Why You Should Avoid Buying the iPhone 6s

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Apple is quite possibly one of, if not, the most innovative company the world has ever seen and the iPhone is undoubtedly (sorry Android) the hottest consumer item of a generation, period. However, even with all of its accolades, a fancy new 3D touch screen, and improved Siri powered voice activation functionality you should not purchase Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone 6s this fall, despite the fact that 13 million other people are doing it.

Here’s how to combat the urge to purchase Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone.

Use Happiness as a Benchmark

Everything we purchase comes with a price tag. A clearly articulated cost that is largely arrived at by adding up the cost of creating that particular thing or delivering that particular service, then adding a profit margin on top (for economics majors, yes supply and demand also plays a critical role).

It’s been said that cost is only an issue in the absence of value. In other words, we don’t question how much something costs unless we don’t (whether consciously or sub-consciously) see the value in that particular item, service, or experience.

So when it comes to the iPhone 6s it stands to reason, how are you determining value when debating whether or not to buy the latest and great iPhone? Is it a rash decision without much thought? Does your budget say you can (or maybe it doesn’t, but screw it)? Or are you taking a good long look at how much value it will truly deliver to you?

Better yet, how about using happiness as a benchmark? Research in the field of psychology has increasingly shown that happiness is largely driven by our experiences, the places we see, the things we do, and the time we spend with people we love. Very little is attributed to the things we buy.

So as you consider purchasing the latest and greatest iPhone ask yourself how much happiness will the new phone provide and could you get a greater ROH (Return on Happiness) by spending your hard earned money elsewhere?

Everything Will End up in the Trash

Americans produce 250 million tons of trash each year. To give you some perspective that is enough trash to cover the state of Texas each year, twice. What might be even more staggering is that an old iPhone is estimated to be thrown out every 15 seconds.

So whether your contract is up and you can manage to get a new iPhone 6s for a couple hundred bucks or you want the freedom that comes with not being tied to a carrier and you’re considering the purchase of an unlocked iPhone 6s for $600-800, it helps to keep the above stats in mind. Your old iPhone, your new iPhone 6s, the iPhone after that, and the one after that will ultimately end up in the trash.

In fact, almost nothing will avoid ending up in the trash. If you’ve ever moved, whether it be out of your college dorm, into a new apartment, or out of your first home, you know this all too well. Think about how many trips you made to Good Will or the Salvation Army to donate stuff that was once the latest and greatest and is now one step closer to the trash.

So as you consider purchasing the latest and greatest iPhone keep in mind that its shelf life is very much finite. On the contrary, the memory of a trip, a concert, or a game with a friend or loved one will last a lifetime.

Give Yourself Perspective

Value is a difficult thing to quantify. In fact, it is likely impossible on an absolute basis, but one can start by creating some relative perspective. To do this it is helpful to ask if there is anything else I would rather spend $749 on than a new iPhone 6s (particularly if I already have a perfectly good iPhone ##).

Right now, you can fly from New York to London for $744, Minneapolis to Rio de Janeiro for $748, Chicago to Moscow for $733. If you aren’t a big international traveler how about Los Angeles to Chicago for $236 for two, plus a two night stay at the W Hotel for $244/night. All-in you’re looking at $724 (before taxes) for a weekend getaway with a friend or significant other for the cost of a new iPhone.

So as you consider purchasing the latest and greatest iPhone 6s do some relative math. Ask yourself,
“What could I get instead?” If my current phone works great, could I spend the money elsewhere and derive more value for myself and another loved one? If so, it might be worth holding off on the purchase until you truly need a new phone.

Incremental Changes Aren’t That Cool

When the first generation iPhone came out it was sensational, even revolutionary. You could now store literally every song you owned on the same device that could be used to talk, text, or email a friend on the other side of the globe. On top of all that it was sleek, sexy, and intuitive to even the most technologically challenged (think “a Cave Man Could Do It”).

But as with any technology, it becomes increasingly hard to make anything more than incremental change. Sure the battery life has gotten better, the screen is now bigger, you even have a flashlight, but ultimately none of these changes are life-changing.

So as you consider the purchase of the latest and greatest from Apple consider each of the items above carefully to determine if the value is worth the price. In some cases, yes, your old phone is barely functional or maybe your career demands a new one, but for many their current phone is likely more than sufficient and more importantly dollars could be spent elsewhere with a greater Return on Happiness.

About Matt Cosgriff, CFP(®)

Minneapolis Financial Planner | Intrapreneur | Young Professional | Millennial Guru | Tech Aficionado | Traveler | Food Lover | Minnesota Wild Fan | Movie Quoter | Follow on Twitter| LinkedIn

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