I Splurged on an iPhone 14: Why There's No Shame in Spending Big, If Done Right

How to splurge responsibly on iPhone 14, other gadgets

(SPOT.ph) It's that time of the year for a new iPhone to drop and demand several months of salary, or worse, debt from the working class who want to get their hands on the latest and shiniest from Apple. This year, the lines at official retailers affirm that despite the global recession, Filipinos still want the iPhone 14 series.

On social media however, advocates of financial literacy revived the conversation on "iPhone vs iPon": should you save and invest your money instead of upgrading to the newest iPhone that will depreciate in value as soon as you activate the device.

Also read:

So You Decided to Skip the iPhone 14, Where Can You Invest That Much Money?
I Gave Up Grab, Samgyup Dates to Survive Inflation

iPhone 14: Should you splurge on it?

While iPhones or any gadget in general are not investments as their value depreciates over time, buying a new gadget could be a good investment if it helps you become more productive at work or in your business, said financial consultant Aivan Parducho.


"Naging necessity na din kasi ang pagkakaroon ng cellphone sa daily lives natin. Kaya yes, masasabi ko na phones can be a good investment lalo if nagagamit natin siya sa work," he told SPOT.ph.

If you're just answering emails from your work-from-home setup, maybe you can reconsider if you really need that 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max or an iPhone 14 will do. Maybe your iPhone 12 can last another year without repairs?

It's also a good chance to reward yourself for your hard work. You work to live, not just to pay bills and save money, he said.

"Balance lang talaga e. You can buy an iPhone as long as alam mo sa sarili mo na healthy pa rin ang cash flow mo."

Can you afford an iPhone 14?

To determine if you can afford a luxury spend like an iPhone, consider the 90-10 and 60-20-20, said Parducho. First, save at least 10% of your monthly income before you prepare to spend 90% of it. The 90% can be divided into your operational expenses like food, rent, bills, and cellphone load (60%), investments (20%), and leisure activities (20%), he said.

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"Sa leisure, ikaw na bahala kung saan mo siya gusto gastusin basta i-set mo 'yung amount na dapat 'di siya lalagpas sa 20%. Dito papasok 'yung part of the smart splurging."

Let's say you're an employee who has a take-home pay of P30,000 a month. Your P3,000 goes to savings, while the rest goes to operational expenses (P16,200), investments (P5,400), and leisure (P5,400). If you were to save up for an iPhone 14, you need 11 months worth of your leisure budget to buy the cheapest iPhone 14 at P56,990.

"Nagbawas ka sa savings mo, paano kung dahil don naubos savings mo tapos halimbawa may nangyari sa family mo o sa iyo, nagkasakit, saan mo kukunin 'yung pambayad? Doon siya nagiging bad, tipong para lang makuha mo 'yun, isa-sacrifice mo ibang bagay."

But what if you plan to get the phone in installment basis?

"Nagiging bad siya kung at the end of the month, hindi enough 'yung suweldo mo to pay for all of your bills. 'May iPhone naman ako, sige bahala na kung saan ko kukunin pambayad ko every month.' Utang na lang sa friends, 'di na lang ako kakain, maglalakad na lang ako all for an iPhone, 'di naman siya okay," said Parducho.


"Sometimes when you splurge, if 'di mo binabantayan expenses mo, you tend to overspend then you can get to a point when pagdating ni Judith (due date) at the end of the month, 'kulang na pala pera ko, edi uutang na lang ako.' To avoid those situations, mas maganda if you kow how much 'yung allotment mo for each activity."

How to buy smart

Here are some things you can ask yourself buying an iPhone, or any expensive purchase:

Is this a debt trap?

If you will need to borrow money for an iPhone 14 given your current cash flow, it could be a sign for you to postpone your purchase, said Parducho.

Do I really need that upgrade?

"Kung gumagana pa naman 'yung phone mo at 'di pa naman sobrang dire need to buy a new one? Kasi kung 'di ko pa naman talaga kailangan, 'di ko muna siya bibilhin," said Parducho, who urged buyers to check YouTube reviews to see if the new phone is worth the upgrade.


Is there a cheaper alternative?

"Puwede ka pa naman sa iPhone 13 or 12 kung 'di pa kaya ng iPhone 14 kasi 'di pa naman ganun ka-obsolete 'yung mga naunang models," he said.

You can also "add to cart" first before sleeping on it. By doing this, you're giving yourself time to think if you really need it or it's something you can skip for next month's leisure budget.

While it feels good to hop onto the latest trend, don't do it if it means being financially unstable. For those who live to save money, Parducho said try to enjoy life every once in a while.

"Ang boring ng life kung puro work ka lang at wala kang ginagawa to enjoy life. We're here on earth not just to study, work and die. There's more to life than that."

Aivan Parducho is a certified investment adviser and financial consultant at Pru Life UK. For his services, you may send him an email via plukaivanparducho@gmail.com.

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