Finding financial finesse

So this is what it feels like to be an adult …  I thought this to myself as I confirmed my purchase of an Android phone last week. As a devoted iPhone fan, I never thought I would get anything else. But when a used iPhone 6 would run me around $400-$500 and an LG in mint condition would cost me just over $100, I figured that I could put that money to other use than indulging my “first-world problem” of only wanting to buy an iPhone. Why did I even want an iPhone? Well sure, I was used to it. But I knew that other phones have much better operating systems and overall longer “lives” than the notorious iPhone which usually only lasts me two years, at best. I wanted it for the emojis, the group messages. Fitting with almost all of my friends that have iPhones. Was that worth the price though?

In the end I decided that no, I was going to do the “adult thing” and be fiscally responsible. I was going to purchase the more practical phone that would probably last me just as long, if not longer. Would I have to suffer through a few small inconveniences like trying to figure out how to transfer my contacts and give up my ability to group iMessage? Yes. But a week later I can tell that I successfully did it, and I’ve now put that saved money towards this summer’s rent, a weekend to Madison this past month and a trip to Colorado in June.

As I get older I’ve begun to put a lot more value on experience rather than material, as I think is natural for a lot of us to do as we age. We start to realize as life passes that what we’ll ultimately remember are the adventures we have traveling and with those we love, rather than the iPhones that we’ve cycled through. That maybe sometimes it really is better to save a bit than to spend. That society really does control us more than we think, and it can feel freeing and oddly super satisfying to break those conventions that we started conforming to as soon as we started seeing advertisement and being exposed to the cultural norm by our peers.

That’s ultimately how this experience has felt to me as a whole – it’s been a sort of rebellion for me to break hold of this stigma of having an iPhone. Sure, I’m not going to lie, I do miss it a bit. But even though it’s a very minuscule part of my life, being able to alter my normal buying patterns just a bit and question why I wanted something in the first place gave me a new sense of self-awareness that it can be easy to ignore. It reminded me that I was capable of change and making an adult decision that my dad actually texted me about to commend me (he is NOT a fan of Apple products, and is always a fan of making the fiscally-responsible decision in these sort of situations).

So sure, I get a little annoyed when someone sends me an emoji and it just shows up as a little rectangle with an X inside of it. But I’m already getting over it, and looking forward to the things that I’ll get to do with the money I’ve saved. If a small sacrifice means a plane ticket to the mountains, sign me up. I think I’ll be able to get the hang of this adulting thing.

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