If You Want it, You’re Going to Have to Pry it From My Cold, Dead Fingers

“Every luxury must be paid for…” ~Casare Pavese 

Give me my blackberry!!!


Ok, so maybe the title is a little intense and I may be acting a bit like a spoiled child here but before we get into the story and you are absolutely repulsed by my tantrum…understand that a) most of this revolt was going on in my head where outside I was as cool as a cucumber and b) I did come to my senses. 

Since making the decision to leave my job as a book publicist where I was making money to go to law school where I would accumulate debt for the first time, I have been faced with many decisions where I must put the luxuries I’m used to behind.  It’s not huge earth shattering things but these are things I have gotten used to and giving them up makes me feel like I am moving backwards.  I know, I know, it’s not true but I’m just being honest when I say that although in my heart of hearts and in the corners on my mind, I know I’m moving in the right direction, sometimes it all seems overwhelming and I pause hoping I made the right decision.  

When I quit my job to go back to school, I knew I’d have to give up my fancy laptop, brand new blackberry and any disposable income I might have and buckle down.  Time to go back to living like a college student, eat Ramon noodles and drink cheap beer.  I just didn’t realize how much I had gotten used to these simple luxuries.  

My beloved B


The phone was my first order of business.  I had a company blackberry with an unlimited plan.  I figured I’d just switch the name and keep it.  I love being able to check my emails, send tweets, update facebook and feed my social media addiction whenever I want to.  Well…turns out it would cost around $130 a month.  That’s more than my family pays for 5 lines. After doing some research, I just felt like I couldn’t justify paying twice as much for my blackberry when I should really be saving money.  

The red-headed step child


So…last night, on that cold dark dreary night I turned in my smartphone.  I went in, told them the plan I wanted, the phone I would need and gave them the blackberry to switch my contacts.  The guy commented on how easy I was making it for him.  I just knew I had to rip off the band-aid.  If he asked me if I wanted to new blackberry or smartphone I was afraid my resolve would weaken.  He switched my contacts and my number and said it was just a matter of time.  

“How much time do we have,” I asked as I looked down at my faithful blackberry. 

“Well,” he said, “You could have up to 24 hours but as things start switching, the blackberry will do less and less.  You may have less than three.” 

A death sentence.  

The death of the blackberry.  

I whispered my goodbye and tucked it into its box hoping to make its last hours as painless as possible.  

Today “eric” came to work with me today but by the way he’s hiding in my purse, I think he knows he’s not wanted 😉 

I’ll miss B.  But there is a time for everything right?  Do I really need a blackberry in school?  No.  I will have plenty of time after I graduate for that.  

Age old problem...PC or Mac


Now I’m facing the same thing with #2 on my list…my computer.  I had a snazzy macbook pro and fell in love.  My trusty HP from my undergrad days is on its last leg (when did I all the sudden become a technology morgue??) and it’s time for a new one.  I want a mac. Consumer Reports isn’t helping by telling me it’s the best thing out there.  But the sticker price is making me think this one out.  I know it’s the age-old question…mac or pc but I’d love your opinion.  All of you are working professionals who also reign in the blogosphere.  Should I go cheaper and break down to get a pc?  Or is this worth the extra money? 

Like I said in the beginning…I know I sound like a spoiled brat.  When it comes down to it though, I’m happy to give up these things if in the long run I can save some money by decreasing my bills.  I just miss it and want to make sure I’m cutting the right corners.  

What do you think?  Do you give up some luxuries now to save in the long run?  Is so, which ones? 

Is there a luxury you would absolutely not give up?


14 thoughts on “If You Want it, You’re Going to Have to Pry it From My Cold, Dead Fingers

  1. I left my job to go back to law school too about 6 years ago. I had to switch to a cell phone carrier that had decent coverage in the area I was going to school. I had to get a decent laptop for classes (and then pray it didn’t crash on me during exams!) I gave up my regular, steady income and insurance for Spaghetti-O’s and High Life (no joke, then again I still enjoy both of those). I gave up quite a lot. I even eventually stopped getting my hair cut and colored regularly. (I had crazy long hair by bar exam!) You will adjust pretty quickly. I wish you the best of luck, it’s a crazy ride! Let me know if you have any questions!

  2. i’ve faced similar struggles and know your pain.

    my college pc was on its last leg and after waiting around for a couple years researching other cheaper laptops i finally just got a mac & i love it. i think with you being in school & using a computer very regularly that you’ll be happier if you get a good one.
    maybe go for a refurbished macbook- it’s not as expensive as new or macbook pro, but still a mac.

    i haven’t done much phone shopping since i’ve had a work blackberry for a while now- but is there no middle ground between the blackberry and your sad little calls-only phone? surely there’s something you can afford that will handle apps, email, something.

    good luck!

  3. Poor Jackie 😦 As far as the cell phone, I can imagine your pain. I can’t even fathom giving up my Instinct. It’s my life. Back to a flip phone? No no no. I feel for you. As far as the computer question, for what I do (design, photography, etc) the Mac is perfect. However, for what you are going to be doing, I think a PC should suffice. PCs have really come a long way! Macs are great for imaging and design stuff, but for a law student, I see no need for the bells and whistles. Save some money! The PC will do you just fine!

  4. I couldn’t go on without my Blackberry…or an iPod.

    On the last night of college, Nick, Matt, and I had a dinner of Jack Daniels and biscuits. Tor and I used to buy Miller Lite tall boys with loose change. I know what it’s like to live on a budget.

    Now that I’ve made it to the big time, I’m buying Miller Lite tall boys with a debit card.

  5. Stick with me Mac. It’s more of an investment up front, but it will last longer and since there are fewer issues, you’ll get a better ROI because of your increased productivity.

    (Can you tell that I’m trying to convince my company to switch my work computer from PC to Mac?)

    Seriously though. A computer isn’t something you should go cheap on. It’s an investment and you want to get the best thing so you don’t have to do it twice.

    I try to save more in the eating out area. We stick to a pretty strict budget for dining out… even though it may seem like we eat Mexican all the time, my “meal” there is $3. 🙂

  6. I feel your pain. Since leaving my job, I have been in some similar circumstances. I already have a contract on a smart phone though and I am impressed with your willpower to give that up. I have an Android with T-Mobile though and it is *only* about $85/month. I was more than happy to give up my work Blackberry. Android phones and iPhones are just SO much more user-friendly and functional.

    On the computer, I just bought myself a mac. Apple is running a promotion right now where you get something like $100 off and a free iPod Touch if you’re buying your computer for school. This is crazy outside of the box for me because I have always been so against Steve Jobs proprietary strategy. In fact, I even bought a Sony Vaio at first, but when I got it home and it was riddled with crap promotional software and I immediately started having trouble with the wireless, I gave in and bought the Mac because I knew it would at least work. I’m still getting used to all the new Excel shortcuts, but if you’re already used to using one, I can’t see switching back. This thing is just so user-friendly.

    That’s my two cents.

  7. Get the mac. Seriously, it is so completely worth it. I went through THREE laptops in law school. One that was on its last leg from undergrad and died spring break of 1L year. And another died the day before my Con Law and Estate Planning finals 2L year. I bought a macbook and it has been holding up fabulously! Law school is REALLY hard on laptops. It is funny, most of my class started out with PCs and by 3L year, I’d say about 2/3 of us had converted to Macs after our PCs had dropped dead on us due to fans dying, power cords fraying, motherboards starting on fire (yes, this really happened…in my Torts class to the girl sitting next to me), memories disappearing, etc. And the tiny handful of faithful Mac users just laughed at us as we all jumped on the Mac boat one by one.

    Oh, and get an external hard drive. Back up everything at least weekly. I promise you that the hassle and expense is worth it when your computer croaks the day before finals and all of your notes and outlines are saved.

  8. Sorry for the downgrades.

    I bought a Mac for law school. I take the dang thing with me everywhere – it’s lighter than most PCs (unless you want to pay a ton), it operates smoothly, and it is beautiful (okay, there! it is beautiful and that was at least 1/3 of the reason I wanted it).

    Here is a little tidbit you might want to know though: get the stupid protection plan. It’s expensive. I never thought I would need it. Oh, turns out most of my friends have used it. As aforementioned, the laptop goes everywhere and is constantly in use during law school. Issues spring up. For us, it was the fact that the plastic on our models was crappy, and the outer case had to be replaced at least once. Other friends had crashes and whatnot due to faulty hardware. My lucky issue: a two-inch column of swirling pixels because, as the Mac store guy put it, sometimes pixels just die. Get the plan. I wish I had. Instead, of paying for the expensive repair, we bought a PC (turns out you need a system running some sort of Windows for the bar in my state. Yes, could’ve used Windows on the Mac, but those programs seem to slow them down and cause crash problems, something NO ONE wants during the bar). I’m still using the Mac.

  9. jackie, i feel your pain – but not phone wise. I’ve been rockin the razor since the razor came out. the screen is cracked and the buttons hardly glow, but i just say its been loved.

    i did however cut back by downgrading my minutes AND (gasp! cry!) give up DVR for the summer. Now that’s desperate. I thought I’d save $57, but turns out after I traded the equipment I am only saving $18!! I am not standing in that line again until I move. the end.

  10. I LUST for an Iphone…heck, I’d settle for texting but DH and I have dinosaur age cell phones with text messaging blocked! Sorry about your loss…

  11. I’d get the mac! My husband’s PC died two weeks before finals, and it was VERY STRESSFUL, even though he had 95% of his work recently backed up. He was able to save fully everything eventually, but it was such a huge hassle to go through at such a bad time.

    They do cost a little more up front. Our thinking was that there are just too many PC choices. What brand? How much do you want to spend? Sure, you can get a bare bones $500 laptop. Or you could get a medium $1000. But then toss on a care plan (YOU MUST GET A CARE PLAN), and you’re spending $1200 anyway on a PC it sounds like you don’t really want anyway. Use your student discount on a Macbook and Apple Care. We spent $1400 in May, which is a little more than we would have spent on a PC, but it’s a purchase and a product we feel confident in!

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