Costco deems the computer a lemon, they’ll refund my money.

The problem is that I can’t be without a computer for two to three weeks because it’s how I make my money.  My husband takes his lap top to work all day and needs his at night, so I can’t use his, either.

The plan is to buy a new computer, ship this one off to Costco and hope for a refund.

However, we don’t have the cash for a new computer.

How We’ll Come Up with the Cash

So, my plan is to clean up the basement and sell all of our old stuff that we’re not using.  It may take me two months, but I’m confident we can come up with the money for a new computer.

Meanwhile, we’ll be traveling for about 10 days in October, so maybe I’ll send off the computer then.

How do you handle computer troubles?  What’s your favorite, most reliable brand of computer?


  1. I have a great IT department at work that will usually either give me the info I need to fix an issue myself or will spend a few minutes to fix it if I still can’t get it to work. My laptop is 5 years old but I rarely use it anymore unless I want to do any printing, backup my iPhone/iPad data (and download new iOS), or go to some websites that don’t always load neatly on the iPad when using my mobile hotspot. Keep thinking I should start looking for a new one soon but since I use the iPad 95% of the time, I don’t need anything super fancy.

    We don’t have a “hard” internet connection in our house – instead we have a mobile broadband modem for the laptop and I use my iPhone as a mobile hotspot for the iPad (my cell phone plan (which I get at a discount thru work) includes shared data between the two devices and it’s still cheaper than paying for a single data plan on my phone and a separate cable internet connection where we live).

    We use Dell laptops at work, my college aged niece loves her MacBook Pro, and my 5 yr old dinosaur is a Gateway (don’t even know if they still exist).

  2. I am using my second MAC. You can buy them refurbished from Apple on line. They’re significantly less expensive and come with the same warranty. MAC takes a brief period of getting used to, but they’re great. No viruses and you can walk in to a store at any time and get assistance. Well worth the extra money, I believe.

  3. We’re currently dealing with two computers, which we bought at the same time, starting to crap out on us. My husband claims he just needs to reformat them, but we want to switch our operating systems which is costly. We purchased new OS disks online, but they got lost in the mail. Thankfully, the seller refunded our money after a few weeks of hassling with the post office. Computer issues really stink! Good luck with getting a new computer!

  4. Eric Rosenberg says:

    I just got a new Windows RT tablet and, for a typical person, could see how it could become the only computer at home. If I didn’t need more power for games, web design, and DJing, it could be my 100% of the time computer. And it was only $350 plus the keyboard.

  5. Honestly *knock on wood* we have had very good luck with computers. My desktop is from 2004, I think. I have upgraded the hard drive and memory and added a new wireless card, but the only thing that has failed is the video card, and I had a spare available to me so the replacement was free. For the little bit of browsing I do on it, the thing has done great.

  6. Have you thought about using emergency fund money to purchase a new laptop now and replacing the money with your eBay sales and/or costco refund? If you earn your living on the computer and use it for part of your homeschooling, I would think this would be an appropriate use of an emergency fund. Just a thought! 🙂

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