How to get your iPhone 6: A short-term savings plan for luxury items

Hankering for an iPhone 6? Depending on your commitment and expenses, you can make enough room in your budget to afford it with a short-term savings plan. That goes for the iPhone 6, a pair of expensive shoes, or any other indulgence you have your eye on. 

Andrees Latif/Reuters/File
An employee counts money while selling new iPhone 6 phones at the Fifth Avenue Apple store on the first day of sales in Manhattan, New York September 19, 2014.

Apple’s done it again. This week’s launch of the tech giant’s newest gadgets – the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch — will likely be its biggest ever. Early reviews of the 6th generation models are positive, living up to the sleek and promising announcement by CEO Tim Cook.

And if you’re anything like me, you need one.

OK, so you don’t need one. Nobody needs an iPhone 6, really. In fact, the 5th generation models are still available and much more affordable now, but you know what I mean. You want it. You crave it. You feel as though its presence in your life would streamline everything, despite your better judgment.

Or maybe it’s not an iPhone 6 at all, but a nice watch or a pair of expensive shoes that are just out of reach financially.

Depending on your commitment and expenses, you can make enough room in your budget to afford that bad boy, no matter what it is. And heck, if you can afford it without going broke or missing your bills, you’ve earned it, right? So here’s how to form a (very) short-term savings plan for something you want really badly, even if you don’t necessarily need it.

Our example is the iPhone 6, but this savings plan can be applied to any  luxury item that costs between $200 and $500 – a price range just out of reach for most consumers living paycheck to paycheck.

1. Analyze your budget.

Where does your disposable income go? Concerts, dining out, travel? Look critically at where your excess money goes and determine the areas you’re willing to trim. If you don’t have a lot of disposable income, this gets trickier. Groceries and clothing expenses might be a good start – coupons are a great way to save on grocery expenses you can’t eliminate. As for clothing, try shopping from clearance racks or skipping new clothes altogether for a couple of months.

2. Calculate how long you need to save.

You know that if $50 a month is all you can squeeze out of your budget, it’ll take you a while to get there. On the other hand, if you’re willing to stop going out for a month, you may be able to get there very quickly. That’s not very much fun, though, and most people will want to save a moderate amount, like $100 to $150 per month. Perfect – you’ll be able to afford your iPhone 6 right around the time when the last of the pre-orders ship in late October if you’re OK with the cheapest model. Otherwise, you can have a model with more memory by December.

3. Find a place to put the money.

Even though this is a very short-term savings plan and you don’t stand to gain much in the way of interest, it’s best not to store the extra money right there in your bank account. It’s just far too easy to spend on something less important than an iPhone 6. If you already have a savings account, especially one from which you can easily transfer money to your checking account, that’s a great place to keep it earmarked. Otherwise this is the one time it’s OK to keep cash in a coffee can labeled “tree house fund” as an adult. Or, you know, in a safe or something.

4. Stick to the plan.

If you say you’re going to eat dinner out one less night per week, stick to that. If you decided to lower grocery costs, start clipping those coupons and searching for “recipes on a budget” online. Don’t buy any smaller luxury items until your coveted iPhone (or designer dress, or front-row seat ticket) is in hand.

In just a couple months’ time, your sacrifices will pay off and you’ll have that really cool thing you don’t need in your possession. You’ll then be free to get on with your life – just don’t show off your new toy too much.

Apple Watch image via Apple.

The post How to Get Your iPhone 6: Short-Term Savings for a Luxury Item appeared first on NerdWallet News.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.