The week before last on a generally fast-paced Friday, I became ill. It’s been just over a year since I was last sick and realized freelancers don’t get paid sick days! Around lunch time I lost my appetite and only felt comfortable laying down. Usually if I’m a little tired or not feeling my best I’ll work from the couch or bed–one of the benefits of a laptop and working from home! So I gathered my notebook and laptop, went downstairs, and as I placed everything on the bed the laptop slipped and fell on the floor. For whatever reason, I had been carrying my laptop open instead of closed…and the laptop landed on the corner of the screen. The frame bent and the LCD crystals immediately started dripping and the screen became unusable.
A few months ago my love was traveling on a work trip and he dropped his tablet, which cracked the screen. Instead of buying an entirely new tablet (even though his is sorely outdated), he bought a new screen for $100 online and installed it himself. Crazy, right?! Who does that? My crazy love. So, after I dropped my laptop I frantically called him at work and asked if he could replace my laptop screen. He said he couldn’t make any promises, but that he would try. I ordered a new LCD for $50 on Amazon and paid a mere $3 for one-day shipping. (Funny enough, I had received a $50 Amazon gift card as a birthday gift so the universe served me well!)
I spent the rest of that sick Friday rotating between the floor of my office and my office desk since the only way I could use my laptop was by docking it into a monitor. After I finished working I napped for an hour before my love got home. My temperature was 99-100 from then through the night and it broke early the next morning. Fortunately, whatever it was only lasted 24 hours – although it took several days before my appetite was back to normal.
To get my laptop display back to normal, my love simply popped off the old screen and popped in the new one—took him less than 10 minutes!
Over the years I’ve had a few different computers. Before freelancing I had a Dell laptop—the heavy old kind as thick as a dictionary that required a separate wireless card to connect to WiFi. Back in 2009, I started my freelance business completely on an Acer Aspire One netbook (8″ display!) and ran my business entirely off of it all the way through 2013. I bought the same computer’s current model then, but the computer had serious issues and only lasted a few weeks before becoming inoperable. Then I got a Lenovo Ultrabook, which is what I still use today. Out of any laptop I’ve ever owned–this one is my favorite. I’m so glad the display was easily replaced because I do not want to get a new computer. This one has been so reliable and travels with me on all my trips (except Italy).
If you are a freelancer in the market to buy a new computer, remember that your expenses are tax-deductible!* Save your receipts. Depending on how you structure your taxes, you can either take the full deduction in the year that you purchase the computer, or take a depreciated sliding deduction over five years. (You must use the computer 100% for business purposes in order to take a complete deduction. Otherwise, if you use the computer maybe 20% of the time to book personal vacations, shop for non-business items, etc. you should only take an 80% business deduction.)
And all the software us freelancers need to do our work? QuickBooks, Microsoft Office – these are deductions as well!
Do you have a laptop you love or one that you want to warn other freelancers about?
*Be advised that I am not an expert in the tax field and none of what appears here is intended as legal or financial advice. Speak with a Certified Public Accountant or tax attorney for legal advisement.