Is an iPhone worth it?

I dropped my iPhone back in January and cracked the screen pretty good. Still workable, but I get a ton of looks and plenty of “you still haven’t fixed that?!”  Of course there’s good reason to not fix it: it costs a lot of money.  How much money if I were to replace it?  AvalaunchMedia says…

Click to see the full infographic.

Click to see the full infographic.  H/T: http://www.yummymath.com

… $1,808.68 for one year, minimum.  Wow.  Now, for me it costs slightly less than $85 a month, or $1020 a year. Which, now that I write it down, makes me a little sick.  And if you add in the cost of the phone and case and, well, you get how Avalaunch totalled up to $1,800.  Say I took that $800 I don’t spend by upgrading and immediately put it into my student loans.  That would cut my current monthly interest accumulation by… only about $3.  More of a snowflake than snowball, but still I have to start knocking down the principal to get that snowball rolling and taking all the interest with it.

However, my goal is a long term one. In the end, the iPhone probably costs me a few hundred dollars more a year than alternatives. But I am also grandfathered into unlimited data and conduct quite a bit of business on my phone, so it is not something easily cut. For me, the dilemma is: do I upgrade and pay $200 now?  If I do, will my monthly bill increase? Can I trade my phone in for anything despite the cracked screen? The longer I wait, the less value my current phone has – eventually it will be zero. At that time I’ll have to buy a phone, but maybe I eschew the iPhone rat-race? Maybe I replace my current 4 with another 4? I don’t really need to upgrade to the new 5, do I?

There’s a little research I have to do here, including figuring out the cost of repair/trade-in. If I can trade-in my phone and get  $100 credit for a iPhone 5, then maybe that is the best financial decision to make if I’m sticking with Apple. Lot’s to consider here.

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