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‚Äôt 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.