Have to admit that while I love Apple products, I haven’t been motivated to purchase the uber-popular iPad tablet that everyone raves about. After all, my laptop suits me just fine, and the idea of buying an expensive mobile gadget that performs similar functions seems frivolous. But that, of course, was before I experienced it–and that, my friends, has made all the difference.
While waiting for a friend at the Apple store one day, I had the great fortune of having the time to be entertained by and educated on the merits of the device. First, I watched a movie trailer on the iPad Mini, which is a great way to gauge the clarity and size of the screen. Understandably, some would opt for a larger screen, but I found the size acceptable. The images were crystal clear and razor sharp with vivid colors that simply drew me in. Making music via the popular GarageBand app is not only lots of fun, it really ignites the creativity inside and makes both novices and experts sound incredible.
The iTunes store has apps for nearly everything you can imagine, but I was pleasantly surprised that it includes word processing software. Thus, it’s easy to plug in my earphones and listen to favorite artists as I write–wherever I may be. Another huge surprise–I didn’t expect to actually enjoy reading a book on this 7.9-inch tablet screen; however, the retina display which makes the images so clear also reduces eyestrain, so I can read for extended periods. And get this–the iPad even gives me the sound of an actual page turn. Genius.
At a mere $299 for a 16 GB iPad Mini, I completely recognize that this is not a bank-breaking purchase. However, non-essentials have been trimmed from the budget, which means getting this gadget will take some creativity. Here, then, is my strategy for painlessly saving for my new iPad by Christmas.
Christmas is just over nine months away, and dividing its cost by the number of months left brings my monthly savings target to $33. So since Spring has sprung, I’ll use my spring cleaning efforts to convert gently used items into cash using resale sites like Poshmark. Poshmark brings together fashionistas across the country for the sale of new or gently used clothing, shoes and accessories. By my own generous estimates, I figure my gently used things should pull in at least two months’ worth in savings ($66).
As an avid reader, I have a fairly large collection of used books. However, my new iPad Mini is going to help with both my book collection and with space. So instead of simply donating them to a local charity, I plan to list some of the better recognized titles on Amazon.com. I’m hoping to sell at least 25 books, and with a $5 markup on each, I’m getting into triple digit savings ($125).
Continuing in the spirit of selling items no longer used, Apple operates a recycling program, enabling customers to rid themselves of old Apple products (like iPhones, iPads, Mac computers, etc.) and receive an Apple gift card. Since my second generation iPod is currently gathering dust, I’m hoping to recycle it for a gift card worth at least $20.
If all these sales go as planned, I’ll only need to make up an $88 difference; over nine months, that’s roughly $10 per month. Simple lifestyle changes such as packing a lunch once per week, saving my soft drink money (water is healthier, anyway), clipping coupons and impulse control could eadily put that extra Hamilton into my iPad Mini Piggy Bank.
We’ll see over the course of nine months how close my estimates are. But I’m hoping they’re close enough to wish myself a Merry Christmas with my new favorite gadget!