I was learning to code. For real this time. I was not allowed to install Rails on the library computers, so I bought a Windows machine from a friend for $40 and installed Ubuntu. A different friend had pointed me in this direction, proposing that computer prices often depreciated largely due to software issues and marketing, as opposed to hardware problems. This was a really good call. It was not a great machine, but it totally got the job done.
I really did not have extra money to spend. I agreed to pay for the purchase in installments of $20. When it came time to make good on the second half of my arrangement, I still did not have the money, so I avoided running into that friend before leaving town. He didn't really care, but I paid him back, plus a few beers, the next time I saw him. I was a pretty well-paid software developer by then.
I am so glad I bought that computer.