Still thinking of getting an iPhone 6S? If your phone still works, here's what you should consider buying instead.
The cost of an iPhone 6s (64 GB) is about S$1,218. Before deciding if you need that upgrade, here are some alternative purchases that might serve you better. They cost the same and could make a world of difference:
These alternatives apply if you already have a functioning phone, and are thinking of upgrading. In general, if your phone is less than two years old, you’re better off spending on one of the following:
1. Buy a Good Bicycle
A bicycle one of the best investments you’ll ever make: bicycling shaves S$2.50 to S$5 off train and bus fares, and it helps to keep you fit in the process. High-quality bicycles that retail for at least S$1,000 tend to depreciate very slowly. Take good care of it, and you might be able to sell it for the original price five or six years down the road.
2. Pre-Pay Your Insurance Premiums
S$1,200 is enough to prepay your insurance for anywhere from a quarter to half a year, depending on your policy. This is a good idea because, should you end up being retrenched or unable to work, the money will ensure your policy does not lapse. Just contact your financial advisor for more details on how to do this.
3. Upgrade Your HTML Skills
S$1,200 is enough for a basic HTML course. As companies migrate further into the digital field, these skills will become more important to people in a wider range of fields. Are you in marketing? Get ready to spend hours describing every little web store change to a developer if you can’t do a bit of coding. Are you in management or Human Resources? Get ready to have your schedule thrown into a mess when you can’t estimate how long apps will take to tweak and develop.
This is even useful if you want to set up a blog shop, or some form of online business. You can’t rely on a Content Management System to do everything you need.
4. Buy Your First Lot of Shares
Pop down into a stock broker’s office, or visit a qualified financial advisor. Your first lot of shares isn’t as expensive or intimidating as you think - these days the Singapore Exchange (SGX) allows you to buy in small lots of 100 shares, so you no longer needs to plonk down thousands at a go.
Don’t pick at random though - a good advisor will be able to pick out a fund or company that will passively grow your money.
5. Buy Intensive Career Consultation Sessions
Several Human Resource firms offer career consultation services, with prices that range from around S$500 for individual workshops. This is a good chance for you to upgrade that resume, learn how much you’re worth, and stand out enough for a promotion. Remember: a one time pay increment of a just S$500 will mean an extra S$6,000 every year - and that’s the down payment on a flat in about three years.
This self-upgrade could prove to be the most life-changing thing you ever spend money on.
6. Upgrade Your Wardrobe
It’s time to make sure you have the right suits to look sharp in a board room. Men should invest in at least one custom tailored suit, with a matching jacket. This typically comes to around S$1,200 at a neighbourhood tailor, and the outfit will serve for decades.
Women will typically spend far less than the full S$1,200. Even half that amount will go a great distance toward looking professional, and persons of both genders should remember first impressions go a long distance toward a higher paying job.
If you use a credit card to buy a new wardrobe, you can earn points or rebates from your purchase. Compare shopping credit cards and use one that has deals or discounts with your favourite shops, like the UOB Yolo Card.
7. Learn Basic Accounting
This is boring and expensive, but it’s a course you need to take. Accounting is part of the language of business, and it will open doors for you. When you understand the difference between gross profit and net profit, or how cash and profit are not interrelated, you’ll have a much better sense of what your managers are talking about.
Even better, basic accounting skills will save you a lot of money when you need to handle tax issues, and it’s invaluable for proper household budgeting. It also raises the possibility of your running your own business someday (forget about getting far without basic accounting knowledge).
8. Wipe Out Your Debt
If you have any outstanding debt with no prepayment penalties, consider clearing them before buying things like a new phone. This is doubly true with credit cards, which are meant for short term loans and have a very high interest rate (24% per annum). If you have rollover debt on your cards, clearing them out should be your first priority.
You could also consider using your money to pay off personal loans. The sooner you pay for these, the less interest you will incur. However, ensure that there is no prepayment penalty before you rush to clear the loan (these are seldom worth paying).
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