How to Get That New Guitar Without Becoming a Street Musician

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Street Musician

Sometimes, what you want is more than what you got. Here are a few pointers to help you get what you want without playing on the street.

Not that there is anything wrong with becoming a street musician. Actually playing on the street (busking) can be surprisingly lucrative. I have a friend who does this as a hobby and the numbers he talks about certainly have changed my initial thought that they didn’t make very much. Plus, I think it would be fun to see the smiles you put on people’s faces by bringing music to places they might not have expected.

That said – the topic of this article deals more with a few creative financing options I have come across in my daily internet guitar trolling.

The Usual Suspects

Of course everyone knows you can save up for the guitar. There are options to help with this, like online savings banks (it helps to keep the guitar fund separate from your other savings or checking account) such as emigrant-direct.com.

Credit cards are another way, but we all know the dangers and pitfalls of credit cards. Actually, statistics say I’m full of hooey on that. Plenty of people don’t know the dangers – and plus, what if you already have stinky credit? But I digress yet again.

Bill Me Later

This is a service that was purchased by PayPal. Basically, on most Ebay auctions, you can choose the “Bill Me Later” option, put in a little bit of personal information, and off you go – or so it seems.

Although this is a legitimate option, a bit of caution is certainly in order here.

This is barely better than a credit card – depending on who you are. If you have great credit – you may as well just use your credit card. The rate for “Bill Me Later” is just shy of 20% and if your credit is good, you will probably have a better rate than that.

When is “Bill Me Later” an option? If you have less than stellar credit. You can tell by the percentage rate that they are accepting less than great credit – if it’s that high. I still recommend paying it off early.

Another thing that makes this a good choice right now is that they are offering a special, “No interest if paid in full by September, 2011”. You would have to act fast to get this deal and make it worthwhile. Still, if you could pay it off in a few months, you’d come out clean – besides the fact that they will pull your credit report.

Pay While You Play

This is a great program by zZounds. You select an option during checkout and they split your (credit card) payment up into four neat monthly installments. No applications, fees, credit check or extra hassle.

You can also use a debit card as long as it has a Visa / Mastercard logo on it.

The only caution here is that you need to be able to make the monthly payment or there will be trouble with your credit card. If that dream guitar is $800 – you need to be able to afford $200 a month for four months.

They’re not going to wait for you to make the monthly payment, it will be charged to your card automagically.

Also, watch your credit card limit so that you don’t go over it.

This is hardly an exhaustive list of options …

…. If you don’t like these options, you can always find similar deals. But hopefully I’ve sparked some ideas here.

To me, a guitarist without a workable guitar is a tragedy. Don’t give up – think creatively, and be smart – you might be rocking out sooner than you thought possible. Time is music, and you’ve got options.

Resources:

Online Savings Accounts:

Emigrant Direct

ING Direct

Credit cards for less-than-perfect credit:

Capital One

Orchard Bank

Vendor Specific:

zZounds Pay While You Play

Bill Me Later (Ebay, PayPal)


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Guitar-Muse Staff

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