$999.99 Giveaway: iPad or no iPad? Welcome to my Money Problem!


Welcome to the first giveaway of the day! Come back later today for the second giveaway. Ok, I know, the title of this post is just a bit silly as I don’t know if the decision to buy an iPad is truly a money problem or not. Often times when we think of a money problem it’s usually associated with something like not being able to pay a certain bill, getting out of debt or not being able to stay on budget. I’ve discussed most of those issues in previous posts, but that is not really the purpose of this post. The question we’re dealing with today is more of a he said/she said between Mrs. Frugal Rules and I. Thankfully we’re on the same page 99.99% of the time when it comes to finances and for that I am grateful, but the issue today is one of those things we don’t see eye to eye on. The issue that I’ll discuss today is my wife’s desire for us to buy a new iPad for the family. I’ll break it down in a He Said/She Said format.


Update to this post: She won! Well, to be fair, it was my gift to Mrs. Frugal Rules for Valentine’s Day.

He Said

iPads are freaking expensive! They cost in the neighborhood of $500, if not more. I know that we have that amount of money set aside in an envelope that can be used, but does that mean we should really spend it? Just because we can spend it and not “feel” a thing to our financial well-being, does not mean we should spend it. We did, after all, just buy a new iPhone 5 a month ago and we do have a MacBook Pro for the business so isn’t an iPad just a bit of iOverkill? It makes me wonder how many gadgets we really need. You can do many of the same things you want to do on an iPad between your phone and the MacBook. Wouldn’t it be much more fun to use those funds towards something more enjoyable like towards our summer vacation?

She Said

We’ve had this money sitting in a cash envelope for a couple of years now. We thought it might be needed in the event of an emergency, but the fact is that we have saved enough in our Emergency Fund and could use it for something a little fun. We rarely just go out and spend money on something as trivial as this anymore and let’s face it, we’ll not pull out future monies in order to buy something like this. I really think this is more like “found” money and should use it on something fun. The fact is that we can use this for client meetings when we don’t want to lug the computer and it’s easier to type on than my smartphone. Finally, as it would be used for business purposes our tax guy has informed us that its purchase can be written off.

I fear (ok that’s putting it strongly) that I may be in a losing battle here. The fact that it can be tax deductible for us is a major arrow in my wife’s quiver. I look at it as $500 that we can use on things that would be more of an experience or savings and Mrs. Frugal Rules would like to use it to buy something. Neither is inherently wrong or good, but are opposing views. All this said, my decision would be made much easier if say I were to win a giveaway! Unfortunately I can’t win today’s giveaway, but you can. This giveaway runs through the end of February and is for $999.99 in cold hard cash. I know the amount may seem odd, but let’s face it, it’s a nice little sum of cash to win.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter instructions below to enroll for the prize. a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your thoughts? Am I fighting a losing battle? If it were you, would you spend the money on a new iPad, something else fun or save it?


Photo courtesy of: Billy Alexander

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more. If you're wanting to learn how to monetize your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.


  • Liquid says:

    Wow with $999 you can buy like 2 iPads with that kind of money 😀 I see the dilemma you are facing. It goes against your frugal ways and it’s not a necessity, but at the same time she thinks it can be beneficial for business purposes. I think in the end, I would probably cave and let her win. $500 isn’t that much. I’m single but I’ve heard a happy wife makes for a happy family :0)

    • John says:

      Yea, I think we both have good points. My big thing is having too many gadgets. I fear that I am fighting a lost case though…as your statement is true!

  • I like the approach you took to this giveaway. I will be posting my own tomorrow! One of my favorite things is the wide range of posts you can have within any topic, i.e. “money problems.”

  • What an awesome giveaway. Nice one John.

  • Pauline says:

    I say happy wife happy life 🙂

  • If it is anything like my family then you lost no matter how good your argument is. Just accept it and hope she lets you use it :p

  • I would ignore tax deductions when considering something like this. ‘Cause that’s kindof like saying I’ll buy this thing I don’t want or need because it’s 20% off! But you still forked over 80% of the cost for something you didn’t want or need…

    That said, if you want it and it’s in the budget, get it! And enjoy it =)

  • I’m with you John, totally, but like Pauline said “Happy wife, happy life.” After all, it’s only a few hundred dollars. 🙂

    • John says:

      Pauline did have a point. I know it’s only a few hundred dollars, though it’s more of having too many iGadgets. It doesn’t help matters that I am not an Apple fan.

  • Jason @ WSL says:

    I’d spend the money! I say that because we just spent the money last night on our first iPad. We went with the iPad 2 though so we could save some money. While the 3rd gen would have been nice, we’ve never had a tablet before so it was a major upgrade regardless.

    • John says:

      Boy, I am really fighting a losing battle here huh?! 😉 That’s awesome you got one last night. How much did you end up spending on the 2?

  • Well, I didn’t get the iPad, but I did get the Nexus 10. I love the tablet and it has worked out great for doing work when just sitting around. I don’t have to power up the laptop and it just makes it easy. I would just let it happen John!

    • John says:

      I tried the “other” tablet angle and I promptly got shot down. My wife is too much of an Apple fan to buy a different one. She’s seeing the benefit of being able to access anything she needs from any of the devices.

  • Michelle says:

    I agree with the others. Happy wife = happy life 🙂

  • Oooh both of you have such good points! I totally get where you are coming from in that I’d LOVE an ipad just because it’s a neat toy, but I have a macbook and an iphone as well, so that’ just what it is…a toy! And an expensive one. But then if you have this money and have all your bases covered elsewhere, sometimes it’s good to loosen up a bit and enjoy those splurges. I’ll be curious to know how it turns out!

    • John says:

      That’s just it Tonya, at what point do we have too many iGadgets? Of course, I think we have enough…though logic does not always work in situations like this. 🙂

  • I think you lose, John. Obviously you’ve thought about it for a while and it isn’t an impulse buy. Plus the tax deduction. Wives are always right anyway.

    • John says:

      I know, I am seeing a trend here. 😉 I just hate spending that much money for a toy. On a side note, I read your comment to my wife and I think she laughed for a minute straight.

  • I think you should get an ipad if you really want one. You saved for it and have cash reserves for other things =)

  • Our kid would hog the iPad if we get one.

  • I would wait until this fall, when Apple will most likely release the iPad Mini with a Retina display!

    The lower end version of the Mini is around $330, so there is some “savings” there. Plus, it is the best Apple device I’ve ever used. I own the iPad 3 but will be getting the Mini when it comes out with the Retina display. It’s just that good.

    So, maybe meet in the “middle” and go with the Mini. and then stash away the $130 difference you save by not getting the full version.

    • John says:

      I see your point, though the mini really would not fit our needs really in terms of an option other than the MacBook. I think the mini is nice, but I think it’s really nothing more than a bigger iPhone.

  • Catherine says:

    Haha I have to agree, she’d going to be relentless so you should probably get one. I’m not into this sort of thing but my husband is gushing over the new blackberry…I’m doing my best to keep him grounded.

    • John says:

      I think I’ve managed to calm it a bit so as to avoid the feeling of having to get one right now…that said…she reads the comments so I feel that I may have lost on this one. 😉

  • I say GET the iPad! Once you have one, you’ll never be able to look back. They are just so convenient to have.

  • I personally don’t like Apple devices, although if I had the extra money, I could see myself buying a mini just to have access to Apple’s stupid iAuthor software which is the only way to publish books on the iBookstore.

    That said, I DO want a tablet. I’m currently saving Amazon gift cards towards a Kindle Fire. Just another way of using dedicated income streams. 🙂

    • John says:

      I don’t either Edward, though I am married to an Apple devotee. I’ve heard good things about the Kindle Fire and would get one myself but then we lose the ability of having all the gadgets “communicating” with each other.

  • You could spend that money on a million things but I would spend it on what makes you happy and if it makes your wife happy then go with it. I know it may not be exactly what you want to do but it’s a give and take world. Awesome contest, I hope to win.

    • John says:

      That’s my thought Chris, we could use it on so many things. I tend to prefer experiences, so I would use it on a vacation but I think I am in a losing battle.

  • Glad to be participating in this giveaway with you! I’ve also thought about getting an ipad but not quite ready yet. It took me a while to move to smartphones too, but now that I have one I’m so glad I switched. iPad might be a similar deal. I also hear there’s a new one coming out? You could use that as a reason to not buy now and by the time it comes out you might have more arrrows in your quiver.

    • John says:

      They do have another one coming out. But, with the memory that thing is packing as well as the cost you might as well just buy a computer. I fear my quiver is getting quite empty. 🙁

  • Sonya Miller says:

    This is an interesting discussion here. I agree with Mrs. Frugal Rules on this one. I have a business myself and carrying around a tablet is easier than carrying a laptop. I don’t have a tablet, but would love to have one. Is it an absolute necessity……no it isn’t, but what’s the harm in making the purchase when it won’t hurt your finances. If you can make life a lil easier for yourself without breaking your finances why not. Mrs. Frugal has some very valid points. She wants the iPad and I believe it will make her happy to get it. I know you want her to be happy. You said 99.9% of the time you all agree so I believe you’ll probably end up agreeing with her. 🙂

    • John says:

      The convenience aspect really is a big one Sonya. Especially when we may not have to lug around our big computer bag. I guess my argument is more of a not wanting too many gadgets, though I think the decision has already been made. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  • Mackenzie says:

    Ooh, an IPad!! As someone who doesn’t have one, I say go for it! 🙂

  • Justin@TheFrugalPath says:

    If it something that you can afford and will enrich your life I’d say go for it. Since it sounds like it would make business easier, then that sounds like enrichment. Plus the money has been doing nothing for years.

    • John says:

      It would make business easier I guess. It has been sitting there for a few years, though I’d much rather use “found” money for an experience and not just to buy something.

  • Sometimes, it’s better to spend the money than to deal with the arguing. Actually, I think that’s the case most of the time.

    On the subject of iPads, they are very cool. But too expensive. I’m still trying to convince myself to buy a new laptop, which is something I actually need. Convincing myself to buy an iPad, which at present I do not need but would like to have, will take considerably more time.

    • John says:

      You have a point though we’re not really arguing, just a friendly banter. They are cool, but they are expensive like you say. I bought a laptop for myself last year for only $100 more, but then again, it’s not an Apple product. 😉

  • Between the bf and I we have two macbooks, and iphone and 3 ipods and and ipad. Holy i-overkill. In addition the bf has a desktop and a work laptop. I’m not much into gadgets, but as you can tell the bf certainly is.

  • We have a Macbook Pro, iPad, 2 iPhones, and 2 iPods that we use on a daily basis.

  • Jose says:

    Pauline said it best, Happy wife + Happy life. Or in other terms, If she ain’t happy, no one is happy! Get the iPad!

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