Apple has unveiled its iPhone 14 line, and many Filipinos once again find themselves scraping their wallets just to get hold of the latest piece of tech that has become a status symbol in today’s hyperconnected society.
With its improved camera system, ability to communicate with satellites, and the Dynamic Island feature, the iPhone 14 feels like a must-have for smartphone enthusiasts. But with a steep price of P77,990 for the base Pro Max model, it’s also an expense that could be better spent on more important matters.
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While there is nothing wrong in buying the new iPhone, make sure that you have saved up first for emergency situations and you will not bury yourself in debt, according to a financial advisor.
“Bakit kailangan mag-save and invest? Kasi ang value ng pera natin lumiliit. So kung wala kang ini-invest, o kaya wala kang ginagawa on your end para palakihin ito, kakainin lang nang kakainin yung pera natin,” financial coach Joanna Marie Almonte-Detera told reportr.
“You have to save up first. You have to build your emergency fund,” she added.
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What can you do with P77,990 for an iPhone 14 Pro Max?
If you have P77,990 and you’re not sure whether it would be wise to spend it on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you may consider putting your hard-earned money in an investment so that it could grow and earn interests, Almonte-Detera said.
For people looking to invest their money, one of the popular options today is an life insurance policy with built-in savings, also known as the Variable Universal Life or VUL insurance.
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A VUL insurance provides financial protection to policyowners who have been diagnosed with critical illnesses and helps them grow their money over time. Typically, this insurance policy costs around P36,000 a year, according to Almonte-Detera.
“So kung ikaw ay nasa edad na 26, 27, makaka-two years ka na ng payment kasi P36,000 lang siya in a year,” she said.
“You can invest your money tapos protected ka pa. Kung ano man mangyari sayo, meron kang mapagkukuhanan. At the same time, nagg-grow yung money mo,” she added.
Aside from a VUL insurance, you can also try putting your funds in Pag-IBIG’s MP2 savings, which only requires a monthly minimum investment of P500, for a total of P6,000 per year. Another option is to use GInvest, or even venture into cryptocurrency, according to Almonte-Detera.
“Huwag mong ilalagay yung money mo or golden eggs mo sa iisang basket lang. You have to diversify your funds. Para kung halimbawa malugi ang isa, meron ka pang ibang golden eggs. Yan ang magandang gawin doon sa money,” she added.
While investing your money is a possible option, you can also build an emergency fund. Ideally, your emergency fund should be three or six times the amount of your regular expenses per month, Almonte-Detera said.
“Kung may expenses ka na P10,000 a month, you should have P60,000 na. Gagalawin mo lang ito kapag emergency,” she added.
Another option is to invest in a business, Almonte-Detera said. Nowadays, one can start a business with only an initial capital of at least P5,000, so a P77,990 start-up can go a long way.
So you really want to buy the iPhone 14, what should you do?
If are you really intent in buying a new gadget like the iPhone 14, just make sure that it’s a good purchase, meaning it has something in return to you, Almonte-Detera said.
You may think of buying the new iPhone because you can use it to take better quality photos and videos required for your work, or you can use its new features to be more productive at your job. This way, it becomes more of an investment than a regular purchase, the financial adviser said.
Before buying the new iPhone, check your finances and your portfolio first. See to it that you have saved up for your emergency funds and you have an insurance policy that will cover your medical expenses when things go south, Almonte-Detera said.
“Kung wala namang masa-sacrifice, kung okay ka lahat, bilhin mo siya,” she said.
Lastly, you can ask for advice from your family and friends when making big purchases so that they can guide you in making the right decision.
“Kung pang-balance naman yan sa life mo, it can make you happy, it can make you more productive, you can purchase the iPhone,” Almonte-Detera said.
“Basta hindi masa-sacrifice yung ating finances, good purchase yan,” she added.
Joanna Marie Almonte-Detera is an engineer by profession and a certified investment advisor and financial coach. Reach out to her on Facebook if you need advice on financial management.