Monday, March 23, 2009

Should I buy a new printer?

My old printer died somehow when I shipped it to my apartment in NYC last May. That was no great loss since I do very, little printing these days. In fact, in a typical year my only printing is travel itineraries and paper copies of e-tickets. I have managed to do without a printer since the middle of last May. But today I wanted to buy a bus ticket to the airport online and they require that the ticket be printed. My airline e-ticket and Priceline hotel reservation did not require a printed confirmation, but the bus ticket does. Oh Well. So, I decided to buy a new printer for $100 or so. But then I thought about it and did the math and decided that if I paid cash for my bus tickets over the next three years I would still not lose the amount I would have saved by buying the tickets in advance online once the price of the printer was factored in. Part of the calculation is that I do not bother claiming cash business expenses when I do my taxes. So, I changed my mind and decided that a printer would not be a good investment. I had already found a nice HP monochrome laser printer for $99 (originally $189), but money is money.

I checked the bus line's web site and found that there was a ticket office at Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) here in NYC. The bus line is CoachUSA, but the tickets are sold by Gray Line. I walked over to the office just inside the 42nd Street entrance and charged a round-trip ticket (NYC to Newark Airport) on my credit card for the same price as online ($25 roundtrip.) So, now I am all set for travel and without the need to purchase a new printer.

Maybe next year I will come up with a valid reason to buy a new printer.

-- Jack Krupansky

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