Handy Hints

How I put a $1700 dent in our budget with a simple error

Asus desktop with 4th Gen intelcorei7, 16GB Ram, 2TB Hard drive and Windows 8

Nothing Lasts Forever If You Are Careless

If you follow me here at Canadian Budget Binder you know I am a big fan of having an emergency savings fund and using a budget. Every month I post our budget and net worth update to show how we made out for the month and areas we need to improve on or we feel we are on target or exceeding with.

Unfortunately not every month is going to be a good month and sometimes we have to suck it up and move on just like we’ll have to this month with a silly error that cost us $1700 but the buck didn’t stop there let me assure you. We often ask ‘how can I protect my computer from viruses?’ but sometimes you also need to ask yourself ‘how can I protect my computer from myself?’

Water in computer

It all started one evening when I was sitting in my office minding my own business with beverage chatting to my fans on Facebook for my nightly What’s for Dinner post when I accidentally spilled water on the keyboard of my netbook. It was not a happy site and I frantically tried to dry up the mess and if you were here you would have thought I was a right nutter blowing on the keys, pretty much doing anything I could to dry up the liquid that would potentially ruin my netbook.

It only took a few minutes to realize something was wrong and to be honest I was not surprised. I had lost the ability to use 3 keys on my netbook because the water had done the damage to the keyboard like I had expected it to although I was still being optimistic that it would dry up and in the morning everything would be back to normal and life would go on. Wrong!

Nothing changed come morning and although I did as much research as I could on spilled water in computer or a pcfix there really wasn’t much of a solution other than ‘keep your damn drinks away from your computer’. I pretty much agreed 100% after the fact of me spilling water on the computer that it was the only smart idea.

Buying a new computer

I still have a PC in the house and that was my saving grace and another net book but it’s not mine it’s the wife’s so I wasn’t going to invade her computer so I started looking online for a new laptop to purchase. I really wanted to spend my money wisely but not cheap out at the same time, so snagging a great deal would be optimal.

Our desk top PC is so old it was running on G wireless when all the rest of our computers were on N which meant the PC slowed everyone down to G. It only had a 40gb hard drive so space was at a premium too. I’ve contemplated for the last couple of years to buy a new PC but I wasn’t prepared to just yet as I needed to sort out this laptop issue of mine. We went to Future shop after I did some research and had a look around.

In no time at all we had a sales associate helping us and we went through our options which were plenty but ended up picking a Toshiba Satellite laptop with a 15.6 inch screen, intelcorei7, 16GB Ram/1TB space, awesome graphics and audio plus so much more. By the time you factor in all the taxes, office 365 package, anti-virus and I admit I paid for them to get is all ready to rock and roll as I just didn’t have the time.

I actually paid for a convenience that I felt was worth it to me for $100. When all was said and done the laptop rang in at a cool $1349 and no i did not bother with the extended warranty. When I did the math it really made no sense to me because over the life of the warranty I would have paid enough to purchase a brand new laptop so what was the purpose?

It’s been one week now since this beauty has been in our home and I just love it. I’m not so keen on the Windows 8 as it’s a lot of fluffing about but I’m slowly getting used to it. I opted not to get the touch screen simply because it was just another gadget to go wrong and I pretty much could care less about that. So just as all of this was starting to settle in, the big purchase and all I manage to screw up again. Oh I know I’m an accident waiting to happen every single day.

I run every single day and this particular day I was running and texting (I know, I know) and of course sweating like a hog. Well if a few drops of sweat didn’t fall on to my wife’s cellphone and all of a sudden the bloody phone stopped working. If you were in ear shot you would have heard every word under the sun starting with the letter F, S, D and FFS you’ve got to be kidding me.

We don’t have cell phone insurance because the phone is so old even the older people look at it and laugh. Some kids even say, wow where did you get that Mrs. CBB lol. Just goes to show you how technology evolves so quickly and how some generations are in awe when they see old school gadgets like ours.

Water on cell phone

When i was done my run I took a shower like usual and started researching what I needed to do if anything to get this phone working again as I didn’t want to have to buy her a new phone. That and she was probably going to ring my neck for being such a moron although sometimes I can’t help it, hey I’m a guy leave me alone. She’s been bugging me to upgrade for the past couple of months and I did give in and say go for it.

The reality is she’s been with Rogers for over 12 years now with a cell phone and no plan so she might as well get a contract and be done with it. She didn’t waste any time and was on the phone to Rogers and was able to negotiate with Rogers wireless for a decent cell phone plan.

I ended up on the advice of my friend who I called because he is brilliant with this kind of stuff and he told me to put the cell phone in a bag of rice. I know it sounds odd but it worked. When I tried the phone in the morning it was back up and running and I was smiling. Mrs. CBB on the other hand was frowning because now she doesn’t have to go and get the new cell phone even though I said for her to get it. She said not yet but she’s the worst decision maker so we’ll just see how many times she changes her mind.

They say bad luck comes in three’s and that it did this past week. So we got the cell phone sorted out and the new laptop up and running and we thought everything would be fine. Wrong again. The PC started going on the fritz now and was dropping the wireless signal every few minutes. I was struggling to get online more than normal as you see this has been going on for weeks.

I was on wireless with the old pc and it was really old and I finally said to my wife, listen we’ve worked hard, saved our money and have no debts at all. Let’s just get a new PC for the office and a good one so it lasts us so we aren’t struggling to get online and the PC is not wasting our time as it’s so slow. It would take me ages to get anything done plus there was no sound card and the Cd-Rom drive didn’t work so it was pretty much a dinosaur computer to most.

Back to Future Shop we go…… they loved us this past week.

New desktop computer

Well we had to make a decision on a new desktop computer and although there were some fancy new all-in-one type desktops that are similar to a giant laptop we opted not to go that route. They seemed like fancy gadgets that were bound to mess up and cost me more than I was interested in paying for especially since they weren’t near as fast as putting a system together purchasing the desktop and monitor separate.

I ended up getting an LG 27″ border-less LED monitor which cost me a bit more money just over $300 and an Asus desktop with 4th gen intelcorei7, 16GB Ram, 2TB Harddrive and Windows 8 and all the same features that are on the lap top pretty much minus the webcam which I will just buy separate. It goes like shite off a shovel and I’m so happy with this computer. In the end the total for the desktop rang in at just over $1700 with the MS Office, anti-virus and set-up plus all other taxes and fees. It even comes with a music maker so I can mix and cut my own tunes… watch out MC CBB is coming soon! Overall, this desktop computer is amazing and is the one in the photo you see above.

How to protect your computer from damage

  • Keep your space clean and organized
  • Do not drink or eat near your computer
  • keep all your electrical chords neat and tidy
  • Keep your computer in a non-moist environment
  • Don’t walk around with devices that are not hand-held devices
  • Use a surge protector to protect your investment
  • Invest in the extended protection plan offered by the seller
  • Invest in a good virus protection program if you feel it’s worth it to you (do the math)
  • Protect your computer with secure passwords in case of theft
  • Keep your computer dust free and clean it often so it doesn’t over-heat

So this month the budget has gone through the roof to the tune of over $3000 spent on computers for the home office but an expense that was in the making. We knew at some point we would have to buy a new computer but we weren’t anticipating the cost of the new laptop due to my simple error of drinking and spilling water on the computer.

It was certainly a lesson and something I don’t plan to repeat, ever again. Now, one more small problem. The printer we have which is a DELL from about 10 years ago will not work with Windows 8 (geesh) so I’m looking at picking up a new printer and to be honest the price of ink for the Dell All-in-one printer that we have costs a fortune so we might as well join the masses in buying a printer and tossing it when the ink runs out and buy another.

It seems to be the cheaper way to go. I hope you learned a valuable lesson today from my simple error and how I put a dent of over $1700 in our budget not including the new laptop just from being careless.

Have you been careless with any of your devices or computers in which you had to buy new or pay for costly repair?



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