This question is the same as asking: “How much should I budget for petrol for my car?” It all depends on what model car you are driving; how much driving you do; and what the current price of petrol is.
The same is true of laptop consumables. The cost depends on three factors.
The type of equipment you use has an impact on the cost. Scanners, for example, do not use any consumables. Printers use paper and toner (ink) cartridges. The type of printer determines the cost of the cartridge – it is important to know its cost before you purchase a printer. A cheap printer may use expensive ink cartridges, while a more expensive printer may have a lower running cost. Do cost comparisons before you purchase a peripheral.
The extent to which you are performing certain functions determines the amount of consumables you will use. The more you print the more paper and toner you require.
If you learn to work on-line your need for printing will reduce and the cost of consumables will come down accordingly. When you feel that you simply cannot afford certain consumables, consider whether you could perhaps do without them.
The cost of consumables also depends on where you purchase them. Shop around for the best prices – you will be surprised to see the variation of prices from different outlets. Sometimes items such as data sticks are given away as promotional goods at trade fairs – look out for such opportunities and grab them.
Consider whether the use of all the peripherals available to you is really necessary.
You may be able to afford their initial cost, but the cost of consumables is a recurring one, which you need to budget for.
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