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3 Awesome Things You Could Buy Instead of the iPhone 5

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iPhone 5 MockupsRecently, the iPhone 5 was released to a great deal of hype. The snafu with the maps app notwithstanding, many people are thrilled with the latest version of the iPhone.

While I think that it would be fun to have an iPhone, it’s not something I consider a necessity. Indeed, I still have a “regular” cell phone on a prepaid plan. When you think about how much a smart phone like the iPhone 5 would cost overall, it becomes apparent that you could do something else with the money.

I’m a big believer that you should spend your money on what’s important to you. So, if you like the idea of having an iPhone 5, and don’t mind spending the money, I say go for it. But, consider that an infographic from Mashable puts the total cost of the iPhone 5 at a little more than $1,800 by the time you pay for the phone, plus the contract and required accessories.

Here are some of things you could buy if you decide to forgo the iPhone 5:

1. Used Car

If you are in need of transportation, you can get a used set of wheels for $1,800. According to a search I ran on Cars.com, you can get a 1998 Pontiac Grand Am SE with almost 130,000 miles for $1,800. And there are plenty of other cards, from a 2000 Buick Century to a 1997 Cadillac Seville SLS, for less than $1,800.

No, it’s not going to be the sweetest ride ever. However, if you are just looking for something to get you around town, you can find a reasonably reliable car for the same cost as an iPhone 5.

2. One Week Cruise

Want a seven-night cruise from New York City to the Bahamas? You can get an inside room for $469 per person (for a total of $938). If you want a suite, you can get one for $909 per person. That’s $1,818 — about $10 more than the iPhone 5. There are several cruise opportunities, ranging from three nights to 10 nights, from various ports, for the cost of an iPhone 5. Get an inside cabin, and you can go on a cruise, including the cost of airfare to get you to the port, for less than what you would pay for the iPhone 5.

3. Engagement Ring

My custom wedding band, which we had made by a local jewelry artisan, cost us about $500. Of course, we bought it when gold cost much, much less, and it has only one small diamond, and two small emeralds. I know that there are folks out there who want to spend more than that on a ring, though.

If you want to buy a decent engagement ring, you can do so for $1,800. And in some cases, that’s still considered a frugal option. Granted, it’s not going to be a particularly glamorous option, but it’s still available. If you aren’t adverse to it, you can buy a ring on Amazon or eBay, or get a good deal from a pawn shop. Decide that diamonds are unnecessary, and you can get even more rock for your buck.

What do you think? Is there something you would rather buy than an iPhone 5?

(Photo: methodshop.com)

{ 10 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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10 Responses to “3 Awesome Things You Could Buy Instead of the iPhone 5”

  1. DMoney says:

    If you’re going to account for the total cost of the phone, shouldn’t you also account for the total cost of owning a vehicle? Obviously the total cost of that Gran Am exceed $1800 when you factor gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.

    And I think many people actually get plenty of value for their smart phones, especially business users and social media gurus, etc.

    When you add up all the devices a smart phone replaces (phone, point-and-shoot camera, HD video camera, mobile game device, HD video/radio streaming device, mobile email client, MP3 player, etc.), it’s actually a fantastic value.

  2. Tiffany says:

    No it’s not a good deal. I could carry around my tablet or a laptop but then again I would only get internet with a wi-fi connection unless i bought one of those internet usb devices from the phone company.
    It’s ridiculous how high phones are marked up and then you have to pay for the service every month at around $60-$70/mo unless you have Walmart cell service or Metro PCS or some other service that only charges $45/mo

  3. Adam says:

    The prepaid phone at $45 a month is still more than $1,000 over two years. So really this story is about a difference of $720 over 24 months time. When you consider DMoney’s comments, I think this story is bunk.

  4. Tim says:

    It is fair to call for accurate accounting, but is true that the iPhone is expensive when compared to a basic cell plan. If you want to splurge, go ahead, if you want more money in the bank, go for a no-frills phone. I’m an iConoclast, so no iPhone for me.

  5. David says:

    I am one of the many that bought the iPhone 5. I think it is such a valuable productivity tool that the additional cost over 2 years is more of an investment. I can deposit checks with my iPhone instead of driving to the bank each week. That saves auto costs. I can comparison shop at stores. Best Buy and Sears have both honored price match with my iPhone’s Amazon price. That saved me $200 on a home theater system for my folks. I am able to store countless photos of my daughter to share with others. The maps app saves driving expenses by giving nearby solutions with efficient routes.

    All of this makes the additional $720 over 24 months that Adam mentions a great use of my money.

  6. David says:

    I am one of the many that bought the iPhone 5. I think it is such a valuable productivity tool that the additional cost over 2 years is more of an investment. I can deposit checks with my iPhone instead of driving to the bank each week. That saves auto costs. I can comparison shop at stores. Best Buy and Sears have both honored price match with my iPhone’s Amazon price. That saved me $200 on a home theater system for my folks. I am able to store countless photos of my daughter to share with others. The maps app saves driving expenses by giving nearby solutions with efficient routes.

    All of this makes the additional $720 over 24 months that Adam mentions a great use of my money.

  7. DawgyD says:

    $1800 could start a garden.

  8. C. Dowling says:

    The iPhone (and similar devices) are amazing Swiss Army Knives of tech. Text, scan, shop, buy, photocopy, document, photograph, GotoMeeting, Facetime, Skype, Google Voice, Maps, yada, yada, yada.

    Nonetheless, I only own my new iPhone 5 ’cause my company pays for most of it and its voice and data plan.

    Otherwise, I might just be roughing it!

  9. susan says:

    I completely agree with David here.
    I had a bottom of the line phone for several years. When I got my iPhone my productivity level increased immensely, and in ways I’d not imagined possible before I had it. I have not upgraded to iPhone 5 yet, but that is coming in the next month or so.
    Business-wise, besides the things David points out above, I listen to a lot of podcasts and iTunes University business classes and talks by entrepreneurs while I drive, so I’m improving my business acumen. I create voice recordings, write notes and lists on the fly that I can later email, photograph things which I can show later to consultants to help with projects, keep my calendar, set up alerts for invoices and appointments, record deposits….that is just off the top of my head–I know there are things I’m forgetting!
    For me, this is a business investment that more-than pays for itself.

  10. Seth says:

    Google Nexus for $299.
    iPhone 5 starts at $649 (unlocked and no contract)

    Also, I just wanted to put one more vote in for what Adam and DMoney said… it’s not really a fair comparison. I understand the argument for total cost of ownership, but if you are going to use that measurement, you have to consider whether the average person would have already been getting a phone. If so, then a significant portion of the cost of that estimate was going to be spent anyway, making Adam’s $720 estimate much more realistic.


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