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To get a Macbook for dd?

(98 Posts)
Dancergirl Mon 25-Jan-16 10:48:31

Tricky one. Both my older dds have a largish sum of money saved up given from various relatives over the years.

About 18 months ago, dd1 wanted to use some of her money to buy a laptop. We did some research, shopped around etc and we advised her not to spend too much on it as there were some good models around for less money. So she bought one for about £350 (can't remember the make, it begins with A). She's generally happy with it, can be a bit slow to start up.

Now dd2 would like to do the same and she has her heart set on an Apple macbook. People we've talked to say they really are worth the money, they last longer and have resale value. Took dd2 to John Lewis yesterday, we looked at all makes but she's really keen on the macbook. She has a (second hand) iPhone 5 which she loves so I suppose she's a bit of an Apple convert.

It is her money so it's really her choice (but she has a birthday coming up so may give her some extra towards it) but dd1 might be put out that we advised her to get a cheaper one and now we are going back on our word!

PaulAnkaTheDog Mon 25-Jan-16 10:49:44

How old are they?

Dancergirl Mon 25-Jan-16 10:53:24

14.5 and nearly 13.

sandythesquirrel Mon 25-Jan-16 11:20:45

This is tricky. I would advise treating them both the same and advising the same - to save her money and get something cheaper. Last thing you want is jealousy between two sisters - those things can last a lifetime. Especially as a laptop that would be seen and used every day - dd1 will have it shoved in her face all the time.

There is NO SUCH THING as a laptop as an investment with resale value. So don't get sucked into that type of thinking. Whatever you buy will be worth peanuts in a couple of years. In a couple of years, she will want the next model out - which will be another £1000+.

Think of a laptop as an appliance you use or even a car. All the bells and whistles, extra memory, extra this and that, is nice to have but not necessary. A macbook is a nice to have but not necessary. In the end it is just a laptop.

I know it is not nice to say no. But it depends what you want them to learn in life.

When I was 18 I asked my parents for a camera and to study photography, my parents said no - it was too expensive. 8 months later My brother who was 1 year older than me, decided he would like to study photography and voila - he got a top range camera, and a course. When i challenged my parents, all they said was my brother was really into it and I was likely to get bored of it. When my younger siblings then wanted to do photography, they continued to say no to them, because they had said no to me! It caused a real rift in the family. Turned out, younger brother was THE photographer in the family - not me or my brother, but he didn't get into it until his twenties when he finally saved up his own money to get a camera.

So - I would advise equal treatment.

GabiSolis Mon 25-Jan-16 11:27:28

MacBooks are nice, but I can't see the value in it for a 12-yr-old tbh. I think you had it right with DD1 and should probably stick to that with DD2. Resale value is bullshit for anything like this, don't be taken in by that.

Dancergirl Mon 25-Jan-16 11:28:10

Last thing you want is jealousy between two sisters - those things can last a lifetime

This is exactly what worries me and I agree with you. The only thing is, at the time dd1 bought hers, she didn't really seem that bothered about brands etc. I don't even remember discussing Apple. Dd2 is really keen on Apple and it's her money. Would she not be resentful if we said no because of what dd1 might think?

I don't know!

Dancergirl Mon 25-Jan-16 11:29:16

Yes I did wonder about the resale thing. Dh said why would she want to sell it anyway?

Unless I get dd2 a second hand reconditioned macbook for less money?

JohnLuther Mon 25-Jan-16 11:33:35

As PP have said don't get sucked in to stuff like resell value.

I don't get the fascination with Macs and I'm an iPhone user, if I got a Windows laptop for a grand it'd completely destroy the Mac in terms of performance and the build quality would be the same if not a little behind. Windows laptops in that price range are premium and they are not cheap and plastic unless you get an Alienware grin

AllChangeLife Mon 25-Jan-16 11:34:02

I was going to suggest a reconditioned mac book as a compromise. Maybe ask dd1 what she thinks about her laptop and how it works for her and what does she think about dd2 wanting to get a mac book. (Not woud she be jealous but does she think it would be worth it/would she have done the same?) She may not care or be jealous at all, but worth talking to her like a young adult to try to find out

Dancergirl Mon 25-Jan-16 11:35:08

Yes that's a good idea change

Dancergirl Mon 25-Jan-16 11:37:14

To give me an idea, how much would I have to spend on a decent non Apple laptop? Any particular brands that are good?

goodnightdarthvader1 Mon 25-Jan-16 11:38:47

I say this as a creative who uses a Macbook for freelance and a PC for her (also creative) day job - Macs hold no particular advantage, IMO, over a PC.

I think she's wants an Apple product because they're "trendy" and popular with her age group. But for a teenager they do the same things a PC laptop would. What are her reasons for wanting one?

As a PP said, they don't really hold any special resale value, and IMO, are ridiculously over-priced. The OS isn't particularly more stable than a PC OS nowadays. When this (very very old) Macbook dies, I'll be getting a PC.

Dancergirl Mon 25-Jan-16 11:40:44

I think she's basing her choice on one friend's opinion who has one and loves it. But the difference is, this friend has a family member who works for Apple and got her a discount.

Thymeout Mon 25-Jan-16 11:42:23

I'd give her the same advice you gave your elder daughter, but, it's her money and if that's how she wants to spend it, I'd let her. She'll have the laptop she wants and your elder dd will have more money in her savings acct. No reason to feel jealous.

Fwiw, I've found Apple products do last longer, are easier to use, and you can do much more with them than basic laptops. She's 12 now, but it will still be going strong when she's older and has a need for all the extras that come with it.

Notgivingin789 Mon 25-Jan-16 11:42:40

I'm a designer, so I have a Macbook, which I must say is very good for my design softwares.

I wouldn't get a Macbook for a 12 year old to be perfectly honest.

goodnightdarthvader1 Mon 25-Jan-16 11:44:13

Hmm, unless she has some specific use in mind for it (eg software that comes with the Mac), I'd say it's a waste of money. I'd be interested to know what exactly her friend "loves" about it that is so specific to Macs.

LyndaNotLinda Mon 25-Jan-16 11:51:04

I love Apple products but even so I am completely aware of the fact that they're massively overpriced. It's just not a good use of money for a young person with very limited (and difficult to replace) funds.

Dells are pretty good and robust

AppleSetsSail Mon 25-Jan-16 11:52:57

Perhaps ask her to write up a cost-benefit analysis.

If she delivers a sound argument, I'd let her get one. You can't allow her to be constrained by the choices her sister has made.

Thymeout Mon 25-Jan-16 11:54:27

But it's her money to 'waste'. There are many adults, such as me, who would make the same decision and not regard it as a waste at all.

I wouldn't think it essential to buy a 12 yr old a Macbook if I were paying. A cheap one will do. But, if she's paying, I don't think it's a bad buy at all, particularly given all the other things a teenager might fritter her money away on.

JohnLuther Mon 25-Jan-16 11:55:04

You can get a Windows laptop for £750 that'd beat a MacBook hands down.

GloGirl Mon 25-Jan-16 11:59:12

Id let her do it. If DD1 complains, advise that she has bought XYZ with additional money not spent on her laptop.

user7755 Mon 25-Jan-16 12:01:23

I would never get a windows computer out of choice again. We bought 2 in the last 3 years - both were lucky not to get thrown out of the window. One we sold on because we just couldn't get it to do anything, the other has been sitting, untouched because it just crashes / doesn't work.

Bought a mac, have never had a moments problem with it - love it, worth the extra money.

(I think she might get a discount if she is a student?)

I see the issue with the difference between the two daughters but presumably if its her money she can do what she wants with it?

Tallyballyhoo Mon 25-Jan-16 12:03:47

As someone who has worked in IT (for too long) - I always bought a laptop but finally converted to a MacBook and it is expensive - yes BUT far superior, doesn't crash like Windows and won't be obsolete in a years time.
Let her get the MacBook it is a much better value in the long run - she will be able to use it for years.

goodnightdarthvader1 Mon 25-Jan-16 12:05:52

But it's her money to 'waste'. There are many adults, such as me, who would make the same decision and not regard it as a waste at all.

I'm guessing that's directed at me? If so, yes, it's her money, but as adults it's our job to guide our children into learning to be sensible with their money and to buy large / expensive purchases based on sensible reasoning, not "my friends think it's cool".

Which is why my DH and I are currently advising our 13 yo nephew on which TV is best for his bedroom. He wanted a cheap-ish Bush that will break down in 18 months, and my DH has advised him that spending an extra £60 on a quality Samsung is a better investment. He's currently saving that bit extra because he trusts our judgement. Smart lad.

JeffandJim Mon 25-Jan-16 12:06:41

I think that she should be able to spend her money as she wishes, whatever the opinion of which laptop is better. I have a Macbook but it was free and I'm very happy with it, but I don't think I would ever have paid for one.

But even if she finds it wasn't the best value, all you can do is guide her, if she finds it isn't the best investment then she'll learn from it in time. If you start dictating how she can spend her money then she'll never learn to make her own financial decisions.

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