How to afford the best stuff and not to loose money.

I love buying premium products. I buy everything I need and¬†I afford any hobbies I want. But¬†I don‚Äôt become poor after purchasing all of¬†this stuff. And¬†most of¬†the¬†time I only pay 20-30% of¬†the¬†item‚Äôs price. How can I afford to¬†buy an¬†iPhone for¬†300‚ā¨? How do I get money after buying an¬†expensive camera? Let‚Äôs learn about depreciation.

When you buy stuff, look at 3 things: a lifetime of a product, It is hard to break, for how much will I be able to sell this stuff in the future?

Buy 1-year-old stuff

I don‚Äôt buy new iPhones, Macbooks, cameras, or¬†bikes (i hope soon I will add cars here). Instead, I buy 1-year-old items. For¬†example, I bought iPhone 11 pro 256 GB just for¬†600‚ā¨, while the¬†12th was priced at¬†1200‚ā¨. This iPhone was in¬†perfect condition and¬†was just 6 months old. I keep it already for¬†2 years and¬†I can sell it for¬†450‚ā¨¬†(Sep 2022). However, I broke Face-Id while swimming and¬†now I have to¬†give a¬†discount and¬†sell it for¬†300‚ā¨. The¬†total cost of¬†an¬†iPhone usage was 300‚ā¨, or¬†150‚ā¨¬†per¬†year or¬†12.5‚ā¨¬†per¬†month.

Some people sell their 1-year-old phones to¬†buy new ones. They sell it for¬†50%-70% of¬†the¬†price. That means, that to¬†have a¬†new iPhone each year, a¬†person should pay a¬†difference of¬†600‚ā¨¬†between the¬†initial price and¬†selling price, or¬†50‚ā¨¬†per¬†month. But¬†if you wanna have the¬†previous model and¬†keep it for¬†2 years, the¬†monthly payment is just 12.5‚ā¨. It is 4 times cheaper to¬†have the¬†previous model. If you keep the¬†old model for¬†a¬†longer time, maybe you can even pay 10‚ā¨¬†per¬†month. To¬†clarify, it does not¬†mean that you pay someone¬†‚ā¨¬†each month, it just shows how much value the¬†phone loses every month.

Depreciation is the¬†value, that an¬†item loses each month or¬†year. It is also treated as¬†the¬†real cost of¬†usage of¬†a¬†good. In¬†theory, you should take the¬†price of¬†a¬†good when you bought it and¬†the¬†selling price after the¬†expected time of¬†usage. Then you subtract these prices and¬†divide them by¬†the¬†number of¬†years or¬†months that you plan to¬†use that stuff. For¬†an¬†iPhone 14, it will be (1200-600)/3 = 200‚ā¨¬†per¬†year if we assume that we use a¬†1200‚ā¨¬†iPhone for¬†3 years and¬†sell it for¬†600‚ā¨.

Depreciation can be counted linearly, or more complicated. For easiness, assume that in the first year the item loses the same cost as in the next 2 years combined.

Used items are Inflation-free. That means if the¬†price for¬†new models goes up, the¬†used items will cost the¬†same as¬†before. It is just a¬†rule. For¬†example, in¬†Russia, there is huge inflation in¬†cars. The¬†previous models of¬†a¬†car cost 100k‚ā¨ 1 year ago, the¬†new model cost 300k‚ā¨ due to¬†the¬†import restrictions. We could imagine, that if these cars still have the¬†same engine and¬†interior, the¬†price for¬†the¬†one-year-old car should also rise dramatically. However, it is not¬†the¬†case. For¬†example, the¬†used Audi Q7 of¬†2020 with 50k km costs 70k‚ā¨, while the¬†new one of¬†2022 costs 250k‚ā¨. The¬†only difference between them is the¬†small adjustment in¬†the¬†exterior and¬†interior.

Different countries have different prices. For¬†example, I bought a¬†used camera, Sony a7 II for¬†just 570‚ā¨. When I came to¬†Russia, it appeared that I can sell it for¬†1.2k‚ā¨. So, I can sell it here and¬†get a¬†600‚ā¨¬†profit. It is known as¬†Arbitrage. It is when you profit from the¬†difference in¬†prices without risk.

Buy high quality

Don’t buy low quality. Such items are easy to break, and their lifetime is short. You will not be able to sell it, so you just throw it in the rubbish bin after some time. Keep in mind that cheap low quality items are sometimes made with the child force and in poor worker conditions. And by buying and throwing the bad quality items in the rubbish bin, you are polluting nature.

High-quality items last long, show prestige and are beautiful and comfortable.

Also buy new

Not¬†every item can be bought or¬†used. Don‚Äôt buy used headphones, parachutes, or¬†stuff you know nothing about. For¬†example, I want to¬†buy a¬†bike for¬†2.8k‚ā¨. It is expensive. I could probably find the¬†one-year-old bike, but¬†I don‚Äôt know how to¬†check the¬†bike for¬†quality, or¬†I don‚Äôt want to¬†change the¬†details. In¬†such situations, I can either hire a¬†professional or¬†ask a¬†friend for¬†help. Or¬†just buy a¬†new one. The¬†bike, for¬†example, has a¬†lifetime of¬†7 years on¬†average, and¬†then the¬†depreciation will be 2800/7 = 400‚ā¨. Of¬†course, a¬†bike can be sold even for¬†1000‚ā¨¬†in¬†7 years, because we can change details and¬†make repairments each year, but¬†let‚Äôs assume that we do nothing. So, the¬†cost of¬†a¬†bike will be 33‚ā¨¬†per¬†month. It is not¬†too much for¬†high quality.

What about fashion

Fashion is complicated. The¬†fashion houses know that people want to¬†be trendy, and¬†the¬†style changes each half a¬†year. I don‚Äôt know if it is a¬†good idea to¬†buy used clothes, but¬†it is a¬†good idea to¬†buy expensive classical outfits. For¬†men it is easy¬†‚Äď just buy suits for¬†2k‚ā¨ each and¬†use them for¬†a¬†decade. Buy good shirts, t-shirts, and¬†8 pairs of¬†shoes for¬†different events. The¬†men‚Äôs classics change too slowly. There are also trendy casual outfits that should be changed more often.

For¬†women, it does not¬†work. Fashion for¬†women is much more important. It is a¬†way to¬†show her status and¬†prove to¬†herself that she is the¬†most beautiful. However, some brands like Burberry don‚Äôt change their fashion style too often. Gucci can also be worn for¬†a¬†quite long time. I recommend not¬†buying the¬†brand stuff, but¬†quality stuff. Don‚Äôt be a¬†crank and¬†don‚Äôt buy an¬†item with huge brand logos. Instead, buy something attractive. You will never find a¬†brand on¬†a¬†5k‚ā¨ dress and¬†suit.

When buying new clothes, remember how can you combine them with other clothes or¬†whether you already have enough outfits for¬†some occasions. Maybe you just need to¬†buy high-quality t-shirts instead of¬†20 t-shirts with cheap prints. I have an¬†excel file, where I put all the¬†wardrobe items in¬†my Austrian house. It appeared that I have items, that costs 6000‚ā¨¬†in¬†total. But¬†I have only a¬†few things that cost more than 100‚ā¨. I understood that I have too many cheap clothes up to¬†25‚ā¨. And¬†the¬†thing is that I wear such clothes for¬†1 or¬†2 years. The¬†expensive items, however, I wear for¬†a¬†much longer time. I also found out that I have 5 suits, and¬†4 of¬†them cost less than 200‚ā¨¬†each.

I hope, after reading this article, you will buy quality stuff for lower prices and will afford anything you want.

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