There’s always going to be a loyal following of Apple dweebs who will gladly fork over $999 for the 64GB iPhone X, but there’s a greater number of people who’d rather spend a grand on bigger and better things. Since you just got used to your iPhone 7 Plus, there’s no need to make the jump and waste your hard-earned cash on the latest generation. You’ve got your eyes on another price, but don’t worry if you don’t. If you aren’t sure how you should spend $1,000, keep reading for inspiration. Here are five things you could do instead of buying the iPhone X.
1. Travel the country
Have you always wanted to see the Redwoods of California, the Rockies in Colorado, and the bayou of Louisiana? If you forwent your iPhone upgrade, you could see all of these things and more as you tour the country on a 45-day Amtrak pass. With 18 segments (or stops), you can plan a lay-over in 18 states.
While Amtrak isn’t the most luxurious way to travel, it is one of the cheapest. In fact, the 45-day pass costs $899, leaving you a little bit of pocket change to spend on AirBnBs or restaurants around the States.
2. Be a basic bitch
Back in September, Starbucks fans headed to Twitter to express their #outrage over the latest price hikes at their favorite coffee shop. The company raised its costs by 10–30 cents, depending on the menu item and store location. As a result, the average customer is paying about 0.5 percent more than usual every trip.
Even with the latest bump to your bill, the equivalent of the iPhone X could support a daily drive-thru habit for nearly a year. At $4.75 each, you could sip on 224 tall pumpkin spice lattes. Whether you space them out or burn through these drinks as soon as possible is between you and your over-caffeinated heart.
3. Stream everything
Netflix, like Starbucks above, rolled out a price increase in 2017. As of October, the streaming giant bumped its basic plan from $9.99 to $10.99 per month and its premium tier from $11.99 to $13.99 per month. Wall Street analysts point towards the rising cost of production as the reason for this hike, as Netflix faces several years of negative cash flow to deliver its originals, like Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, and Narcos.
As a fan of these shows and more, you could stand to pay for a basic subscription for just a little over 90 months or 7 and a half years. Alternatively, you could go streaming crazy and subscribe to every other service. With a basic subscription to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO costing a combined $42.22 per month, you could have it all for just over 23 months — that’s nearly 2 years of the ultimate streaming experience!
4. Load up on gear
Just because the iPhone X is far too expensive doesn’t mean other gadgets suffer from the same bloated price point. You could do well with $1,000, and if you’re careful with how you spend it, you could get more than just one or two items.
Since you’re sticking with your old 7 Plus, a tailor-made wardrobe of iPhone 7 Plus skins is an obvious choice. These interchangeable decals can transform an old device into a sleeping dragon, a slab of marble, a branch of hardwood, or a luxury leather device. No one will know you’re tapping away on a beat-up model when you nab high-quality custom skins for your device.
Perhaps the best thing about a customized iPhone 7 skin is that you’ll have more than enough money left over to splurge on other gadgets. A single iPhone decal barely costs $20, so you could supplement your existing tech with something cooler. At $349, an Apple HomePod falls within the remaining tab. As does a new Xbox One X console at $499. To be perfectly honest, most personal gadgets ring in under the iPhone X’s $999, so you’ll need to do some research to see which device fits your lifestyle and preferences best.
5. Be responsible
Finally, though certainly the most boring, is the option to invest that $1,000. If you have a grand to play around with, you might as well consider preparing for your future by setting up a savings account or investment.
When it comes to stocks and other investments, $1,000 isn’t a lot to play with, but there are low-risk, low-dollar investments like ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and Robo-advisors that could work with your budget. If you choose to go down the savings route, make sure you put it into something with a high-interest rate. Long-term savings have to cover the cost of inflation. Basic savings account with low interest won’t maximum the full purchasing power of your dollar decades down the line. Confused? Don’t worry. There are a ton of guides like this one to help you out.
And there you have it: five ways to spend $1,000 without buying the iPhone X. But this is only the beginning. You can cook up inventive ways to drop a grand if you have it, and we’re willing to bet every one of your ideas will be better than getting Apple’s flagship handset.