4 Vital Personal Finance Lessons Learned From Apple’s Latest iPhone X Release

The new iPhone X was just released last week and I have to have it!

This is what untold numbers of Apple fans felt when they heard Tim Cook on stage for the latest product release of the iPhone X (pronounced 10) and the iPhone 8. Their iPhone 7 is now out of date, although it was just released 1 year ago.

Apple is the master at creating market mania over their product releases. There are certainly some business lessons to be learned from Apple, however, you are here not to learn about business, but to learn about personal finance. The mania that is created is detrimental to saving for our shared goal of freedom. We need to be laser-focused on saving and increasing side income streams, and not get strayed from the course by Apple’s market mania.

So here are 4 vital lessons that should be learned from Apple’s latest iPhone X release and the mania that followed:

Disclaimer: I am not an Apple user, though I have dabbled in their use. I currently use Windows, Android, and Linux.

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iPhone X
The new iPhone X

Do Not Buy The Latest Release

Buying the latest release is like buying a new car, you get all the glam and glitter and a 30+% upcharge on the price. If you wait just one year for the next “better” model to come out, you can get the one-year-old model for much cheaper. Think 30+% off of original retail. That is when they are still new.

If you are willing to buy used, then you could be seeing savings on the phone of 50+%. When the new iPhone X came out the used market became flooded with “old” iPhone 7 and iPhone 6 models for everyone that feels the need to have the latest and greatest.

The best lesson you can learn in your pursuit of financial independence is patience.

Patience allows you to wait for the better deal, for the used deal.

Patience allows you time to reflect on why you really want this new iPhone (or any whatchamacallit really). If you reflect on the decision for a couple of weeks to a month and you still feel the desire to buy it, you may actually need it. But, if you truly reflected you will weigh the pros and cons objectively instead of subjectively.

Patience will allow you to wait out the initial bugs and defects that come with getting anything on initial release and get proven technology.

Apple is a master of creating mania and creating a sense of urgency that is so important in selling. Your goal, utilizing patience, is to eliminate the emotional response to Apple and analyze your purchase before making it.

iPhone 7
This older iPhone is “obviously” no good anymore.

Spending Money To Save Money is Bullshit

Have you ever heard the following quote?

You have to spend money to save money.

It is bullshit! If you are spending money you are not saving money.

I read this article in the Guardian about being able to save enough money on the new iPhone X for a free trip to the US. Basically, the price difference on the new iPhone X is large enough between Europe and the US that you can pay for a flight to the US and AirBnB stays for 2 nights with the savings you would have from buying your new iPhone X in the US.

Indeed the math works out for this to be true if you do not declare it while re-entering the UK where you are supposed to pay a 13% VAT on all expensive over-seas purchases including those for personal use. If you want to stay on the right side of the law, then you would not have a “free trip” to the US.

The question begs to ask, do you really need the new iPhone X?

I can only think of one reason that you would need an iPhone X and that is if your company required it. If so, then it would be supplied and you would not have to worry about the purchase price of the latest and greatest gadget out there. The company would cover it for you.

If you are a professional reviewer then you should buy it up early, or better yet, get a beta release for testing to write your review.

If, however, you are just a regular Joe like me, then you really have no justification for buying your new toy. It is that, just a toy. A $1000+ toy.

Spending money to save money is just not true. If you have to spend money to save money besides buying mutual funds (should be free) or trading stocks (really cheap) you are headed down the wrong path. You need to create a budget and get on the straight and narrow on your way to financial freedom.

Buy For A Purpose

When we buy a new gadget or anything for that matter it should have a defined purpose. We should not buy something until we have really defined what it is to be used for. The new iPhone X really brings this point home with its incredibly high price point of $1000 for the base model. You can spend $1149 to get the 256GB model. The entry-level laptops and desktops from Apple are cheaper than the newest iPhone.

So, what is the purpose of the new iPhone?

Is it a laptop replacement, or is it just a really fancy phone that still needs to be supplemented with a laptop?

Chances are, the people buying the latest and greatest iPhone X also have a Macbook. The purpose of the phone then becomes to have a computer in your pocket ready to answer any question, anytime. It can also be the primary camera for lots of people to document their life. But, the buyers of an iPhone X are not first-time smartphone buyers. It is simply too expensive for someone that has never used a smartphone.

So, an iPhone X is an upgrade for those that are not happy with their current phone. The early adopters get to be the guinea pigs for Apple to do large-scale testing of their new software and fix the bugs that are always there for initial releases. The purpose really is not your own but Apple’s purpose supplanted into your psyche. The mania has taken over and you are on your way to buying a new iPhone X. Enjoy 🙂

The Bright Side Is A Side Income Opportunity

If you want to take advantage of the Apple mania that accompanies every release then you can line up to buy your new iPhone X as soon as it is released and then head on over to eBay to resell it. This technique requires a large upfront investment in products. If you buy 6 iPhone X phones at full price you are looking at $6,000+ including taxes.

Since the iPhone X sold out pretty much as soon as it was released, there is now a supply shortage and demand is still high from the mania. Reselling at this point will allow you to capitalize on Apple’s marketing reselling your new phones for $1,500+ each. With a small pile of 6 phones, you could net around $2,500 after fees. Not too bad, for a days work, but certainly not a steady income.

Lesson Learned: There are side income opportunities everywhere you look. If you just think creatively you can find them.


I am sure the new iPhone X is an awesome phone (besides the latest update of easily crackable screens that cost $250+ to fix). I am not at all arguing that it is not a cool piece of technology because it certainly has a lot of cool specs like wireless charging, waterproof, facial recognition unlocking, a great camera among others. However, If we are on a path to reach financial independence, does the iPhone X at $1000 really fit into that goal? That $1000 could instead be invested and be worth many $1000s of dollars down the road. Live life atypically and you can reach financial freedom before you know it.

Have you bought the new iPhone X? If so, why? If not, do you still lust for it? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Couldn’t agree more. My 7 year old Iphone 4 died this year and I got a 7 a few months ago. It does more than everything I need and didn’t cost much since retailers were trying to get rid of them in anticipation of the new phones. Likely not everyone’s approach to tech, but works for me. Tom

  2. Great post. Apple and other companies create these cult-like zombie followers, it’s amazing how powerful marketing and advertising is. And I’ve always been amazed at what people will spend above what they need for something. I have an LG Android phone that costs me $59 and does everything their new iphone does. The thing rocks. My Toshiba Widows laptop is 6 years old, costs me $500 in 2011, and still runs like a champ. I think MacBooks are like $1500 or something crazy like that? I just don’t get why you would do that…..
    Accidental Fire recently posted…Executive Demands Executive LimoMy Profile

    1. I love that, “cult-like zombie followers”. Couldn’t have put it better myself. I run on a $300 laptop bought 3 years ago and a 5.5-year-old desktop that I paid $600 for. On the phone front, it is a $100 smartphone from Samsung plus a Galaxy S5 from work that doesn’t even work anymore. Computers and electronics, in general, seem to be going through a period of price inflation with everything getting more and more expensive.

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